CFA

06/13/2012

Investment Management Fees Are (Much) Higher Than You Think

CFA Institute

Although some critics grouse about them, most investors have long thought that investment management fees can best be described in one word: low. Indeed, fees are seen as so low that they are almost inconsequential when choosing an investment manager. This view, however, is a delusion. Seen for what they really are, fees for active management are high—much higher than even the critics have recognized.

Continue reading "Investment Management Fees Are (Much) Higher Than You Think" »

06/05/2012

Should a CFA Charter Be in Your Future?

CFA Exam Prep

More than 150,000 candidates sat for the CFA exams this past Saturday. Some will move to the next level or earn their charter. But many will have to decide if they should try again next exam.

The charter is not easy to get—which can make it very desirable. But is it right for you? Here are some things to consider:

Continue reading "Should a CFA Charter Be in Your Future?" »

05/24/2012

It’s Almost CFA Exam Time—Can You Afford Not to Take It?

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Now that you’ve already achieved your Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, you can pity the thousands of anxious financial pros preparing for the next round of exams which are coming up soon. (weekend of June 2-3).

But more importantly, what do you intend to do with those three letters after your name?

After all, you just spent between $3,600 and $7,500, depending on how many times you had to take the exams or purchase extra study supplies, not to mention the hours of study to take three exams, each at a level more difficult than the last over a three- to four-year period, just to be able to claim the CFA designation.

Continue reading "It’s Almost CFA Exam Time—Can You Afford Not to Take It?" »

05/17/2012

Emerging Markets Warrant an Overweight Position in Investor Portfolios, Says David Hale

CFA Institute

Economist David Hale told delegates at the 65th CFA Institute Annual Conference that steady increases in exports and capital spending, combined with favorable demographics, will allow emerging market countries to continue to grow their economies at rates superior to those found in the more developed economies of “old industrial countries.” Given the comparatively strong growth outlook, he argued, emerging markets warrant an overweight position in investor portfolios.

In building his case, Hale noted that emerging markets have doubled their collective share of global GDP, exports, and capital spending over the past two decades, with China playing a key role in this growth. China displaced Germany two years ago as the world’s largest exporter of tradeable goods, amassing foreign exchange reserves of $3.3 trillion today (versus $3.4 trillion for all developed countries combined).

Continue reading "Emerging Markets Warrant an Overweight Position in Investor Portfolios, Says David Hale" »

05/09/2012

CFA Institute Integrity List: 50 Ways to Restore Trust in the Investment Industry

CFA Institute

The CFA Institute Integrity List is a collection of 50 tangible steps that investment professionals can take to restore trust in the industry. The list was inspired by “real-world” ideas from CFA charterholders and members.

Continue reading "CFA Institute Integrity List: 50 Ways to Restore Trust in the Investment Industry" »

Counting Down to the CFA Exams

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FOUR WEEKS TO GO...

By now you should have finished your first reading of the CFA curriculum. If you haven’t, then get a move on it—time is ticking away.

Make a plan for the critical phase that’s coming up: revision. There are lots of ways of planning your study time, but the simplest technique is to just divide your days up into blocks of study time, say a 2.5-hour block in the evenings after work or three 2.5-hour blocks on weekend days. This may sound obvious, but it’s crucial that your blocks are dedicated exclusively to study. Do, however, ensure that you give yourself time off in between your study blocks too.

Continue reading "Counting Down to the CFA Exams" »

05/02/2012

Book Review: Ben Graham Was a Quant

CFA Institute

ABSTRACT

The author, unlike many others, views Benjamin Graham’s work as the origin of quantitative investing. He reviews the history of quantitative investing and uses Graham’s investment methodology to introduce such concepts as alpha, the Sharpe ratio, and the Fama–French model.


