Steps for CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)

What It Takes to Earn the Charter
The CFA Institute requires three steps to become a CFA charter holder. They include:

1. Pass all three levels of the CFA exam in succession
2. Acquire 48 months of “acceptable professional work experience”
3. Join the CFA Institute, which includes completing a professional conduct
statement and affiliate with a local chapter. (To view the complete list of steps, visit the CFA Institute’s website.)
For many people, the most difficult facet of earning a charter is fulfilling the educational requirements. The CFA program consists of three exams encompassing a “candidate body of knowledge” (CBOK) that the CFA Institute believes is necessary for those in the investment profession.

The Levels and Time
Level I is given in the late fall and late spring, while levels II and III are given only once a year in the late spring. Candidates must pass each level before moving on to the next.

The statistics are grim. In any given year, anywhere from roughly 40-65% of candidates for each level pass their exams. This means that even with the most optimistic scenarios, statistically, less than 30% of those who begin the CFA program as level I candidates actually go on to pass level III.

The investment of time is often the most important. The CFA Institute estimates that the average candidate should spend at least 250 hours preparing for each level (which, depending on when you start studying, is generally around six months). Most applicants will study 10-15 hours per week to prepare for each exam.

The Requirements
Once you’ve considered the levels and time required, you must look at the professional requirements. Before a candidate can receive the charter, he or she must have completed 48 months (or four years) of acceptable work experience. Fortunately, the CFA Institute’s definition of acceptable experience is fairly broad, encompassing such areas as trading, economics and corporate finance. Still, there are a number of candidates who enter the program and are not in fields where anything they do can be construed to be part of the process. Some of these candidates may find that while they are able to pass the educational requirements, they will not receive the charter because they do not have the required professional experience.

The Institute
Finally, before candidates can receive their charters, they must join the CFA Institute. If you need any help with this process, check out the CFA Institute’s website where this process is explained in detail.

Read more: So, You Want To Earn Your CFA? | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/articles/professionaleducation/07/cfa-charter.asp#ixzz41vi8Y5Vc
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