The CFA credential is arguably the most sought after certification available in the financial industry today. The Chartered Financial Analyst certification is offered by the CFA institute based in America with test centers located all over the world. The CFA certification has become synonymous with the cream of the crop as far as financial analysts are concerned and to a company, a CFA charter means that the company can employ you knowing you have essential knowledge about investments and the financial industry in general. But obtaining the credential is not for the faint hearted. It takes at least four years to gain the experience necessary to qualify for the certification, as well as passing the exams and gaining the experience necessary to be awarded the certification. The CFA – CFA Level 1 Accounting Course contains over a hundred lectures that will show you what it takes to pass one of the four areas included in the CFA certification. The course is designed to ensure that you have complete understanding of the accounting principles needed to pass the CFA level I exam.
The CFA charter requires you to pass three levels of exams namely, level 1, level 2 and level 3. Each level is a prerequisite for the previous level. In other words you need to pass level 1 before you can attempt to write the level 2 exams and similarly, you must have passed level 2 before you can enroll for level 3.
The curriculum for each exam is created by the CFA and when you register for the relevant exam, you are given access to the study guides and materials. The CFA curriculum was designed as a self-study or home study course, but due to the complexity of the subject, many students choose to enroll for further courses to help them assimilate the course material and prepare for exams.
The CFA exams require an enormous amount of study and preparation. Most sources suggest at least eight hundred hours of study time is required for most students to successfully pass the course. The benefits however of obtaining the charter far out-weigh the sacrifice, since most newly qualified CFA charters earn an average of $51 000 dollars per annum. For more information on CFA salaries and job opportunities, you can read the CFA Salary: Know your worth in numbers article available on the Udemy blog.
The CFA – CFA Level I Ethics Module course prepares CFA candidates for the ethics module of the level 1 CFA exam.
CFA Level 1
The CFA level 1 exam is the first step to obtaining the charter. The level 1 exam consists of two hundred and forty multiple choice questions and the time allocated for the exam is 6 hours. The exam is split into two papers. The level 1 exam places strong emphasis on the five subject areas namely: financial report, ethics, quantitative methods, fixed income, and economics. Financial reporting and analysis makes up twenty percent of the marks, ethics accounts for fifteen percent, quantitative methods account for twelve percent, fixed income makes up twelve percent and economics makes up ten percent of the marks for the exam with remaining marks distributed between other subject areas.
The CFA® Level I will prepare you for the level 1 examination. It covers ethical and professional standards, quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, fixed income, derivatives and alternative investments. The course also contains mock exam questions with answers and a forum for students to communicate with each other to aid the learning process.
CFA Level 2
Once you’ve passed the CFA level 1 examination, you are entitled to register for the CFA level 2 examination. This examination is offered twice a year at the various CFA test centers around the world. The CFA level 2 exam consists of one hundred and twenty multiple choice questions and the examination also lasts for six hours.
The level 2 exam is focused on more complex analysis and it builds on the knowledge required in the level 1 exam. Ethical and professional standards make up ten percent of the exam, quantitative methods comprises between five and ten percent, but the main focus areas of the exam are investment tools which forms thirty to sixty percent of the paper, equity investments which forms twenty to thirty percent and asset classes which forms between thirty and seventy five percent of the exam.
The CFA Level I Workshop 4: Fixed Income and Equity offers insights into the fixed equity and income portions of the CFA level 1 exam. It is part of the workshop series offered by Fitch Learning to prepare candidates for the CFA level 1 exam.
CFA Level 3
The final level of the CFA charter is the level 3 exam. This exam is the only exam that includes both essay type questions as well as multiple choice questions. The exam focuses on portfolio management and wealth planning with this topic making up to fifty five percent on the paper with asset classes making up the up to forty five percent. The level 3 exam is only held once a year at the various test centers around the world.
Candidates must establish in depth knowledge of the portfolio management process and must be able to calculate investor constraints and capital market expectations. They must be able to make asset allocation decisions.
The CFA Calculator is useful for all three CFA levels and the course will teach you to master the CFA calculator. The course covers calculator set up, regular usage, quantitative analysis, corporate finance, financial reporting and fixed income calculations.
Obtaining the CFA credential is well worth the effort and time spent gaining the experience and studying for the exams. The CFA can open doors to top level financial positions and will continue to be one of the most respected qualifications available. For some additional ideas on how to prepare for the CFA certification, check out this blog: CFA Study Material: How to Prepare for Your CFA Exams.