The roots of value investing can be traced back to the 1934 publication of Benjamin Graham and David Dodd’s classic, Security Analysis. Graham later disseminated his views to the general public in the highly regarded book The Intelligent Investor. The influence of Graham’s methodology is indisputable. His disciples represent a virtual who’s who of value investors, including Warren Buffett, Bill Ruane, and Walter Schloss. As a measure of his enduring impact on the field, a search of “Benjamin Graham" on Amazon.com yields more than 900 results concerning Graham’s writings and works about his investment philosophy. Given the success of the master and his students, it is no wonder that Graham remains an investor of immense interest to practitioners.

Ben-Graham-Was-A-QuantThe title Ben Graham Was a Quant: Raising the IQ of the Intelligent Investor (Wiley Finance) will probably cause readers to envision a book that traces Graham’s remarkable life and dissects his use of quantitative techniques that have become prevalent in modern finance. In reality, Steven P. Greiner has written a very different type of book. Greiner, the head of Risk Research for FactSet Research Systems, is the stereotypical Wall Street quant, holding a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and chemistry from the University of Buffalo and a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Rochester. Greiner’s background in the hard sciences is evident in the quotations from either Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton at the beginning of nearly every chapter and in the author’s extensive use of examples from the hard sciences.

Throughout the book, Greiner pays homage to Graham, using his investment philosophy as the catalyst for examining quantitative investing. In the early chapters of the book, however, Greiner focuses mostly on his own view of quantitative investing. In spite of his strong quantitative background, he does a good job of making his ideas accessible to readers with a wide variety of backgrounds.

Greiner starts with a review of the history of quantitative investing. In most accounts, the story begins with Harry Markowitz’s seminal work on portfolio theory in 1952. For Greiner, however, the origins of quantitative investing date back earlier, to the work of Benjamin Graham. Greiner points out that Graham’s 1949 classic, The Intelligent Investor, lists seven criteria that defined the “quantitatively tested portfolio." These criteria include such factors as the size of the enterprise, earnings stability, financial condition, dividend record, earnings growth, price-to-earnings ratio, and price-to-book ratio. As Greiner points out, the definition of a quant as someone who designs and implements mathematical models for the pricing of securities does not mention the use of a computer.

As the pages go by, the link between Graham’s methodology and quantitative analysis becomes clearer. Chapters 4–6 begin to delve into the quantitative factors that Graham used in formulating his investment philosophy. Throughout these chapters, Greiner tests the empirical validity of Graham’s factors with a Fama–French type of model. Greiner criticizes the factors used by many MBAs that are linked to academic theories but may have no empirical validity. He writes, “Empiricism suggests the main drivers of stock returns are often market trading forces more than business financials." In testing Graham’s model, Greiner finds that such factors as book-to-price ratio, price-to-earnings ratio, and dividend yield do extremely well in predicting performance.

Using the Graham factors, Greiner goes on to build a factor model for predicting returns. Because he cannot confer with Graham on which factors to include in the model, Greiner does not use stepwise regression to identify the best ones. Rather, he elects to use all the factors in order to remain true to the Graham methodology. Throughout the book, Greiner provides numerous tables and graphs to document the effectiveness of the Graham factors in predicting security returns and to support the fundamental tenet of the book—that empiricism should trump theory in modeling security returns.

Continue reading "Liquidity Level or Liquidity Risk?" »

04/25/2012

The Formula to Approaching CFA Level II Formulas

CFA Exam Prep

The Level II curriculum is chock-full of formulas which makes it very easy to jumble it into a massive helping of Greek alphabet soup in your head on exam day. Here are some tips to avoid this exam-day scenario:

DO NOT Memorize

Instead of memorizing, find ways to understand and categorize the cirriculum at a functional level.

Prof. John Veitch, PhD, CFA teaches candidates to eliminate memorizing almost all formulas in the foreign exchange section (Level II SS 4) by conceptualizing cross-currency calculations as triangles and covered interest rate parity as boxes. If you know what the sides of the triangles and boxes mean, all that’s left is to plug in the variables. This technique can be used for calculating rates and arbitrage opportunities. For exchange rate predictions, he "standardizes" the approach as the beginning rate times an adjustment factor that has a common form regardless of whether it's inflation or interest rates doing the adjustment.

