Advice: CFA for Trading???

TiCha's picture
Rank: Baboon | 108

Hi

I'm in a middle office job at an IB and I want to pursue a carreer in trading in a prop trading firm or on a Hedge fund.

That said, would a CFA be of value? Or at least enough value to spend like 2 hours for 5 months studying for it?

I can already code in python and im also thinking about a masters in finance.

Thanks.

Comments (6)

Most Helpful
Jan 15, 2020

When I talk to middle office folks and I ask them what they want to do... They also say front office and that they're taking the CFA to get a job within sales, trading, etc... Honestly I only know one trader on the desk who has a CFA out of like 50 folks within (sales, trading, quant) on the front office side. It's not needed. I mean if you're a hot shot who can finish CFA in two years. Hell yeah, go for it but there a lot of folks who has CFA and still can't get a front office role and on average it takes them 4 years just to finish. Personally, I think CFA is more relevant for firms like BlackRock, Vanguard, family office, portfolio management, etc... Not particular found at banks or prop firms. CFA doesn't make you a better trader, at all. You talk to any trader, I'm talking about risk taking traders, not execution traders... They will say CFA is totally irrelevant. Just cause I take the CFA doesn't mean I will be making 7 figures PnL... Honestly, if I were you, I would focus something more quantitative and learn python. Probably move to quant role and go to trading. Typically, this is the most common path I've seen. I see a handful of guys on my desk who are trading exotics / rates vol who were former quants but they have masters in quant finance or some shit from columbia... I'm no where close being smart as them. When I was interviewing people for junior trader roles, my biggest thing I was looking at was what their drive and their previous work history. Drive is obviously determined during face to face interviews but if I were you, do something related that can help you get into trading. For example, I worked in natural gas derivatives and I see people who work as a scheduler to end up moving into physical natural gas trader roles. Middle office is a good place to be but most likely your opportunity to move in trading won't be from transitioning from middle office to trading but middle office to sales then trading possibly or middle office to a smaller firm that will give you a chance to work as a junior trader. This is from my experience.

    • 6
Jan 16, 2020

What about a masters from a non target university?

Jan 15, 2020

get a masters first. much more valuable.

if your firm sponsors the cfa then do it, otherwise fuck it.

Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Investment Banking Full-time Analyst Programme (London) at JPMorgan Chase. After a thorough review of your application, we regret to inform you that we are unable to move forward with your candidacy at this time.

Jan 16, 2020

Even if the masters it's not from a target university?

Jan 16, 2020

not sure what your definition of target is.

Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Investment Banking Full-time Analyst Programme (London) at JPMorgan Chase. After a thorough review of your application, we regret to inform you that we are unable to move forward with your candidacy at this time.

Jan 15, 2020
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