Does the CFA® charter give you an edge?

The CFA Program requires candidates to invest a significant amount of time, money, and effort, which can leave them with the thought of whether it’s truly valuable. Upon reviewing numerous blogs and forums, we found that supporters of the CFA charter outnumbered those against it by around 80% with many claiming that it has helped them climb the corporate ladder and helped enhance their existing skillset.

Furthermore, a fact sheet by the CFA Institute also highlights that the position of a “Chief Level Executive” is among the top 5 jobs held by those with the CFA charter. Such reports by the CFA Institute often leave candidates with the perception that once you earn the charter, you will be heading straight to a C-suite position. However, take note that the CFA charter can indeed help you in your career, but it’s not the silver bullet for success. The CFA charter is just a part of your success journey; you are the defining factor in your journey.


Here are some of the thoughts by CFA® charterholders:

– ‘The program has strengthened my finance knowledge and helped me receive a job as a research analyst in a macro-boutique firm, a position I wouldn’t be in if it wasn’t for the CFA charter. The program deserves major credit as it has opened the door for me to explore better opportunities in the world of finance.’ – Kevin Yulianto, CAIA, PFM

– ‘I received my CFA charter today, and it was worth it! It feels great to see the letters next to my name. Each level in the program helped me receive an edge against the other applicants from helping me make a good impression on my first boss to my current job where being a Level III CFA pass out was a must.’ – A CFA Charterholder and performance analyst on Reddit

– “Completing the CFA program and earning your charter successfully is a worthwhile endeavor. It offers a good base of knowledge to get you on your way as you never know what the future markets hold for you.” – Mike Moran, CFA, in the article Life on the Buy Side

As you can observe, most CFA charterholders believe that the program has paid off in terms of career growth, knowledge, and monetary satisfaction. Although take note that achieving the charter isn’t the easiest. It requires you to make sacrifices such as using your time to practice during weekends instead of relaxing with your friends and more. As Jason A Smith, CFA stated in one of our previous blogs that “The rewards will wait for you at the end if you are willing to pay the cost.”


Is the CFA® charter all you need to climb the ladder?

Charterholders who have landed new finance jobs or moved up in their organizations have applied passion, determination, and a growth mindset for their career goals. They have consistently worked on their profile to ensure that they learn additional skills that will complement their CFA Program such as Financial Modeling.

Candidates during their program also join CFA Societies once they complete their Level I exams, spend time networking with finance professionals and mentors on social media or networking events and improve their soft skills such as presentation, communication, and leadership skills, critical differentiators during a growth opportunity.

So, start the CFA journey and earn the gold standard in the finance industry, a certification that will set you apart.

FRM® vs CFA® – 5 Essential Differences you should know!

In the funds and investment industry, there are two common qualifications that candidates often opt for – FRM and CFA charter. If you are someone who aims to become a financial analyst or work with ventures, then either of these could help advance your career.

To begin with, here’s a brief summary of how they are different and which one would be an ideal choice based on your future pathways and investment.

  • Similarities

Both highlight experts who are proficient in funds and fit for financial management. For both, you should pass a series of exams, and you can’t move to the following level or part until you pass the first. The exams for each require a lot of in-depth preparation, practice, and commitment.

Note: They are both complements of each other and not supplements.

  • Contrasts

FRM qualification is more in-depth in comparison to the CFA certification. Its goal is to educate the candidate to oversee the operational, credit, external trade, and instability, and liquidity, lawful and reputational risks. The CFA Program, on the other hand, focuses on information and aptitude in a significantly more extensive scope of budgetary examination subjects, for example, portfolio administration, financial aspects, quantitative investigation to name a few. Another distinction is the exam structure. There are two FRM exams (Part I and Part II), and there are three CFA exams (Level I, Level II, and Level III).

FRM® and CFA® Necessities

In order to receive the FRM® certification, you will need to:

  • Take and pass the FRM exams. There aren’t university or work requirements to appear for the exam.
  • Work in a financial risk role for at least 2 years.
  • Show your experience to GARP by describing your role in fiscal risk administration and submitting it to GARP within 5 years of passing Part II.

To be a CFA® charterholder, you have to:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree (or equal) or be in the last year of your four-year college education program. On the off chance that you have 4 years of relevant work experience or a mix of professional and university experience that sums 4 years, you are likewise qualified to begin the CFA Program.
  • Take and pass the Level I, Level II, and Level III CFA Program exams.
  • Be a member of the CFA Institute (which costs $275 and incorporates consenting to its code of morals).
  • Provide CFA Institute with evidence that you’ve been working full time for 2 years in a job that either includes speculation leadership or a product that is part of the investment process. This can incorporate any work experience you had before passing the exam, and additionally after.

Which is the right choice for you?

