The Chartered Financial Analyst® Designation
The CFA® charter is a globally recognized credential for investment analysis and management. The CFA® program sets a globally recognized standard for measuring the competence and integrity of financial analysts, portfolio managers, and investment advisers. Currently, more than 83,000 investment professionals in 128 countries and territories hold the CFA® charter.
Recipients of the CFA® charter have successfully completed a graduate-level, self-study curriculum and a series of three intensive examinations taken sequentially over three years. It is recommended that candidates prepare a minimum of 250 hours per exam. The body of knowledge includes 15 textbooks of testable material.
Since the inception of the CFA® Program 45 years ago, pass rates at each of the three exam levels have averaged about 50 percent. Because of the rigor of the program, only about one in five candidates who enter the program pass all three exams and successfully complete all the requirements to earn the charter.
The three six-hour exams cover ethical and professional standards, securities analysis and valuation, financial statement analysis, quantitative methods, economics, corporate finance, portfolio management, and performance measurement.
"There are a large number of certifications floating around the wealth management world, but the CFA® is the one that requires the most effort to achieve and earns the highest degree of respect." - Allan Starkie, PhD, partner at Knightsbridge Advisors.*
Robert R. Johnson, Ph.D., CFA®, deputy CEO, explained what motivates candidates to make such a significant investment of their time and energy to seek to earn the CFA® designation. “For more than 40 years, candidates have sought to earn the CFA® charter for two chief reasons,” Johnson said, “one, to expand and test their knowledge of current practice across a broad range of investment topics, and two, to demonstrate to clients, employers, and peers their mastery of a demanding body of knowledge."
*Executive Wealth Management Recruiting, August 29, 2008