For those who are anti-CFA

Recently, I have heard people and posts (such as Mergers and Inquisitions) attempt to downplay the CFA. That's fine as long as the facts are straight. Having a CFA (I am not a CFA charterholder yet) is very beneficial.

Here is a recent(2007)salary survey. There is also a study which I can't seem to find, that shows the difference in pay between a CFA and a non-CFA in areas such as HF, PE, ER, IM, PM, etc. The overall difference is around 20-25%.

http://www.cfainstitute.org/memresources/career/p…

I am biased, but the evidence speaks for itself.

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Comments (6)

Sep 8, 2009 - 4:34pm

100% wrong. In fact, CFA is more beneficial to those that attend a non-target. The relevance of the designation depends on your field, not your school

It is not very (if at all) useful in IBD. Very useful in AM or investment consulting or ER. I don't care about "sample of 1" surveys; the designation helps you get jobs. In some shops, you its required to move up – or enables you to get promoted without an MBA.

If you are trying to trade or do IB, don't waste your time with it.

Sep 8, 2009 - 8:23pm

agree w/ buyside cfa guy. a cfa charter holder is like a 10th degree blackbelt in finance, ninja status. this is the impression i got from people i talked to at the local cfa society chapter. i work in real estate, and people in my field know and respect the cfa. my cousin went to wharton ug and failed level one, tnen gave up.

a couple of things ive heard first hand:
'the cfa WILL increase your salary.' - finance professor (emphasis on WILL)
'we hire cfa's over mba's' - guy from blackrock
'the cfa offers more value than an mba' - guy from pimco
these conversations were in the context of AM careers only, not ib.

i would suggest anybody thinking about taking level 1 to talk to guys in their local cfa charter society to get an idea for what the charter has to offer.

but, i do think the increase in interest in the cfa will lead to more random cfa guys in the job market, which could then decrease the value of being a candidate, but not necessarily for charter holders. maybe. i dunno. i could be wrong.

--- man made the money, money never made the man
Sep 8, 2009 - 10:29pm

M&I and others aren't exactly anti-CFA per se.

They just think that if you're going to devote 500 hours to something, you should choose networking for the full-time job as opposed to studying for an exam. I'm inclined to agree...once you have the job, you can always worry about the CFA and other certifications later. Besides, you need a certain amount of work experience to even have the designation (assuming you pass all 3 levels), so if you're getting your first full-time job, then time (a nonrenewable resource) may be better spent getting to know others in the field who can vouch for you for a job.

Sep 8, 2009 - 11:10pm

Good thread going.

I agree with pretty much all the above.

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