3/21/15

I'm seeing more and more people take the CAIA

Comments (16)

3/10/15

Also interested

Hedge Fund Interview Course

3/10/15

It might be somewhat useful as a Fund of Funds analyst. For direct investing, it is pointless.

3/18/15

Would the CFA/CAIA designation be 100% required to get you a spot at a good fund? Or can an MBA do it alone?

3/21/15

CFA / CAIA gives you knowledge. MBA gives you the network and opportunity to recruit. Notice none of these gives you the skills to be Bill Ackman / David Einhorn or Warren Buffet / Michael Price / Joel Greenblatt (Bill Ackman studies Warren Buffet, and the dude's killing it and has a HBS MBA).

Depends on your pre-MBA work experience. If your pre-MBA experience is middle-office / back-office like mine, you better prepare at least 3 very decent stock pitches (2 long, 1 short) and wow the interviewers. I am looking at the Columbia Business School student pitches published in their newsletter. Most of students had pre-MBA experience like "2 years BB IB and then some PE" or "worked in long/short fund or mutual fund", though for the latter I assume they want to be in PE or something post-MBA.

3/24/15

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"If you want to succeed in this life, you need to understand that duty comes before rights and that responsibility precedes opportunity."

5/5/15
vanillathunder:

CFA / CAIA gives you knowledge. MBA gives you the network and opportunity to recruit. Notice none of these gives you the skills to be Bill Ackman / David Einhorn or Warren Buffet / Michael Price / Joel Greenblatt (Bill Ackman studies Warren Buffet, and the dude's killing it and has a HBS MBA).

Depends on your pre-MBA work experience. If your pre-MBA experience is middle-office / back-office like mine, you better prepare at least 3 very decent stock pitches (2 long, 1 short) and wow the interviewers. I am looking at the Columbia Business School student pitches published in their newsletter. Most of students had pre-MBA experience like "2 years BB IB and then some PE" or "worked in long/short fund or mutual fund", though for the latter I assume they want to be in PE or something post-MBA.

Which newsletter is that? I'm interested.

5/5/15
5/6/15

thank you so much! sounds interesting!

3/21/15

CAIA may be helpful for manager research/FOF. I do not know much about the curriculum so can't necessarily bash it. However, to lump it into the same sentence as the CFA is not appropriate; apples to oranges.

I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain't always gonna be gold. I'll be fine once I get it

3/21/15

Its good if you have interest in joining the AI teams at asset managers or wealth managers or working on asset allocation teams for pensions endowments family office roles etc

But as someone said before, neither the CFA or CAIA makes you a competent investor - be it top down or bottoms up. I know more than a few fancy MBAs and or CFAs who can't identify opportunities in the market or create a decent thesis to save their life - and this is why any role in Asset Management generally trumps your experience and what you know about the markets over designation and branding - but those latter two will secure you more blank slate interviews

Best Response
5/3/15

My firm (AM) sponsors both CFA and CAIA. CFA is clearly the gold standard but I opted for the CAIA after reviewing the syllabus - to me it was far more interesting and far more 'niche'.

Another plus is you can feasibly earn the title within a year (vs 2/3 years for CFA). So early on in your career it can be a nice differentiator as well as giving you a very good feel of the financial landscape (and perhaps help decide what you want to specialise in). That worked for me - I came of the grad scheme with little idea what I wanted to do. Every other kid in the scheme was dead set on breaking into equities/bonds... Which put me off. And imo isn't where the money is flowing at the moment. I may be wrong but I think if you want to do well you need to specialise in something a bit more niche - the CAIA basically covers your options on this front.

You learn about everything other than stocks/bonds. And it's not just breezing over the topics - it goes into real detail on each. From my CAIA studies I made my mind up that REPE was for me and landed a gig shortly after completing the exam (though I should note - I don't think the CAIA helped open any doors... I had to explain to the interviewer what it actually is!). I explained it as the 'CFA for everything other than stocks/bonds'.

I've since done both the CFA and CAIA and can truthfully say I found the latter far more challenging and infinitely more stimulating. Career wise it should be the gold standard for multi asset / multi manager / multi strategy and maybe even macro investing. It's a great foundation for top-down, portfolio construction and allocation stuff. I did the CFA to sharpen up my financial analysis skills - you don't really get any of this from the CAIA. You won't come across a single balance sheet...!

In short, CAIA is perfect for:
- portfolio construction & advisory
- multi asset investing
- macro investing
- figuring out what you want to specialise in
- fundraising / sales at buy-side institutions

It's no good for:
- a career in bottom-up stock picking
- traditional finance routes (equities/bonds)
- opening doors (it's not well known enough...yet)

Hope this helps

5/3/15

I'm also interested in this, I want to do the CFA level 1 or the CAIA next year (I will finish the uni next year) but I don't know which one to do.

5/6/15

I find the CAIA curriculum far more interesting than the CFA since the latter is a bit too heavy on accounting and corporate finance than I would like (although level III is biased towards portfolio management, which I love). However, the CAIA is nowhere near the CFA in terms of marketability, so I would take it if you were at a role where the firm sponsors you for it. Not sure how much value there is on taking it otherwise.

1/10/17

Just a question to anyone who has completed the designation, the registration is open in April for the fall exam in September. Is this adequate time to prepare for CAIA Level 1 or would people recommend starting to prepare early to reduce the work load later on?

1/10/17

I would go for the CFA and not for the CAIA. It's much more difficult and recognized in the entire financial services industry. Remember that no professional qualification will guarantee you a career! Only good performance on the job will...

1/10/17
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