What is CFA ?

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter is a professional credential in finance and investment. The CFA program is the globally standardized and recognized investment management designation. In addition, academic curriculum of the CFA program is mainly about securities analysis and fund management, which are essential and practical skills in finance careers such as securities analyst and fund manager. Generally, the CFA exams are comparable to graduate-level curriculum with the topics covering Economics, Financial Analysis, Investment, as well as Ethical and Professional Standards. The CFA is currently renowned as the global “gold standard” of investment credentials in financial professions. Those who interested in applying for the CFA program or CFA candidates must meet one of the following requirements: (i) have earned a bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree or (ii) be in their final year of a bachelor’s degree or (iii) have accumulated 4 years of applicable professional work experience (not necessarily required to be investment related). The CFA program consists of a series of 3 examinations – level I, II, and III that must be taken in succession where CFA candidates must pass CFA level I exam to be able to enroll for CFA level II exam, and the same process holds for CFA level III candidates who have to pass CFA level II prior to taking the exam. Topics covered in the CFA program are Ethical and Professional Standards, Quantitative Methods, Economics, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Corporate Finance, Equity Investments, Fixed Income Investments, Derivative Investments, Alternative Investments, and Portfolio Management and Wealth Management.


What is CFA used for ?

The CFA charter is an essential qualification in finance careers such as investment consultant, securities analyst, and fund manager. The level I CFA designation is regarded as a basic requirement for financial professionals and those wishing to apply for credential from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to be investment consultant, and securities analyst. In addition, one of the most desiring finance careers like fund manager is also required to hold the level III CFA charter. Hence, it is undeniable that the CFA credential is the great way to success in finance careers. Moreover, the credentials of CFA (all levels) has no expiration date and are applicable in finance professions in every country. Those who did not pass the CFA exam can retake the exam without any limit on number of tests taken.


CFA test schedule ?

The CFA exam is open at the same time in every country. There are 2 test sessions arranged for the CFA level I in June and December in each year. For the CFA level II and level III, the test sessions are open only once a year in June. Please also be noted that, for the first-time test taker, applicant is subject to one-time enrollment fee of 450 USD.  Other than that, the CFA registration fee depends on how early the applicant registers for the exam. The early registration fee is cheaper at 700 USD. If the applicant registers later than the early registration period but still within the standard deadline, the standard registration fee will be 1,000 USD. Late registration will cost a lot more at 1,450 USD. Hence, prior to register for the CFA, the applicant should carefully check the test information and registration period in order to save the extra registration fee.


How to register for CFA ?

In applying for the CFA, applicant can register online by selecting desired test level and test session then filling personal information and making online payment for test registration fee at https://www.cfainstitute.org/.


CFA test center ?

The CFA program is conducted on a global basis where the standard and testing schedule are the same for every country. There is only 1 test center in Thailand for all levels of the CFA program, which currently arranged at Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC) Bangna.


Recommended books for CFA ?

CFA is considered professional credential in finance that many finance professionals and students plan to achieve. As you may already know that CFA exam is quite challenging and requires tremendous preparation in advance. However, among various reading materials and study notes, many of you might find it hard to decide which book to use. Hence, we are here to recommend a couple of very useful and comprehensive material that you need to read in priority.

The first one is the most well-known preparation book for CFA – Kaplan SchweserNotes for the CFA exam. The study notes are known for its comprehensive and concise materials especially for CFA candidates who have limited time to go through all contents in CFA. In addition, the explanation and materials in the book is readable and easy to understand so it is highly recommended for those who do not have a finance background.

book 2020 cfa

The next one also provides comprehensive contents for CFA exam – Wiley’s Level I CFA Program Study Guide. This book is quite similar to SchweserNotes in which it provides summary and key takeaways for the content required in the CFA curriculum. One of the good things that make this book outstanding is its conciseness and well-designed material organization.

book level cfa

The last one is the Official CFA Curriculum as it is the official book that the CFA institute publish so it surely covers all contents tested in the exam. The textbook is offered once you register for the CFA exam. In terms of the contents, the CFA curriculum book is very comprehensive, and the most detailed preparation book compared to others, so it is highly recommended for those who want thorough and inclusive knowledge in finance. However, the book is very lengthy and quite hard to understand so it suits more for CFA candidates who have finance background.

book cfa program curriculum

All in all, these are the selected book that we recommend for CFA. The key thing to remember is that no matter book you choose to read, it is very important that you prepare some time to digest as the materials and curriculum of the CFA exam are quite hard especially for beginners and those who do not have finance background or finance degree. Hence, if you are looking for more than a textbook but a professional mentor that can walk you through CFA materials, Chulatutor is here for you. As we provide not only comprehensive contents in understandable format, but also professional guidance for you to pass the CFA exam with no worries.


Courses for CFA preparation ?

The average CFA candidate takes 4 years to complete all levels of the CFA. This is because not only the CFA covers wide range of test materials in various aspects of Finance, but the whole examination is also taken in English with lots of technical words. In addition, the CFA exam gets more and more difficult in each level. Hence, taking the CFA requires lots of efforts and much attention especially those who do not have any experience in financial professionals, or do not graduate with Finance degree. In 2019, the pass rate for level I CFA program exam was around 41% of all CFA candidates over the world, and the pass rate for level III CFA program exam was only 20% in each year. Having known all the basic information of the CFA program, many of you might be frightened and discouraged from taking the CFA but do not worry whether you are already familiar with finance knowledge or wishing to change from other fields to be in finance careers, the CFA preparation course at Chulatutor will change ‘challenging’ prospect of the CFA program into ‘achievable’ exam for everyone as we have good preparation of testing materials and professional assistance at Chulatutor.


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