CFA v FMVA

Good morning everyone,

I am currently an Active Duty service member looking to enter the financial industry. I have about a year or so left before I transition careers and I want to maximize my chances of landing a IB job.

I have an MBA already but obviously no financial experience. I would like an associate type position but I am ok starting as an analyst.

What should my next steps be to help myself besides networking? Would it be beneficial to start a CFA, FMVA, or something else? I'm open for anything that helps but not really sure what my next step should be.

Thanks in advance!

Comments (9)

Nov 7, 2021 - 11:53am

Hey, an IB analyst here doing the CFA and I've done FMVA. If you have an MBA but need to work on the technicals, I'd go with FMVA. You'll get a lot of the basics on modelling, making presentations, and learning the technicals. The CFA is more catered towards the buy-side so it's great for learning about asset classes, accounting, etc. but it's not that applicable to IB. It might help with getting interviews since it shows that you're committed to finance and you have some good knowledge about it but the FMVA content is what will get you through the technical interviews and the actual job.

Hope this helps! 

Most Helpful
Nov 8, 2021 - 4:11pm

Hey, pal. Controversial opinion ahead - and take this with a grain of salt since I did not finish any of the two programs - I think CFA is miles ahead of the FMVA. CFA provides:

1. More credibility to your profile.

2. A better foundational understanding of a broad array of asset classes.

3. Higher employability.

I found FMVA, especially the certification process, to be a bit too easy (I know - and I still did not finish it). And, my biggest pet peeve is that it is largely used by people who are trying to break into the industry and not the industry insiders (Source: I have been running LinkedIn search queries with 'FMVA' for a few years now and the trend has not changed). Look at BIWS and other similar programs - you will find a ton of analysts and associates taking them year after year. FMVA is generally taken by people who want a basic grasp on modeling. I love the work the CFI team has done in making financial modeling accessible but in terms of street cred - CFA is miles ahead. 

So, if I were you, I would invest in something like BIWS or similar programs which are generally used by people already working in the industry. Just my two cents. Feel free to discard everything written here. More power to you. 

Nov 9, 2021 - 12:36am

I have a CFA and it is useless from a credential standpoint, but level 1 would teach you the basics of finance. That being said there's way better IB prep guides out there than studying 100+ hours for the L1 test.  I've never even heard of the FMVA so no comment on there. 

Nov 10, 2021 - 3:16am

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