CFA Exam Postponed: What To Do Now

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By Vineet Kulkarni

The CFA exam postponement was met with…mixed reactionsSo what do you do with your time now?

In this article, we’ve listed the best ways that CFA candidates can utilize their time previously set aside for CFA prep.

Learn in a relaxed way, with our CFA movies list

We get it, pandemics can be anxiety-inducing.

​Your supermarkets are full of aggressive d-bags stocking up on loo roll. Your summer holiday plans are toast, and travel companies are refusing to refund your money – if you can get hold of them at all. Your mum is sending you every mask, face shield and healing stone she can find, while your dad keeps thinking this is overblown nonsense and regularly saunters out without a care in the world.

In the midst of all this chaos, it’s perfectly normal to want to disconnect for a bit.

Our movies list is the perfect way to relax and learn a little bit about the finance industry at the same time. The bonus? Even though most financial movies are about some crisis or another, given the current situation all of these make for relaxing viewing.

Remember the time where American mortgage defaults were our only concern? Ahhh, good times.

Check out our CFA movies list →

Start a side-hustle

The coronavirus pandemic is crippling our old way of life, but many innovators are adapting fast with great results. Joe Wicks went from being The Body Coach to being the world’s P.E. teacher. Restaurants are turning into grocery stores, selling their suppliers’ produce.

You too could adapt and start a side-hustle – it would give you a lot to focus on, and you could earn some money and possibly turn it into a career.

Think about the things you enjoy doing. Your side hustle doesn’t actually have to feel like work, so consider monetizing a hobby. If you would like to remain engaged with the finance industry, you could build a portfolio of financial analyses, or do some trading of your own. If you like coding, sign up to develop websites in your spare time. If you play an instrument, you could even try offering music lessons. 

Even if you’d prefer not to create a full-on side-hustle, you could do something productive while making money. Clean your house and eBay everything – your old games, gadgets, clothes, or even random nonsense – someone may want it!

Anything productive you do with this period will, at the very least, help you stand out from your peers.

Catch up on your reading

Reading might be the best use of your gifted time, if you choose your reading material wisely.

​I don’t mean random novels or fiction that you always regretted not reading. I recommend you reading some investment or finance-related books. Pick up Ben Graham’s Intelligent Investor or read Warren Buffett’s annual letters to shareholders. It will not only increase your interest in the CFA Program, but also give you a better perspective of an investor or portfolio manager.

For recommendations, see our CFA reading list that we’ve developed with CFA Institute →

Earn a qualification – from home

The CFA exams are postponed, but you could still upgrade yourself and develop some new skills.

We’ve curated the best 10 courses that would appeal to CFA candidates, which includes courses in:

  • Financial modelling
  • Python and data science
  • Languages
  • Wellbeing and awareness

Check out the best alternative online courses for CFA candidates →

Continue studying for the CFA exams

The most obvious path to filling your time is to continue studying for December 2020 exams.

I’m not a fan of this – I see it as the least interesting option. but I see that as the least interesting option.

That’s mainly because I can see myself completely burning out before coming close to the end of the preparation cycle. It is possible to continue in a slower-paced way, but I would rather focus on something else, finish it, then pick up my CFA prep where I left off when the time is right.

Prepare for the next CFA level

Now that’s an aggressive consideration.

If you are sitting for CFA Level 1 this December, and if you pass, you will likely want to sit for your Level 2 exams in June 2021. I have come across many candidates who really struggle to keep the engine running throughout the process. Preparing for two levels back-to-back is tiring, physically as well as emotionally. 

So, why not work on it now, seeing that you have extra time? By December, you can easily put in an additional eight to ten weeks for Level 2 on top of your Level 1 preparations, possibly covering 50% of the Level 2 syllabus even before your CFA Level 1 exam.

This aggressive strategy is obviously not for the faint-of-heart, but with the right amount of self-discipline, it is definitely doable.

​What do you plan on doing with your extra time? Let us know in the comments below!

Zee Tan
Author: Zee Tan


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