Continue reading "The Formula to Approaching CFA Level II Formulas" »

02/27/2012

NYSSA Announces June 2012 Scholarship Winners

The New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) is pleased to announce the winners of the June 2012 CFA Exam Scholarship Program. NYSSA offers up to five scholarships in both the fall and spring to New York–area CFA candidates. Recipients are selected based on experience and/or interest in the investment profession, ethical standards, and commitment to NYSSA and CFA Institute. Scholarship winners receive discounted registration fees and Schweser study materials, and free NYSSA CFA weekly review.

Next spring, applications for December 2012 will be accepted. Applicants do not have to be a member of NYSSA, but are encouraged to join. Visit the scholarship page for more details.

Continue reading "NYSSA Announces June 2012 Scholarship Winners" »

01/25/2012

Item Sets Define the Level II Exam

CFA Exam Prep

Multiple choice questions are used to test knowledge on both the Level I and II exams, but there is a significant difference in the formats of the two exams. The Level I exam is an onslaught of multiple choice questions grouped by subject, but not tied to another question in any way. Level II, on the other hand, groups questions in "item sets". This difference in exam format changes the way candidates need to prepare for the exam.

Continue reading "Item Sets Define the Level II Exam" »

01/18/2012

How Should I Study for the CFA Exam?

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"How should I study for the CFA exams?"

-Anonymous

In my previous article, “When Should I Start Studying for the CFA® Exam?”, I outlined how a candidate should prepare for the CFA Level I, II, or III exams in June and the CFA Level I exam in December.

The most important point I raised in Part I is that you should have finished reading the curriculum readings and/or your prep provider’s materials by April 15th if studying for the June exam and October 15th if studying for the December exam.

This second article will help you understand what you should be doing from April 15th until the June exam day or from October 15th until the December exam day. If you have completed the CFAI curriculum readings or the prep provider’s materials by April 15th or October 15th, it is not time to kick back and relax. In my opinion, you have only completed 50% of the work if you are a Level I candidate, 40% of the work if you are a Level II candidate, and only 30% of the work if you are a Level III candidate that is needed to be prepared for the exam.

Continue reading "How Should I Study for the CFA Exam?" »

My CFA Experience: Vy Bui

CFA

No matter how prepared we are, we all tend to be nervous and worry a lot as the CFA exam day gets closer and closer. I remember a week before the exam; I was so stressed out from thinking that I didn’t have enough time to review all the material and about all the other things that could go wrong on exam day that I ended up getting sick. Being sick is never good and especially then, because that was the time I needed my energy and focus the most.

Even though I tried to go to bed early the night before the exam, somehow I couldn’t sleep. I slept about five hours and woke up at 5:30 a.m. That morning I did some exercise, stretched my body, and had a nutritious breakfast which helped me feel fresher after a night of little sleep. Many candidates I talked to had the same sort of experience. I think it's just because we worried too much about the exam.

Continue reading "My CFA Experience: Vy Bui" »

01/04/2012

My CFA Experience: Colin Mansfield

CFA

In retrospect, my CFA experience was one I wouldn’t have any other way. If asked while submerged for months in studying I certainly would have had a different answer. I experienced diverse circumstances for each of the exams; grasping Level I while a senior in college, scraping by Level II while working full time, and concentrating on Level III while unemployed. I was charged with having to overcome many challenges throughout the program which never allowed me to settle for a study routine that I found comfortable. However, I was compelled to make it all worthwhile, and passed all three exams on the first attempt. I consider this a product of rigorous study habits, motivation and some luck when it came to the actual material on each exam. I was relieved to find questions about the topics I knew well which, for many, can be the difference between success and failure.

Continue reading "My CFA Experience: Colin Mansfield" »

01/02/2012

Top Five Articles of 2011

Articles of 2011 spanned the gamut of topics, from banking and current affairs, to behavioral finance and worldview. But, the most viewed articles centered around the same topic: the CFA® designation. Below are the top five articles of 2011, from least to most viewed.

