For those who are considering the CFA charter, you may be aware that the CFA Program is not cheap. Not only that, it also takes a long time to become a CFA charterholder. Before applying for it, you may want to know if it is worth it because you do not want to waste both of your money and time. Fortunately, you are here where you will be provided with the important information to help you decide if the CFA is the right one for you.
Several Factors to Consider If the CFA Is Worth It
People who have a background in finance, accounting, economics or business are usually the ones that take the CFA Program. Actually, having a financial background is not important to get the CFA charter. In order to become a CFA Charterholder, you will have to get 4,000 hours of professional work experience completed in a minimum of 36 months in some areas such as trading, corporate finance and economics.
Talking about factors to consider if the CFA is worth it, keep in mind that every single one will have their own set of personal factors to consider when deciding if the CFA charter is the right one for them.
1. Career goals
While it is true that the CFA charter can help you in your career, it is not the key to success. Then, what is the key to success? Bear in mind that the key to your success is you. As for the CFA charter, it is just one part of that. There are several things that can help you career, such as leveraging personal contacts, joining a CFA society, network on social media, attend events related to your career aspirations to meet possible employers, sharpen your presentation skills, practice interviewing, and try not to get discouraged along the way
2. Salary expectations
It is not easy to determine the money you can expect to earn after passing all the CFA exams. For those who earn the CFA designation as a mid-level analyst, you can expect a 15-20% increase in salary. In fact, the CFA designation seems to provide more experienced analysts and managers with a large salary increase. Remember that salary increases are determined by a number of factors.
3. The cost to pursue the CFA
It is worth noting that the CFA Program is not free. To pursue the CFA charter, you will have to spend around $3-6,000, depending on when you register for each exam and how much you pay for CFA prep.
A Few Things to Be Learnt by CFA Candidates
The CFA Program consists of three part exams. This one tests a few things such as the fundamentals of investment tools, valuing assets, portfolio management, and wealth planning. Not only learning about the CFA Institute’s Candidate Body of Knowledge or CBOK that covers a few topics such as the effects of geopolitics on economics and investment markets, or environmental and social risk factors for corporate issuers, every CFA candidate will also have to learn about the financial community in their area. Besides, they will also learn the impact their local CFA Society is having on the future of the financial professionals such as the global CFA Institute Research Challenge.
How a CFA Works?
CFA is known as a chartered financial analyst. This one aims to provide investment guidance for individuals, businesses, and the other organizations. Aside from the investment guidance, it also commits to provide portfolio management. These professionals can be the ones that work at the likes of institutional investment firms, insurance companies, banks, pension funds, broker-dealers, and universities.
Apparently, the investment professionals who have completed the requirements set by the CFA Institute are the only ones that will be given the CFA designation. The members of the CFA are everywhere. They are usually found at some of the largest investment institutions in the world, such as JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, UBS Group, HSBC Holdings, Wells Fargo and Company, TD Bank Financial Group, BlackRock, PricewaterhouseCoopers, BofA Securities, and Royal Bank of Canada.
Using the CFA to Switch Careers
For anyone who is thinking of using your pursuit and ultimate completion of the CFA Program as a way to switch careers, just do it as it is possible for you to do that. The CFA Program is the best one to transition into a finance professional if you set realistic expectations about how long the transition will take and how much effort and dedication it takes to switch careers. It is especially good if you are considering some positions such as Portfolio Manager, Research Analyst, Hedge Fund Manager, Investment Banking Analyst, and Stock Equity Analyst.
So, Is the CFA the Best Option for You?
For those who are wondering whether the CFA is the right one for you or not, you can try out the short quiz below:
- Do you have a passion for building a better world for investors?
- Do you have enough money to pay for the CFA charter?
- Select all that apply: Which finance positions are you interested in?
a. Portfolio Manager
b. Hedge Fund Manager
c. Business Analyst
d. Risk Manager
e. Accounting Manager
- Does joining a local CFA Society interest you?
- Does your employer support you pursuing the CFA charter?
c. I don’t know
d. I’m not currently employed
- Do you have any relevant work or educational experience in Finance?
- Do you have enough time to pursue the CFA charter?
c. I don’t know
A few Alternatives to CFA
If you think that CFA is not the right one for you, you may want to consider some CFA alternatives. Some of the most common ones that are commonly considered by people include MBA, CPA, FINRA Series 7, CAIA, FRM, and Master of Science Degree in Financial Analysis.