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What You Get From the CFA Charter

edited October 2015 in 300 Hours

imageWhat You Get From the CFA Charter

By Zee One of the most common questions we get here at 300 Hours from potential CFA candidates is:  What is the CFA designation? As this site is for potential candidates as well as for current...

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  • This is so naive.

    I cannot believe that you are comparing the CFA charter with an MBA. In my opinion it is harder to obtain than a Phd.

    According to the CFA institute statistics, you msut note the following:

    1.Worldwide, there is only about 110,000 charterholders since about 60 years
    2.The charterholder should master about 18 books extensively including 10 different subjects and must have at least four years of investment related experience in order to be eligible for the charter
    3.The average period it takes a charterholder to earn the degree is four years (same range of Phd not to mention that studying for CFA charter is harder to obtain and more stressful)


    A CFA charterholder in most cases is a better candidate to teach finance courses (at least he/she is more into finance than a Phd researcher who spent the 3 or 4 years researching only one topic which might be completely different for what you are teaching your students).

    Suppose a group of students asks the dean office to offer a "derivatives" course, whom do you think is better to handle the couse (all else being equal): a Phd graduate who might haven't even read any topic about derivatives during their research studies (I met personally such people) or a CFA charterholder who was extensively tested three times to master the derivaties. (again I am not a charterholder so no violations here)
  • ZeeZee Charterholder London - UKPosts: 1,550 Sr Partner
    Hi @Leo

    I'm not comparing which qualification is 'harder to obtain' nor 'better' - the differing natures of each qualifications makes a proper comparison near impossible. My comparison in the article is merely to help new, potential candidates get a better idea of the program.

    The point on number of charterholders is moot - the popularity of the program vs PhDs and MBAs in general has to also be accounted for. PhDs are indeed obtained over a similar time period, but on a full-time basis, and a lot of the stress coming from CFA studies is also due to the fact that most candidates have to juggle a career as well. As I mentioned, it isn't really a straightforward comparison, nor that was my intention at all when writing the article.
  • Hello Zee,

    But you are saying an MBA is an equivelant to the CFA charter; which is completely inaccurate.

    I am not here to scare people about the CFA charter. However, new applicants to the program should know what they're going into.

    I, for one, have completed the MBA prgram from a reputable university and went through the 3 levels of CFA charter. I can tell you out loud: an MBA is a breeze as compared to the CFA program.


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