Comments (11)

Feb 17, 2010

Not at all really. CFA can help you if you went to a not target/ semi, and need to prove you're smart. Or if you want to be a PM/ equity analyst, which is required for the former, and pretty much required for the latter.

Feb 17, 2010

CFA in IB is not required at all. You would be better off spending your time networking and mastering interview guides and brain teasers.

Feb 17, 2010

Im actually currently doing the CFA program and working in the private equity spce. CFA is comprehensive and IS useful in IB especially the level 2 materials. Anyone who says no clearly has not delved into the material. I went to a target school by the way.

AnthonyD1982 - you offer retarded advice for a person who has a star beside his name. Work on brain teasers? really? Mastering interview guides? the relevant info is in the CFA material so your killing two birds with one stone. If your motivated you should be able to network and study for CFA.

Good luck.

Feb 17, 2010
dipset1011:

Im actually currently doing the CFA program and working in the private equity spce. CFA is comprehensive and IS useful in IB especially the level 2 materials. Anyone who says no clearly has not delved into the material. I went to a target school by the way.

AnthonyD1982 - you offer retarded advice for a person who has a star beside his name. Work on brain teasers? really? Mastering interview guides? the relevant info is in the CFA material so your killing two birds with one stone. If your motivated you should be able to network and study for CFA.

Good luck.

Retarded advice? The kid is asking about what is a better use of time trying to get into IB. CFA has been discussed into the ground about how it isn't valuable for IB. What is going to help this kid get a job is networking to get an interview and then doing well once in the interview. I fail to see how advising the OP to prepare for interviews and reach out to individuals within the industry vs. spending hours studying for level one which will not help him.

If he was asking about getting into asset management or something similar my advice would have been different. Just because you disagree does not make my advice "retarded".

Feb 17, 2010
AnthonyD1982:

Retarded advice? The kid is asking about what is a better use of time trying to get into IB. CFA has been discussed into the ground about how it isn't valuable for IB. What is going to help this kid get a job is networking to get an interview and then doing well once in the interview. I fail to see how advising the OP to prepare for interviews and reach out to individuals within the industry vs. spending hours studying for level one which will not help him.

If he was asking about getting into asset management or something similar my advice would have been different. Just because you disagree does not make my advice "retarded".

To be fair, if you read the OP's question, he's asking about whether the CFA is useful for someone who is going to work retail S&T at a BB so he already has a job... not someone trying to interview for IB.

Feb 17, 2010

CFA is worth the hype. I mean even if you buy all of the prep packages, and pay for all of the exams out of pocket (assuming your employer doesnt cover this), it is still less than $5-6K. I think the value of the charter is worth much more than that.

I feel some people on this board have a misunderstanding about the CFA program. It is not that it does not matter in IB, it is that almost less than 5% of the people have it bc of the time commitment required to complete it. You'll find a good number of associates who have passed level I, though. When I was going through interviews they were really impressed that I was studing to take Level I (this was before I passed).

In PE it is much more respected, and in some funds even required. In Equity Research it is basically a must have if you want to be a Senior Analyst.

I have taken and passed level I when I was in school, but have not attempted level II since. Bottom-line, if you have time, and a strong interest in Finance, take it.

Feb 17, 2010

Ya, your right. I noticed that also. I just skimmed the question, totally my fault.

You appropriately corrected me, thank you.

Feb 17, 2010

I passed level I, and taking level II in June. Level II is a beast, and that moreso than level I should really distinguish people from the pack. I know if I was doing the interviewing I would certainly put a Level III candidate ahead of the non CFA crowd. Unfortunately for me, just passing level I hasn't helped that much, and plenty of my classmates who failed it have gone on to jobs, while I'm still unemployed. CFA is undoubtedly the gold standard, but if you already have a job I'd say it's almost not worth the time.

Mar 17, 2010

dipset - CFA Level II is indeed very comprehensive, and it does cover PE and IB topics, but only part of it is useful for that space. I am doing the CFA as well, and personally I feel for IB at least it's not particularly useful (in a sense of time commitment vs. topics that are relevant). CFA is most useful for portfolio mngt (where it is the main topic of discussion for CFA lv 3) and research. It ties everything (all finance topics) together

I don't think anyone should say CFA is 'useless'. But it should be noted that it requires a lot of time, and depending on the profession, you could very well get the same theoretical or practical experience in some other form (e.g., self training financial modeling for IB analysts/associates)

I think Anthony meant for the interview it's not useful (but later corrected himself to say he didn't realize it's for S&T BB and he's already got the job)

To OP - I was in a S&T role where CFA was encouraged. And there will be more ppl doing CFA in S&T than in IB I think (both because it's got more relevant topics for S&T and S&T ppl generally have more free time). I would check with your group, ask them what they think. Otherwise, you can easily borrow someone's CFA books and read relevant topics on your own...

Mar 17, 2010

The only time doing the CFA is worth it is when your company approaches you and says "we need you to take the CFA exam."

Otherwise, if you already have a job, and all you're doing it for is to better yourself, then go get a library card and, in the words of Warren Buffett, read read read.

Dipset, please don't insult quality posters like Anthony. He's absolutely right that in most cases its a completely superfluous, time consuming and expensive undertaking.

Honestly, how many "is the CFA worth it?" discussions have there been? About a million?

Mar 17, 2010
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