Continue reading "Top Five Articles of 2011" »

11/29/2011

My CFA Exam Study Strategy

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I think that pursuing a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation requires commitment from the candidate along with support and understanding from their family, friends, employers, and colleagues. As a Level I CFA candidate, I started to study for the exam at the beginning of August 2011 by enrolling in the CFA preparation course offered by New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA). I find the course helpful and interesting because my instructor was very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor. Three and a half hours each Monday fly by. I know that all of us candidates worry, and may be nervous ahead of the exam. There are many strategies available, and a large part of them have been covered previously, but here are a few of the study strategies that I am using to get through the CFA® exams.

Continue reading "My CFA Exam Study Strategy" »

11/28/2011

Maximize Your Performance on the CFA Exam

CFA San Francisco

If you stay focused and composed, you will maximize your performance on the CFA exam. It’s hard to argue with that! Follow this game plan to minimize stress and increase your chances of success on exam day.

Continue reading "Maximize Your Performance on the CFA Exam" »

11/15/2011

Studying for the CFA Exam: The Final Countdown

CFA San Francisco You’ve studied diligently for the last several months, plowing through endless pages of material, answering countless practice questions, and meeting weekly with your study group. Now what? With less than a month to go before exam day, what is the best use of your time?

Continue reading "Studying for the CFA Exam: The Final Countdown" »

11/07/2011

A Charterholder's Perspective - Martin Rosenburgh

Curious about what the CFA exam has in store for you? Learn more from a charterholder's perspective. Martin Rosenburgh, CFA, Esq. discusses what sets CFA curriculum apart from other coursework and programs.

 

10/31/2011

When Should I Start Studying for the CFA Exam?

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 When should I start studying for the CFA® exam?

- Anonymous

This is a timeless question and I can’t think of any class I taught where this has not been asked. It is also not level specific. I have heard it from Level I, II, and III candidates. As we have covered in the past, studying for any CFA® exam is not to be taken lightly.

Continue reading "When Should I Start Studying for the CFA Exam?" »

10/25/2011

CFA Prep Podcast: Level III Advice

CFA Exam Prep PodcastIt is an innocent and common mistake for Level III candidates. Most will not even know it can be so costly. Listen to Nathan Ronen give key advice to CFA Level III candidates here.

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Learn more about NYSSA's CFA® exam instructors, or register for CFA® Exam prep here.

10/18/2011

Can I Reuse Study Materials for the CFA Exam?

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“I am studying for the CFA Level II examination again because I did not pass it the first time. I bought all the curriculum readings and I have last year’s prep provider’s study notes. Can I use these materials again or do I need to buy everything a second time?”

-Anonymous

Continue reading "Can I Reuse Study Materials for the CFA Exam?" »

10/10/2011

NYSSA Announces December 2011 CFA Scholarship Winners

NYSSA is pleased to announce the winners of the December 2011 CFA Exam Scholarship Program. NYSSA offers up to five scholarships in both the fall and spring to New York–area CFA candidates. Recipients are selected based on experience and/or interest in the investment profession, ethical standards, and commitment to NYSSA and CFA Institute. This period's candidates were very impressive, as noted by one Scholarship Committee member, "We were extremely pleased with the calibur of applicants." Scholarship winners receive Schweser study materials, free NYSSA CFA weekly review, and discounted registration fees.

Continue reading "NYSSA Announces December 2011 CFA Scholarship Winners" »

09/26/2011

CFA Preparation: The Benefits of Study Groups

There are several benefits to preparing for the CFA exams in groups, including confidence building. Louise A. Howard, CFA, CAIA, Senior Investment Analyst for the YMCA Retirement Fund, explains here. 

09/22/2011

Nathan Ronen for NYSSA CFA Prep

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 “Excellent, valuable, amazing, unique, extremely helpful”—words that are not easily spoken when referencing the CFA exam. That is, unless you experience CFA exam prep Nathan Ronen–style.

