Should I even bother with the CFA???

StyleT's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | banana points 190

So i have a bachelors in Economics and I am in Real Estate Research. Should I even bother getting the CFA in the hopes of entering some type of Research position that could lead to a Trading/Investment Analyst job that it could go to a HF...or should I just work and try to network my way in or go to top MBA or MSF?

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Comments (20)

Jul 20, 2011

Or you can just do both.. networking shouldn't take up all of your time but studying just might.

CFA can help with anything, but it probably won't impact a trading position all too much. However if you want to go into smething like institutional sales, sometimes employers prefer a CFA candidate. And if you want to stay in research it's really a no brainer.. CFA is the standard.

Jul 21, 2011

You can do all of the above. There is no magic bullet.

Traders and Analysts are two completely separate roles. If you want to go into trading, you don't need the CFA. If you want to be an analyst, the CFA is the industry standard.

Of course, MBA works as well. Here are some thoughts on MBA vs. CFA:

http://www.lifeonthebuyside.com/mba-vs-cfa/
Like I said, though, there is no perfect path. Do what interests you the most since you are more likely to succeed if you are actually committed.

Jul 22, 2011

Why not? What have you got to lose by getting the CFA?

Aug 4, 2011

Money and a lot of time

Aug 4, 2011
noonie290:

Money and a lot of time

CFA is probably the cheapest step up you can get besides good networking (CFA has GREAT networking as well).

CFA $3k (w/ books and all 3 levels + study notes)

MBA 100k+

I can't argue with on the timing issue.. but honestly those hours would probably just be spend drinking or doing other stupid things..

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Aug 11, 2011

I look at the investment in the CFA would be level I, then hopefully after that you can get a job that will pay for the other two levels. Thats my thinking at least.

Aug 11, 2011
guy21426:

I look at the investment in the CFA would be level I, then hopefully after that you can get a job that will pay for the other two levels. Thats my thinking at least.

IMO, it should be hard to find a job just with level 1

Aug 11, 2011
songlu:
guy21426:

I look at the investment in the CFA would be level I, then hopefully after that you can get a job that will pay for the other two levels. Thats my thinking at least.

IMO, it should be hard to find a job just with level 1

yeah but it would be even harder to find a job without level I

Aug 11, 2011

the cfa is pretty worthless. but its better than nothing i guess

    • 1
Aug 11, 2011
MarginCalling:

the cfa is pretty worthless. but its better than nothing i guess

Disagree... quite useful. And is highly regarded.

Aug 11, 2011
MarginCalling:

the cfa is pretty worthless. but its better than nothing i guess

Clearly you're an idiot.

Aug 11, 2011

Same confusion as yours. I am doing master of quantitative finance now. And also I have passed CFA level 2 exam. even though, I am not sure whether the CFA will do some help when I seek job.

Aug 11, 2011

I spoke with a friend that worked for a HF in NY and he told me that most people that take it are in their mid 30', come from target schools, and work their asses off constantly. He said that I would be better off getting a job that would allow me to get my series 7 and that would open way more doors than the CFA level I and II would. I don't really know but i'm assuming if you majored in theatre in college it would probably help you by giving you a finance background and showing potential employers that you are serious about changing careers but doesn't guarantee a job.

I'm guessing that the time and effort it takes to pass level I and II are worthless unless you already have a job in the industry. With your eco background it would probably be best to get a job in the industry first, then get the CFA. But hey this is coming from someone that's in the same boat as you.

Aug 11, 2011

But you need sponsorship for series 7.
When I took CFA I in June, there were tons of people in their 20s, but also people who have white/silver hair. Dont fall behind. If you saw how many people there were, you know the competition.

May 10, 2014

I would highly recommend it. It is a big time commitment but (a) you will learn plenty of useful things that will be of practical use and (b) I would say it is rapidly becoming a requirement to get buy side jobs. It is always at least "strongly preferred" and is often "required". At least to be working towards it.

May 10, 2014

Lol... some extremely misinformed people here. OB would be better off just searching some of the quality CFA vs. MBA threads that are already available. Do people not fking search anymore?

May 10, 2014
vik2000:

Lol... some extremely misinformed people here. OB would be better off just searching some of the quality CFA vs. MBA threads that are already available. Do people not fking search anymore?

Searching - so 20th century.

May 19, 2014

May be..it depends

May 23, 2014

CFA are and quite respected from what I have heard. They are useful just because you can say here, I am certified, but that is still valued

May 23, 2014