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Is a CFA worth it? Anybody did it or doing it?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My brain cells are slowly dying and I must stop the process or I will go crazy.

Anyway, I'm thinking that I need to prepare myself when (probably won't happen till kids are in gr 3 or something.) I head back to work. Prior to being a sahm, I was working in the investment arm of a very large financial outfit and I was thinking of getting my CFA. This was 3 yrs ago. Despite how the job market is, I'm sure that by the time I submit my resume and don my high heels, the situation will look much better.

So I'm thinking of studying for the CFA on my own (dh says that he can help be my study partner or he might even write the exams with me.) DD is 4 and DS is 1.5yo. I'm sure that I can make time in the evening to study but it will be hard.

So...I need your thoughts on this. Do you think that getting a CFA is worthwhile in the financial world now? IF you have a CFA already, how did you find it? Any tips or suggestions for me to prepare myself? Is the Level two exam as brutal as they say it is?

Thanks
post #2 of 4
I don't know about how useful it is, etc. But, my husband is currently studying for level 3. He passed Level 1 in his first try but level 2 took him three tries (although, the first try was a half-hearted attempt as he only had 4 months to study and we were moving countries at the time). Level 3 is quite different as it is not multiple choice like the others.

Let me tell you what the experience has been like for us (we don't have children yet). He works full time, is gone from the house ~11 hours/day on a good day, mon-fri. Level 1 is offered in December and June; 2 and 3 only in June. From about Thanksgiving to the first weekend in June, it feels like he is studying all.the.time. He tries to get in a couple of hours after work each day unless he gets stuck late. He studies hard at the weekend, he gets up around 7.30 and studies until nearly dinnertime. We do usually relax with a movie or something in the evening. One weeknight we also watch an hour of television together. I help him by doing flashcards with him in the 1-2 months before the exam.

He uses review materials (he has used STalla and Schweser) that have DVD lectures which he watches, in addition to reading the material and working lots of problems. He has a pretty strict study schedule that he tries to follow. He's a little behind right now and he might take a vacation day from work soon to catch up.

Overall I find it very stressful and we have agreed that he will finish his exams before we have children; I pick up A LOT of the household slack so that he can study and I cannot imagine doing this with children. BUT, there are a lot of parents who successfully study & pass too, so it can be done.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your post. The hours of study would be my first concern as I have children and a house to keep clean. I know that dh will help but I can't really rely on him as he works very long hours and his work is very demanding. Does it help that your dh has some knowledge of investments? Or does it really matter? The last time I took a 3+hrs long exam was 7yrs ago. Hmmm....much to think about.
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by ABmom View Post
Thanks for your post. The hours of study would be my first concern as I have children and a house to keep clean. I know that dh will help but I can't really rely on him as he works very long hours and his work is very demanding. Does it help that your dh has some knowledge of investments? Or does it really matter? The last time I took a 3+hrs long exam was 7yrs ago. Hmmm....much to think about.
My husband says that his job doesn't really help that much with studying. He works for a company that provides financial data to fund managers, investment banks, etc. So he is working with data but not necessarily in an analysis setting day-to-day.

Can you go on the CFA website and look at the syllabus? For my husband the hard part is not the material (he says it is a lot of accounting, which is not a strong background for him, though) but the diversity of the material. It's not HARD, there's just A LOT of it.

ps. I also work full time (with regular overtime) and for awhile had exams to study for outside of work as well, so in the end we did hire a cleaner to come in every other week. It really did wonders to help both of us. If you could swing that at all financially I highly recommend it.
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