The popular instructor and CFA charterholder will return to the New York Society of Security Analysts in January 2012 as CFA® Lead Instructor to teach CFA exam prep courses for Levels II and III of the June 2012 exam. Ronen’s track record is impressive. He has been teaching CFA Levels I, II and III for over 16 years and has helped over 20,000 candidates pass the CFA exams. Part of his success is attributed to his background. He understands the pressure that candidates face, having earned a CFA charter while working in finance. “I don’t believe in merely reciting the CFA curriculum back to students. That’s not teaching the material. Candidates who have had me for Level I or Level II know that my ability to hone in on essential points and take the most difficult concepts and break them down to a simpler form is what helps them pass on exam day,” says Ronen regarding his teaching style.


CFA Prep Discount


Of course, Ronen’s strong knowledge of the financial markets, from years of working in the financial sector, is another valuable resource in his teaching style. He served as a supervisory analyst training government regulators, an accounting analyst, and a corporate finance analyst. His professional experience encompasses well-known organizations such as New York Life, NASD, and Salomon Brothers.

In addition to teaching CFA exam preparatory courses for NYSSA, he has taught for the Washington Society of Security Analysts and the Study Seminar for Financial Analysts (SSFA). Ronen has also taught in-house CFA seminars at Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and many other major financial institutions.

Click here for more information on NYSSA CFA Exam Prep Courses.

09/19/2011

Are Your CFA Study Strategies Working against You?

CFA San FranciscoIn order to pass the CFA exams, you must show you’ve mastered the material. Unfortunately many candidates follow a study strategy that severely hurts their chances of passing the exams.

TYPICAL CANDIDATE EXAM STUDY STRATEGY

  • Plow straight through the material, happily highlighting as you go.
  • Do practice questions, typically in small blocks of time and only on one study session.
  • Massive cramming in the two weeks before the exam.

Continue reading "Are Your CFA Study Strategies Working against You?" »

09/13/2011

Debate: Does Having your CFA Demonstrate Academic Ability?

Debate

The answer for many of you, especially CFA charterholders, will unequivocally be yes. Yes, it’s a grueling process; those who don’t have academic skill couldn’t do it. Yes, many don’t pass the first time around; (remember, the 10-year average pass rates for Level I, II, and III are 39%, 44%, and 59%) those without persistence, skill, and some degree of intelligence wouldn’t make it. Yes, many professors of finance and related fields have CFAs, so CFAs are clearly represented in the academic field. But, does that really mean that having your CFA is a demonstration of your academic ability?

Continue reading "Debate: Does Having your CFA Demonstrate Academic Ability?" »

09/05/2011

To Pass the CFA Exam—Train for a Marathon!

CFA San FranciscoIf I told you I was going to run up the block and back to my house every day for a year and when I was done, I would be ready to run a marathon, do you think I would be successful? Of course not! But many candidates take the same approach to preparing for the CFA exams.

If your study approach resembles my marathon training scenario, you probably do problems in little chunks of time topic by topic—perhaps during commercial breaks during your favorite TV shows. I’ll agree that over a week’s or month’s time you may have actually completed a full exam. But that’s not the same as sitting down for two 3-hour exam blocks. The outcome looks to be the same but it isn’t. That’s because you are training for a sprint when you should be training for a marathon.

Continue reading "To Pass the CFA Exam—Train for a Marathon!" »

08/30/2011

The CREDO for CFA Study Group Success

CFA San FranciscoIf done right, participating in a study group is one of the best ways to prepare for the CFA exams. An informal survey of candidates in study groups shows that successful study groups are:

Committed. Study groups only work if people attend consistently and contribute regularly. Meet once a week at a set time and place. So show up to each and every meeting! Agree on an attendance policy and hold members accountable.

Reliable. Come prepared to discuss that week’s topic. All group members should read the curriculum, do associated problems and/or construct practice questions beforehand.

Continue reading "The CREDO for CFA Study Group Success" »

08/25/2011

CFA Exam Strategies: What to Do on the Day of the Exam

In the final part of William A. Trent's speech, he provides candidates with detailed test-taking tips for the day of the exam. 

