CFA: Is It Worth It?


Most people in the investment related fields want CFA but CFA is not for the faint hearted. It requires commitment and determination. Lack of these, you may not complete your CFA journey.

Economics teaches you about opportunity cost. There are opportunity cost while studying for CFA. The time spent on CFA could be spent on working on the next project, spending time with friends and family, watching the latest movie or catching up with the latest trend. The money spent on CFA could be used for vacation, fitness and other self-improvements. These are just some opportunity cost to mention. All boils down to the simple question – is CFA worth it?

Opportunity cost could be summed up in the concept of paying the cost to gain the benefit. You heard the cost, now it is time to hear the benefit. You may get higher pay, prestigious title and getting to work on challenging tasks. Once again, these are just some of the many benefits of getting the CFA designation. A Bloomberg article1 stating about 73 percent of job postings, specifying the CFA designation, offer a salary of below $100,000. CFA Institute reported that there are more than 120,000 CFA charterholders2. CFA Institute also reported that, of all charterholders in the world, 22% work as portfolio manager, 15% as research analyst and 7% as chief level executive3.

Getting the CFA title is one thing, maintaining its value is another thing. There are more students sitting for this exam and more investment professional being awarded the CFA title. For June 2016 examination, it was reported that there are more than 170,000 CFA candidates for all 3 levels4. CFA Institute reported that the number of charters being awarded ranges from 5,500 to 10,500 during year 2009 to 20142.

These are hard facts presented in numbers. Your next move?



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