Is CFA worth it if I have a top Masters of Finance/CPA

lionheart's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 320

I am currently at a topp BB in a finance rotational program and will be going to LSE this fall for a MSc Accounting and Finance. I already have a CPA and am thinking about studying for the CFA, as I am interest in equity research/Asset Management.

My question is, do you guys think it's worth it (in terms of money and time) to pursue a CFA Charter if I already have a Masters and a CPA? I am currently studying for lvl 1 but I feel that a lot of the material is irrelevant to what I will be doing (ethics for example) and honestly all this studying is burning me out.

Is a CFA charter a necessity in asset management or would it be sufficient to read books to get the technical knowledge and just perform well on the job?

Comments (14)

Mar 28, 2011

It is a lot of time, but I'd be surprised if your fund did not pay for your CFA. Senior PMs generally have a PhD / CFA / MBA or some combination. I don't think it's so important to have it before joining a fund, but it's worth picking up along the way.

Mar 28, 2011

Honestly an MSF from LSE and a CPA is impressive enough of a credential IMO. I can tell you first hand that the CFA will require a lot of personal sacrifice, and may only provide marginal value in terms of knowledge given your two other credentials. It all comes down to this: will your company give you a salary boost or put you on the fast-track to promotion with a CFA? Will certain, more coveted roles become available to you if you had the CFA (an asset selection role rather than a reporting role, for example)? This depends on the structure and culture of the specific firm/group that you will be at.

Money Never Sleeps? More like Money Never SUCKS amirite?!?!?!?

Mar 28, 2011

Why don't you just wait until 1-2 years after graduation from LSE, and then agree with your company on the costs and your development? I think that's a better idea than just doing it on your own alongside the other studies.
On a side note: I cannot imagine that Ethics is irrrelevant for you.

Mar 28, 2011
NuevoBanker:

Why don't you just wait until 1-2 years after graduation from LSE, and then agree with your company on the costs and your development? I think that's a better idea than just doing it on your own alongside the other studies.
On a side note: I cannot imagine that Ethics is irrrelevant for you.

Obviously, being ethical is something that is important in this profession, but what I meant was actually sitting down and studying a section called "ethics" and having to take a test on it.

Just felt that it may be beneficial to get the CFA over with (if I have to that is) as soon as possible.

Mar 28, 2011

As Notepad says, I would negotiate having your CFA paid for.

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Mar 28, 2011

At the end of the day, performance is what matters the most in AM, but I do believe the CFA is worth it. I have a post on the subject here, if you are interested:

http://www.lifeonthebuyside.com/mba-vs-cfa/

Apr 1, 2011

CFA is pretty worthless

Apr 5, 2011

Just do it. You are still in study mode. Better get it now then when you are 5+ years into your career.

Apr 11, 2011

the CFA takes so much more time in L2 and L3. If you can get through L1 do it then wait to take the next 2 exams til you graduate and your firm will pay for it. As long as they see you are pursuing it I cannot ever see them not giving you a promotion because you do not have it.

and btw ethics is necessary to sit down and take an exam on it since if you are a CFA candidate you have to know the rules that CFAI sets.

anyone that tells you CFA is worthless is a glorious idiot, you just dont have to get it right now. congrats on getting into a MBA program.

Apr 12, 2011

im a CFA. it's worthless. doesn't cost much in time or money though

Apr 16, 2011

the fact that you call yourself a CFA is a huge fail. doesnt take time? who are you kidding bro

Apr 25, 2011

I recently finished off my MBA, and I'm writing L3 this June (I wrote L1 and L2 during school). I'd say it's totally worthwhile to do the masters / CFA at the same time. I found that the amount of overlap was pretty significant - it'll probably be even moreso for you if your program focuses on accounting and finance. In terms of workload, it's doable.

Apr 25, 2011
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