CFA needed for HF?

I am an undergrad at a lower Ivy. The pool of competition over the years has gotten fiercer and the opportunities for HF have gotten smaller. With the pool getting that much bigger, how much would a CFA stand out for HF? 

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  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
May 24, 2021 - 3:52pm

you are better off getting a masters in applied maths than a CFA

May 24, 2021 - 4:01pm

I am pretty sure its one of the most useless things if you're already working in finance

Array
May 24, 2021 - 4:04pm

you're better off focusing on recruiting. Network hard with people and use that CFA study time brushing up on interview guides

Array
May 25, 2021 - 12:47pm

literally no one gives a flying fuck about those 3 letters. As long as you're getting results no LP will doubt you (unless illegal shit is going on)

Array
Most Helpful
May 25, 2021 - 5:33pm

I would argue that even for asset management CFA is used more for marketing to investors and not something that changes the outcome of an application for a junior role in almost any case. If an employer thinks CFA is a good credential to have in their company, they will sponsor you for it, so having a CFA level 1 after graduation won't add much. And I say that as a CFA Charterholder.  

Cases where it helps are:

1) You are finishing college and your degree is not in finance/econ or internships are not super relevant (but still strong) and want to show interest in asset management

2) You want to transition from another industry/role and want to show interest in asset management - I did that as I moved from several years of consulting and M&A to asset management. 

In your case, things you need to focus on more, apart form networking are (these are also things I look for when I am interviewing analysts or reviewing CVs): 

1) Interesting stock pitches - not just regurgitating any standard sell-side research, with some good valuation skills and business understanding. 

2) Personal portfolio - if you can afford one, or even a virtual one if you can't. Be able to talk about investment decision and run through your rationale.

3) At CV stage - good university and good GPA. Some funds or portfolio managers might have some cutoff GPAs (even if not a formalized one).

4) Also at CV stage - good extracurriculars - some professional ones, like student run funds, finance clubs (not just membership, but actual leadership). And try to also have some other interesting activities or hobbies, not just finance related things.   

5) Most important at CV stage - internships. The ones I like most to see on CVs: other asset management roles, equity research or IB. I also like to see other competitive roles, like MBB consulting or FAANG type internships, but that could be just me. 

So, to sum up, you can work on all 5 things above + networking and that can fill up more than any free time you have at this stage. The CFA, even for a junior person that is  studying a relevant subject at a target school, is more a box ticking exercise.    

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