CFA CFA General I am the 3%

I am the 3%

  • This topic has 11 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated Apr-17 by Marc.
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    • Marc
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      No, this post is not about Occupy anything.

      When I was considering whether to splash out for Prep materials in advance of Level 3, I looked up some reviews of 7City. One of the big selling points that stuck in my mind was that they cited a survey in which 97% of 7City users would recommend it to their friends. Although not allowed to publish the pass rate of their candidates, this is an awfully effective way of inferring that 97% of 7City users pass their exams – because why would you recommend it if you failed? A separate question is, why would you answer a survey from 7City if you paid good money to use them and still failed? But I digress.

      Let me put this all in context. I am back at Casa del Marc drinking an extremely oversized beer after sitting 7City’s mock exam for Level 3 in downtown Toronto (did I mention that this is a 3-day weekend in Canada and everybody else is out having fun in the gorgeous weather?). I am going over their answer key and, while it would be nice for me to mark my own paper for the morning session, I do not believe that I will be permitted to do so. Nevertheless, I have tried to be as fair as possible and follow the marking guidelines. Bottom line, my score (based on my marking) was 59%. Given that 70% = Cannot fail and 50% = Cannot pass, this leaves me “on the bubble”. This isn’t actually a horrible result, and I have 13 days in which to brush up on my weak areas, but my objective is to get into that 70%+ zone and eliminate the element of chance.

      Marc blows off some steam after a mock exam

      What does all of this have to do with 7City? I’m just not impressed enough to count myself among the 97% who would recommend them. It is not the responsibility of 7City – or any other prep material provider – to ensure that we pass our exams. They can help, but the responsibility for putting in the work rests with us. It is however, entirely fair to demand that said prep materials and mock exams be not replete with typos and utterly sloppy errors. For example, don’t start a sentence by referring to “Jason” and then ten words later use the word “she” before starting the next sentence by referring to Jason’s wife. Also, don’t have multiple choice answers that look like this:

      A) 2.50%
      B) 3.50%
      C) 4.5%

      Or…

      A) 2.5%
      B) 3.5%
      C) 4.5

      And, when you are citing a formula such as Grinold-Kroner, make sure that you understand that “-” is NOT the same thing as “=”.

      I know that these are small things things in the overall picture and I’m not blaming my below-expectations performance on them, but c’mon, you’re not giving this product away. Rather, you’re charging good money for it.

      Because of a level of sloppiness that can only be described as “epidemic”, I cannot bring myself to join the 97% who would recommend 7City. And this hurts because I would dearly love there to be some serious competition for Schweser, which (in my opinion) has long stopped trying to improve its product.

      Anyway, another cranky rant from Marc. Must be a day that ends in a “y”.

    • MockTurtle
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      Thanks Marc, that’s good to know. Reminds me that I should put up my review of FinQuiz prep materials!

    • Marc
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      By the way, this is off-topic but, yes, that is the Mayor of my city that has made worldwide headlines for being videotaped smoking crack. I would just like to point out 3 things: 1) I wasn’t born and raised in Toronto, I moved here because I love my wife; 2) I didn’t vote for this guy, in fact I pretty much foresaw the walking disaster that this has become. I must admit, however, that smoking crack was not among the list of catastrophes that I predicted; 3) The vast, vast, overwhelming majority of Toronto residents, and Canadians generally, do not smoke crack.

      That is all.

    • Zee Tan
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      By the way, this is off-topic but, yes, that is the Mayor of my city that has made worldwide headlines for being videotaped smoking crack. I would just like to point out 3 things: 1) I wasn’t born and raised in Toronto, I moved here because I love my wife; 2) I not didn’t vote for this guy, in fact I pretty much foresaw the walking disaster that this has become. I must admit, however, that smoking crack was not among the list of catastrophes that I predicted; 3) The vast, vast, overwhelming majority of Toronto residents, and Canadians generally, do not smoke crack.

      That is all.

      Is he a crap mayor though?

    • Marc
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      @Zee,

      He has been filmed smoking crack with crack dealers in a crackhouse.

      This isn’t a case where one says, “yeah, but I kind of agree with his position on transportation.” Because even if said position wasn’t completely divorced from reality (which it is), there’s still the fact that, you know, he’s been filmed smoking crack with crack dealers in a crackhouse.

      So, yeah, I’m gonna go with “he’s a crap mayor.”

      …Actually, reading that back just now, I realize that I may have been unnecessarily harsh with you. Did you mean to write: “Is he a crack mayor though?” Because, if so, yes, he appears to be a crack mayor.

    • rthakur
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      Hi Marc,
      Thanks for raising this. I head up the Business School at Fitch 7city Learning. I will look into these typing errors personally and get these corrected.
      Regarding your comments regarding our 97% recommendation rate, this is based on all our candidates who use us for CFA (over 3,000 globally), whether they pass or fail (hopefully the former!). This has now actually increased to 98% this year.
      I hope your experience has not put you off using Fitch 7city Learning in the future. We strive to improve our material continuously (we have just developed a CFA mobile app) and will continue to do so.
      All the best for the exam.
      Rob

    • rthakur
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      Hi Marc,

      Just to follow up on your feedback. The Grinold-Kroner formula was correctly stated in the mock, happy to run through if needed. We have now corrected the reference of “her” to “his” when relating to Jason.

      All the best.

      Rob

    • Zee Tan
      Keymaster
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      Thanks @rthakur for joining and directly addressing feedback. Appreciate the responsiveness!

    • Zee Tan
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      By the way, this is off-topic but, yes, that is the Mayor of my city that has made worldwide headlines for being videotaped smoking crack. I would just like to point out 3 things: 1) I wasn’t born and raised in Toronto, I moved here because I love my wife; 2) I didn’t vote for this guy, in fact I pretty much foresaw the walking disaster that this has become. I must admit, however, that smoking crack was not among the list of catastrophes that I predicted; 3) The vast, vast, overwhelming majority of Toronto residents, and Canadians generally, do not smoke crack.

      That is all.


      @marc
      saw this and thought of you:

    • Marc
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      @zee

      That photo captures Toronto in a nutshell.

    • Marc
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      @rthakur

      Thank you for following up and I apologize if my comments were unfair (I think that the Grinold-Kroner formula that I reference was in the answer guide). If you have read my other posts, you’ll see that 5 months of ignoring my wife and kids is taking a bit of a toll, and I suspect that I am not the only candidate going a bit “squirly” these days.

      The issue of typos and inconsistencies applies beyond the mock exam, but I will follow up with you offline (although perhaps not until after June 1st).

      On the whole, I believe that 7City is getting many of the “big picture” issues right, but details matter – especially as the number of days until the exam gets into the single digits.

    • Marc
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      @rthakur

      The Grinold-Kroner formula in question is the answer key for the am session near the top of the page for question 6. It incorrectly has a minus sign where an equal sign (or a quasi-equal sign) should be.

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