Since it was first introduced in 1963, the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, or CFA® charter, has become one of the most highly sought after professional credentials in the finance world due to its enormous benefits to holders. Earning the CFA Charter demonstrates a dedication to professionalism and mastery of key skills needed for career advancement in the financial industry.
The CFA Program is administered by the CFA institute and organized into three levels. Each subsequent level exam must be passed as part of the requirement to earning the coveted CFA Charter.
The Level I curriculum sets the foundation but covers a lot of material - across ten topics and 70 learning modules.
Level II expands on the fundamentals of Level I but goes deeper in terms of analysis and calculation.
The Level III curriculum is much more heavy weighted to portfolio management and wealth planning.
To enroll in the CFA Program and register for the Level I CFA exam, you must meet one of the following requirements:
At least 4,000 hours of experience are required, completed in a minimum of 36 months.
The work experience requirements can be completed before, during or after participation in the CFA program. Professional work experience does not need to be investment related. However, it must involve the application of higher-level judgement & business skills.
When you apply for membership with the CFA Institute, you will be required to submit 2 - 3 professional references, each of which will be asked to remark on your job experience & professional conduct.
Candidates must attest that they are in compliance with the Professional Conduct Statement to be eligible.
Once you've passed all three levels of the CFA exam, fulfilled your work requirements, and submitted two to three letters of reference, and been approved as a member with the CFA Institute, you will have earned the CFA charter.
The following are key dates for the Level I, II & III CFA exam. Consult the CFA Institute for the latest updates.
Two calculator models are permitted for use during the CFA Program exams.
The best way to prepare for the CFA Exam is to sign up for a CFA Review prep course. In addition to finding a suitable CFA Review course, it's also crucial to ensure the necessary time is dedicated to studying. Utilizing all resources will improve changes of success on exam day.
|Topic||Level I||Level II||Level III||Functional Area|
|Ethical and Professional Standards||15 - 20%||10 - 15%||10 - 15%||Ethical and Professional Standards|
|Quantitative Methods||8 - 12%||5 - 10%||-||Tools|
|Economics||8 - 12%||5 - 10%||5 - 10%|
|Financial Statement Analysis||13 - 17%||10 - 15%||-|
|Corporate Issuers||8 - 12%||5 - 10%||-||Portfolio Management and Analysis|
|Portfolio Management||5 - 8%||10 - 15%||35 - 40%|
|Equity Investments||10 - 12%||10 - 15%||10 - 15%||Assets|
|Fixed Income||10 - 12%||10 - 15%||15 - 20%|
|Derivatives||5 - 8%||5 - 10%||5 - 10%|
|Alternative Investments||5 - 8%||5 - 10%||5 - 10%|
According to a recent survey conducted by the CFA Institute the average study hours of CFA Candidates was as follows:
|Level||Average Study Hours|
See the following link for a video outlining the full process: CFA Exam Registration Overview