08/15/2011

Putting a Dollar Value on a CFA Charter vs an MBA

Career DevelopmentEarning the CFA charter is a notoriously difficult process, one which requires hundreds of hours of hard work and study over many years, not to mention the thousands of dollars it costs in exam fees and test prep. While holding the charter is often seen as a career booster, many potential candidates wonder exactly how much more they will earn with a CFA charter than with, say, an MBA. Ultimately it boils down to whether or not there is there a way to put an intrinsic value on either designation, and, if there is such a value, what is it?

Continue reading "Putting a Dollar Value on a CFA Charter vs an MBA" »

08/12/2011

CFA Exam Strategies: Be Prepared

In the second part of William A. Trent's speech on CFA exam strategies, he outlines some of the simple missteps that can trip up candidates. 

08/03/2011

CFA Exam Strategies: Practice, Practice, Practice⎯and Check Out the Errata

At NYSSA's CFA Level I Orientation, William A. Trent, director of the exam development division at the CFA Institute, offered up his multipart strategy for passing the CFA Exam. In the first part of his speech he advises candidates to practice often and avail themselves of the materials on the CFA Institute website.

Two Ways to Take Studying for the CFA Exam to the Next Level

CFA San FranciscoONE: CONSTRUCT YOUR OWN MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTIONS

What? Why should I construct my own questions when there are plenty of study banks and practice exams out there? Here’s why. Constructing your own multiple choice questions:

  1. Shifts your focus from memorizing facts, definitions, and formulas to a deeper understanding of the material.
  2. Requires that you have a conceptual foundation of the material and therefore gives you insight to how the LOS can be asked. If you can’t write a question about a topic, how can you answer one?
  3. Forces you into an active study strategy. Relying on practice exams is a passive and less useful strategy. Writing your own forces you to engage with the material.

Continue reading "Two Ways to Take Studying for the CFA Exam to the Next Level " »

07/18/2011

CFA Prep: The Science of Study Groups

CFA Exam PrepPreparing for the CFA exam is a daunting process: not only do experts suggest that candidates put in hundreds of hours of study time for each level of the exam, but also the numbers show that even if you put in that kind of time there is no guarantee that you’ll pass. The good news, however, is that you don’t have to go it alone. The old adage claims that two heads are better than one, but don’t just trust the old wives—there’s scientific evidence to back it up.

Continue reading "CFA Prep: The Science of Study Groups" »

What if You Fail the CFA Exam?

CFA Exam PrepSome readers thought I was being a little harsh when I advised candidates that they shouldn't expect to pass the CFA exam the first time around. But, sadly, it's a fact that most candidates will fail the Level I exam. The numbers improve slightly as candidates progress, with nearly half of test takers passing Level II, and slightly more than half passing Level III. It can be a real blow to discover you failed, but heading into the exams knowing that you might have to take them more than once will make it easier for you to bounce back.

Continue reading "What if You Fail the CFA Exam?" »

07/05/2011

What’s In Your Portfolio? Investment in CFA vs. MBA for Finance Professionals

Career DevelopmentIf you’ve ever visited finance or analyst forums, you will probably immediately recognize the debate: which is better, the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation or a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)? Some argue the MBA is a waste of time and money unless it comes from one of the top-ranked MBA programs. Others claim MBA graduates have a flimsy grasp on finance compared with those with a CFA charter. MBA enthusiasts counter that CFAs have a deep knowledge of asset management principles but lack context about the broader aspects of business. Underlying these arguments is the answer: no one program is right for everyone.

Continue reading "What’s In Your Portfolio? Investment in CFA vs. MBA for Finance Professionals" »

06/20/2011

CFA Prep Podcast: Eliminate Test-Day Surprises

CFA Exam Prep PodcastThere's nothing worse than walking into an exam unprepared. You've been studying for months and you know the material cold, but how will you be tested on it? Check out our CFA Prep Podcast for a look at the format of the CFA Exam Levels I, II, and III.

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If you want to hear the webcast of this entire event or any other NYSSA program, visit NYSSA's On-Demand website.


