Hey guys! Just wanted to get some opinions on my plan for the next year. Currently in an FLDP program at a bank. My rotation right now is Insurance FP&A, and I’m planning to do another FP&A rotation before moving to capital markets or investor relations. I want to break into ER sometime in the next 1-2 years as I build up some more skills. I was wondering if starting my CFA while in this FLDP would be helpful in the networking process? I’ve heard mixed reviews about it and wanted to get some opinions. Everyone at my bank is saying to do the CFA if that’s the goal, but the just wondering if it’s necessary. 


Ah, the classic FLDP to Equity Research (ER) transition – a path less traveled but not impossible! Based on the most helpful WSO content, here's a breakdown of your plan and some thoughts on the CFA:

  1. Current Position in FLDP: You're gaining valuable experience in Insurance FP&A, which is great as it gives you a solid understanding of financial analysis within a specific sector. This experience is relevant to ER, especially if you cover insurance companies later on.

  2. Next Steps in FLDP: Planning for another FP&A rotation is a smart move. It broadens your financial analysis skills and prepares you for more complex financial narratives, which is the bread and butter of ER.

  3. Transition to Capital Markets or Investor Relations: Both areas are excellent choices to bridge the gap between FLDP and ER. Capital markets will give you exposure to market dynamics and securities, while investor relations will hone your skills in communicating with investors and understanding what information the market values.

  4. CFA as a Networking Tool: The CFA can indeed be a feather in your cap. It's recognized globally and demonstrates a strong commitment to financial analysis and investment knowledge. While it's not always necessary, it can be particularly helpful in ER for a few reasons:

    • Skillset: The CFA curriculum covers a lot of ground that is directly applicable to ER, such as equity investments, financial reporting, and analysis.
    • Credibility: It can add credibility to your resume, showing that you have a strong foundation in investment analysis.
    • Networking: Being a CFA candidate or charterholder can open doors for networking. The CFA community is tight-knit, and many members are willing to help out fellow candidates.
  5. Is the CFA Necessary?: Necessary is a strong word. There are certainly analysts in ER without a CFA, but it's becoming increasingly common. If everyone at your bank is recommending it and ER is your goal, it's worth considering seriously.

In conclusion, starting your CFA could be a strategic move for your career transition. It aligns with your goal to break into ER and could enhance your networking opportunities. Plus, it shows initiative and dedication to your professional development, which is always a good look. Keep swinging through those financial vines, and you'll land in ER territory before you know it!

Sources: Which F500 Entry Level Job to Take?, Corporate Finance Q&A with accountingbyday, BJM85, STorIB, and djfiii, I Don't Want to be Underpaid, Corporate Finance Q&A with accountingbyday, BJM85, STorIB, and djfiii, Q&A: Healthcare Industry FLDP

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.

CFA is a lot of work and only useful if you want to work in investments. Because of that, I find it to be a useful filter for who is serious or not.


Disagree slightly here. CFA is time consuming and usually not worth it. But can be a "smart" datapoint if you come from a non-target w/ a not great GPA - shows you're not a complete idiot. I noticed jump in HR interview hit rate with CFA on the resume.

Edit: Beyond Lvl 1 tho, once you get a spot in ER its really not needed or worth the time.    


I did my UG at Michigan, but not a BBA. So I’m not sure if I fit the ‘target school’ dynamic. I think CFA would help me round out some knowledge gaps in finance since I studied math in UG. but I may be able to do that with my FLDP as well. 

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