CFA CFA General 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFA Candidates

7 Habits of Highly Effective CFA Candidates

  • This topic has 16 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated Nov-17 by tacheman.
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    • Zee Tan
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      7 Habits of Highly Effective CFA Candidates

      By Sophie,  Regular Contributor .  Check out her  previous posts  to learn how to optimise your life and ace the CFA exams in 18 months, even with a full-time job. She can be found lurking (very…

      Read the full story here

    • Jwa
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      #6 is definitely my downfall, massive glass of wine while doing #2 more my style.

    • Dan
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      I have been normally a math person, and it’s reflected in my results when I got 70%+ in quants and equity, I like studying those (so much as feeling happy to learn new stuff and solve problems)… but I find FRA not just boring but RAGING. Like the are some parts of the chapter that I HATE with the passion.
      Unfortunately for me, that’s the most Fing important topic in the exam (score weight). I don’t know how to do “gamify FRA”. Well, now that think about it, I could make many little basketballs with those pages and practice my aim, specially every page that has the words IFRS, GAAP or pension in it (95%?)

      I think I need help, how can I get that stuff in my head without hating myself?

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hi @Jwa, thanks for sharing with us your experience 🙂 I love hearing from you guys!


      @Dan
      I know what you mean! For me, I had to break up the FRA sections with Ethics just to mix things up: a bucketload of math interspersed with wordy please-be-good long texts. It helps 🙂 A more straightforward way that should work, for things that are ultra dry, is to summarise that section –> like IFRS vs. GAAP is a prime example. There’s nothing you can do to make it sexier, so why not just make a nice chart/table comparison that helps reinforce the concepts, and plus you have nice concrete notes to use for last minute revisions later?

    • edulima
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      @Dan, @Sophie, Another possibility could be to sign-up for a course on reading and interpreting Financial Statements, hopefully you can find one that would follow the book “International Financial Statement Analysis” by Robinson et al, which is pretty much the CFAI readings on FRA. A hands-on, MBA-type course on the subject would add a lot of color to the learning: you’d go out and actually look at companies’ annual reports and play “detective” in trying to figure out if they’re hiding anything… I’ve done this and it is very, very cool.

    • microeconomist
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      @dan I totally empathize with that. I knew FRA was going to be grueling so I tackled it first (and will review it last). Here is how I coped: some days I did not read the normal 10-20 pages. Instead, I would only do practice questions. Oddly enough, it was less painful to do 50-100 practice questions where I could read the short and to the point reasoning behind the answer as opposed to 10 pages worth of “accounting fiction.”

    • Sophie Macon
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      Good suggestions @edulima, @microeconomist, keep ’em coming!

    • Jwa
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      @Dan you can also distill a lot of what you need to know for LI and LII particularly translating IFRS to GAPP and vice versa into easy to learn ‘pro formas’, might be more your style if you’re a maths guy.

    • Zee Tan
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      I have been normally a math person, and it’s reflected in my results when I got 70%+ in quants and equity, I like studying those (so much as feeling happy to learn new stuff and solve problems)… but I find FRA not just boring but RAGING. Like the are some parts of the chapter that I HATE with the passion.
      Unfortunately for me, that’s the most Fing important topic in the exam (score weight). I don’t know how to do “gamify FRA”. Well, now that think about it, I could make many little basketballs with those pages and practice my aim, specially every page that has the words IFRS, GAAP or pension in it (95%?)

      I think I need help, how can I get that stuff in my head without hating myself?

      I have the same problem. If you ever find a way to gamify FRA, I think you win the internet @Dan.

    • stt00007
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      @Sophie – This is a fantastic post!

      I think I violated each of these habits on my 2013 L2 attempt. In my opinion #2,#3 and #4 are key to successful revision. Ensuring #4 kills #2 and starting early allows #3.

      I breezed Quant’s in a matter of minutes during the exam and I am reasonably confident I scored 100% on this particular section and here’s how…I was asked by my boss to build a forecasting tool for our company’s quarterly sales. I carried out simple/multiple linear regression, calculated my own ANOVA table, performed t-test/F-test and calculated prediction intervals. I went through the CFAI text picking out anything I could use.

      The best thing was that my boss was so impressed by my stat’s knowledge he asked me to help him understand how the tool worked. I had almost perfect recall for Quant’s during the exam.

      The best thing about the CFA curriculum is that it’s applicable to real problems. Applying this knowledge to practical business situations makes the text come alive and makes it much more interesting!

    • Sophie Macon
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      Thanks @stt00007 😀 It made my day, I’m glad it’s helpful. I always wondered why I didn’t write about this until now!

      Ah no wonder you’re a quant expert then. It’s exactly that, nothing beats DOING and applying it than just passively reading, you can do that through practice exams or in your good example for a practical application at work!

    • huwabara
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      I can’t recommend the best seller highly enough: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People [Stephen Covey].

      The book is a mine of paradigm shifts.

    • hairyfairy
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      Very useful @sophie, thanks! Keeps things in perspective.

    • CFAaspirant
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      hi @sophie, thanks for those useful tips & habits that you mentioned has been great learning for me

    • Sophie Macon
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      You’re welcome @hairyfairy, @CFAaspirant!

    • Pranav
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      @Sophie pardon me for digressing, but is the fellow in the thumbnail a young Hugh Laurie? or is that my imagination?

    • tacheman
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