CFA Level I Orientation


06/14/2011

Three Tips to Make Waiting for CFA Exam Results More Bearable

CFA Exam PrepFor those who took the CFA exam two weeks ago, the hardest part is over—or is it? Waiting for the results can be an excruciating process. After having poured months of effort into preparation (or years, if you’re taking Level II or III), candidates now have to wait 60 to 90 days to discover whether they’ve passed an exam with a notoriously high fail rate.

Over the past few decades, psychologists have discovered that our perception of time can be affected by a number of factors that can either mitigate or exacerbate our anxiety about waiting. Here are some simple suggestions to help ease the pain of waiting for the results of your CFA exam.

Continue reading "Three Tips to Make Waiting for CFA Exam Results More Bearable" »

06/08/2011

144,900 Candidates Register for June 2011 CFA Exams

EFinancialCareersThe CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, announced today that 144,900 candidates from 162 countries have registered for the CFA exam in June 2011. That's a four percent increase of the number of candidates that registered last June.

The CFA says the increase reinforces "the strong commitment among finance professionals to high standards of ethics, education and professional excellence, which the CFA Program demands."

Overall, there were 209,945 registrations for CFA exams in fiscal year 2011 which includes December 2010 and June 2011, an increase of five percent on fiscal year 2010.

Continue reading "144,900 Candidates Register for June 2011 CFA Exams" »

 

06/01/2011

Three Stress-Reduction Tips For Acing the CFA Exam

CFA Exam PrepFrom an analysis for a client, to a decision about when to buy that stock you’ve been watching, your job tests you every day. If you’re taking the June exam to become a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) the test is not just a figure of speech: it’s an impending reality. Even if you have figured out how to manage a portfolio, the prospect of three six-hour-long exams is understandably daunting. Are you nervous about taking tests? Are you wondering how you can turn test-taking stress into test-passing confidence? Our look at recent scientific research on test-taking and anxiety will help you manage your stress and get the test results you need.

Continue reading "Three Stress-Reduction Tips For Acing the CFA Exam" »

05/18/2011

Six Counterintuitive Study Tips to Help You Pass the CFA Exam

CFA Exam PrepBeing a Chartered Financial Analyst may bring honor and recognition from your colleagues and clients, but getting the “CFA” after your name is a long-term endeavor. Certification requires that you pass three six-hour exams that take years to complete and less than half of the candidates last year passed their tests.

If you’ve already signed up to take the test this June, you’ve probably already been studying. Lots of companies offer services to help you pass the test, and even more websites dole out advice on how to study. Much of what passes for wisdom in test taking, however, is wrong. Your high school teacher may have encouraged you to find a quiet, uncluttered place to study. According to decades-old research, your high school teacher was wrong. What seems intuitive might actually create more frustration for you on test day.

Continue reading "Six Counterintuitive Study Tips to Help You Pass the CFA Exam" »

04/06/2011

Anniversary Special: Top Ten Articles from the FPP

It's been one year since NYSSA launched the FPP, and the readers have spoken: hot topics include career development, landing a job (not surprising!), behavioral finance, emerging markets, and quantitative methods. Here are the ten most popular articles from the previous year in case you missed them the first time around. If you would like to suggest new topics for the FPP to cover, please take a minute to fill out our reader survey. (Everyone who completes the survey is automatically entered in a drawing to win an Amazon Kindle and a selection of e-books from the FT Press.)

1. Five Things NOT to Do if You Want to Pass the CFA Exam
With pass rates lower than 50%, the CFA exams are daunting for even the most seasoned financial professionals. Approach the process strategically and avoid these common mistakes.

Continue reading "Anniversary Special: Top Ten Articles from the FPP" »

02/22/2011

Building a Worldwide Network with CFA

For those of you slogging your way through the CFA study materials, here's an uplifting reminder of what all of your hard work is for. Anna Nemeth, vice president and senior portfolio manager at TD Waterhouse Private Investment Counsel, talks about the elation she felt when passing the exam and the advantages of becoming a CFA charterholder. This audio slideshow is part of an excellent series of charterholder profiles recently compiled by the CFA institute. 