Choosing which certification to seek after truly relies upon what you want to do as a future financial analyst. FRMs ordinarily hold administrative and official level positions that focus on hazard and speculation. Therefore, if you are interested in gaining practical experience related to financial risk as a credit risk manager, market, or regulatory risk manager, then the FRM qualification is appropriate for you. In case you’re keen on turning into a portfolio manager, research analyst expert, consultant, risk manager, corporate budgetary investigator, monetary consultant, or moving into the C-suite, then the CFA® certification will be a superior fit.

As mentioned earlier, this isn’t an either-or situation as you can hold both the qualifications. Today, risk, venture, portfolio administration, and monetary experts are more interwoven than any time in recent memory. Along these lines, it bodes well for a CFA charter holder who needs to center around risk administration to acquire the FRM. Be that as it may, turning into the FRM first has functioned admirably for some risk analysts who needed to expand their general aptitude in financial concepts.

Regardless of which one you pick, there is an abundance of data out there that can enable you to clarify and achieve the accreditation or certifications you require.

Characteristics that a Chartered Financial Analyst® must possess

The CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) is a worldwide recognized distinction and benchmark for measuring the expertise, experience, and ethics of investors. In order to be an effective CFA charterholder, one must possess certain skills that will help them stand out from the crowd. The distinctive skills that will help you cater to the volatile market are:


1. Analytical & Creative Decision-Making

Having solid financial skills is the basic requirement for a CFA charterholder but what sets the experts apart is their ability to provide unique solutions for uncommon scenarios. Being able to find a creative solution to a challenging problem by combining relevant information together and identifying important elements that aren’t obvious to frame a thoughtful decision, are factors that help CFA charterholders stand out. While it is good to instill non-linear thinking in a highly analytical culture, ensure that the business environment and organizational SWOT aren’t neglected.

Creative decision making can produce better results if there are limited or no ready-made alternatives. Some approaches that can be used to be creative are finding alternatives that meet each sub-objective and identifying alternatives through the use of opposites: how could you make things worse or how could you facilitate a positive change?

2. The Value of a Global Perspective

The need to foresee the future of a given organization’s stocks highlights that the CFA charterholder must be aware of how nations, economies, enterprises, and individuals respond to situations. In order to do so, they must constantly keep track of current and historical events that could affect the business directly and indirectly.

One’s market knowledge can be expanded by reading books about investment, global geopolitics, mergers and acquisitions and even by taking up additional courses such as the CFA financial modeling course. Breaking down how specific markets or governments respond to situations will ensure that crucial aspects aren’t neglected and will help build up an understanding of how certain events trigger other events, and how these triggers vary from nation to nation and industry to industry.

Building up a solid worldwide point of view through the investigation and comprehension of events enables the charterholder to precisely anticipate outcomes in light of proof, one of the reasons why charterholders are highly sought after.

3. Responsibility and Accountability are important

CFA® charterholders form decisions based on thorough research, patterns, and other market factors which makes them extremely valuable and accountable to the firm. It’s important to understand that even best experts aren’t right 100% of the time, therefore one must be willing to own and learn from their mistakes. They are remunerated well for their work, due to how their decisions can have a huge impact on the success or failure of an investment.

Furthermore, achieving the CFA charter means that they are accountable in terms of ethics and integrity to CFA Institute and all the stakeholders that are affected by their decisions. This very reason is why the CFA® course has a topic specifically dedicated to ethics. CFA charterholders are hired to provide a clear and thorough analysis due their experience and expertise. Therefore, Charterholders must be able to identify and overcome their biases.

Which is more apt for your career path – CFA® charter or CFP®?

5 advantages of Online Learning

Preparing for a professional qualification can be costly, time-consuming and challenging. This is challenging and time-consuming – which is why many providers have started offering accounting and finance professionals the opportunity to study in more time and cost-efficient ways.

By enrolling in flexible online courses, students can work while they study, learn on-the-job skills, and acquire their professional qualifications with ease and at a lower cost without giving up their commitments. This is the very reason why millions of students from all around the world opt for online degree programs or take at least one course through an online platform.

Advantages Of Online Learning:

1. Ease of Comfort
Lectures and study materials are provided via online platforms, this helps candidates easily access them from the comfort of their homes. Furthermore, candidates need not take public transport to get to campus or get up early to get dressed for class – two factors that play a huge role if you are managing multiple commitments.

Although, comfort is a strong advantage and can go both ways. You must not allow yourself to get too comfortable when studying from home, so it would be best to abandon the couch for a few hours a day and set up an inspirational studying environment in your home. All you need is a large desk and a nice, comfortable chair.

2. Personalized Learning
Unlike in a classroom filled with distractions, candidates have only two points of focus the lecturer and the smartboard, hence the ability to grasp information is much better.