02/02/2011

Humor: What's the Connection Between Alcohol and the CFA?

Last week the CFA Institute posted results from the December 2010 Level I exams. Of the 46,644 candidates who took the exam worldwide, only 36% passed. Whether you passed or failed, candidates will probably appreciate the humor in this commercial from South Africa. 

01/31/2011

Fund Managers Seek Hybrid Professionals for Expanding Products. Hint: CFA Helps

EFinancialCareersAs companies like Prudential Financial and John Hancock market new 401(k) hybrids that feature an annuity option or different sorts of income guarantees, financial services firms increasingly seek individuals who can tie together capital markets know-how with underwriting expertise. An ideal candidate: someone with both a Certified Life Underwriting certification together with a CFA.

Click here to read the full article. 

01/27/2011

NYSSA Announces June 2011 CFA Scholarship Winners

NYSSA is pleased to announce the winners of the June 2011 CFA Exam Scholarship Program. Recipients were selected based on experience and/or interest in the investment profession, ethical standards, and commitment to NYSSA and CFA Institute. All scholarship winners receive a free weekly review course from NYSSA and a credit allowance for additional learning materials from Schweser. In addition, CFA Institute will refund the CFA examination and registration fees (less a $225 exam registration administrative fee). NYSSA offers up to five scholarships in both the fall and spring to New York area CFA candidates of all levels. 

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01/21/2011

CFA Charterholders: "A coveted circle of finance professionals"

Some of the most popular articles on the Finance Professionals' Post are those that address the relative value of professional designations, particularly the CFA designation—and understandably so. Before investing the requisite time and money to meet the rigorous demands set by the sponsoring organization, you want to know what the benefits are.  

The CFA Institute recently produced an excellent series of testimonials from CFA charterholders around the globe. In this segment, Saurav Mishra—a CFA charterholder and Senior Treasury Manager, HDFC Bank, Mumbai, India—explains that earning his designation helped him to feel like a member of "a coveted circle of finance professionals."

01/12/2011

Professional Designations Compared: What is the Best Investment for Your Career?

Professional designations not only offer prestige and new opportunities to network but also can have a significant impact on your salary. They do require significant investments in time and money, though. For example, the CFA Program—“a gold standard” for the financial services industry—can take as little as 18 months, but on average takes about four years to complete. The following chart provides a side-by-side comparison of the major designations available to financial professionals and links to further resources. 

Click here to see the chart »

12/10/2010

CFA Prep Podcast: CFA Level I, II, and III Differences

CFA Exam Prep Podcast

With the December 2010 CFA exam fast approaching, it may seem like the perfect time to panic. However, you can put your mind at ease by listening to several recordings of experts from the CFA Institute and NYSSA explaining the CFA testing process.

The clip provided below is from the CFA Exam Orientation. William A. Trent, director of the exam development division at the CFA Institute, outlines the different requirements for CFA Level I, II, and III as well as how some questions (particularly essay questions) are graded.

CFA Podcast: Differences between CFA Level I and Level II

If you want to watch the webcast of this entire event or any other NYSSA program, visit NYSSA's On-Demand website.

11/29/2010

Women in Quantitive Finance: Redefining Ourselves and Our Potential

While women have come a long way, we are still underpaid and underrepresented in the quantitative realms of financial services. I am coming to realize that many of the persistent obstacles we face are those that we construct for ourselves.

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NYSSA Market Forecast™: Investing In Turbulent Times
January 7, 2016

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CFA® EXAM PREP

CFA® Level I 4-Day Boot Camp
Midtown

Thursday November 12, 2015
Instructor: O. Nathan Ronen, CFA

CFA® Level II Weekly Review - Session A Monday
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Monday January 11, 2016
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CFA® Level III Weekly Review - Session A Wednesday
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Wednesday January 13, 2016
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CFA® Level III Weekly Review - Session B Thursday
Thursday January 21, 2016
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CFA® Level II Weekly Review - Session B Tuesday
Thursday January 26, 2016
Instructor: O. Nathan Ronen, CFA