At traditional colleges and universities, talking to a professor after class can be challenging due to their strict office hours. In an online program, you’ll also participate in discussion boards with your classmates, communicate with professors via email or calls, and collaborate through various methods.

Also, many students in classroom environments aren’t comfortable speaking in public. In an online environment, it can be much easier to share thoughts with others. Therefore, the response time to doubt solving is much higher than traditional methods.

3. Enhances your resume
It doesn’t matter where your career stands at this moment; an online program will always look good on your resume. It will show potential employers that you’re committed to learning and you’re eager to obtain more knowledge and new skills. Hiring managers don’t see online degrees as inferior to traditional ones. In fact, if you obtain an online degree from a prestigious university, you’ll boost your career with the speed of light.

Furthermore, with an online degree experience, your future employer will also know that you’re comfortable learning new technologies, building a rapport virtually, tackling tasks proactively and independently, and knowing your way around a computer and virtual workspace.

4. Self-paced learning
When you start browsing through interesting online courses and programs, you’ll notice the Self-Paced feature on most of them. What does this mean? Self-paced learning means that students can start studying the course curriculum at any time and can arrange a learning schedule that meets their individual needs. When enrolling in a traditional college program, candidates will have to neglect their work, hobbies, and even family. In such a setting, working professionals find it difficult to juggle their commitments.

A self-paced system does not require attending live sessions; you can access the materials at any time that works for you. If you must work or take care of your commitments during the day, you can study at night. That’s an advantage the traditional educational system cannot beat.

5. Lower costs
The fact that online programs are cheaper and offer the same high-quality benefits as a traditional campus is thought-provoking. For example, you want to enroll in the ACCA OnDemand Program by Kaplan, you will pay 1015 Dhs – a price that is less than a quarter of the cost of studying at a traditional classroom. Therefore, an expensive degree might not always mean high-quality learning.

How to choose the right training method for your certifications?

Achieving a qualification is a defining moment for many finance professionals. It shows employers the level of real-world expertise and knowledge candidates possess in the field. Being an intensive and highly coveted program, candidates are expected to invest at least 3-5 months per part for their exam preparation.

While some candidates prefer classroom training over online sessions, there isn’t a method that best fits everyone’s needs and guarantees success. Therefore, each candidate must assess the advantages and differences of the training methods offered by an institute and choose the option that best meets their learning needs and lifestyle.

Here are some of the widely available learning options for your certifications:

Classroom Sessions:

One of the biggest highlights of a face-to-face session would be the human touch that it offers, an element that is often lost in technology-based training. During the live sessions, candidates receive the opportunity to interact and solve queries with their fellow peers as well as trainers during the lecture. Trainers can adapt their training style based on the interaction with the audience and can provide immediate support for candidates that need some extra help.

Classroom sessions also offer in-class practice tests and mock exams that replicate the ambiance of an exam hall. This serves an important purpose as these exams are strictly monitored and mock exams help candidates abide by the guidelines set by the governing body.

Following a fixed lecture schedule works great for candidates that are juggling multiple priorities as it helps ensure that candidates complete the curriculum trained then and there, without any further delay. During these courses, candidates also receive the opportunity to interact with fellow candidates from different tiers in the corporate ladder and industries. This serves as an opportunity to network and gain insight from candidates across the corporate ladder.


Online Programs:

These programs can be further divided into two types – Live Online and OnDemand. OnDemand programmes offer candidates the flexibility to study at their own pace and comfort while Live Online provides the opportunity to attend scheduled live sessions online every week.

During online sessions, trainers will explain concepts and solve queries through a whiteboard panel or pre-recorded slides. It includes a participant panel that allows candidates to raise questions and interact with the trainer via audio or text. The testing method for these sessions is generally online mock exams and full-length practice exams that are known to mimic real-world testing conditions. This format of training includes recorded sessions that work best for candidates that like to refer to the trainer’s explanation while preparing.


Private Training:

For candidates that prefer individual attention without the distraction of their fellow peers or need additional support but are not able to attend scheduled classes, private training works best. These sessions offer a customized training approach as the trainer follows the pace of the candidate and curates content that best helps the candidate understand the curriculum. Since these sessions are curated for individuals rather than a group, candidates can opt to be trained for only certain topics or the entire curriculum.



Some candidates prefer creating their study plan and timetable without being bound to fixed timings and deadlines. These candidates prefer studying on their own, at their own convenience pace Being their own tutor, candidates can train themselves in a manner that they know serves them best, either through sticky notes, diagrams, or even through riddles.

While this may seem difficult to some due the extent of liberty offered when studying on your own, this does bring a sense of responsibility and enhances self-esteem especially when you can understand concepts that you expected would be tough to understand.


Need some help identifying which method would be best for you? Call us at 800346