CFA CFA General If I could offer just one piece of advice.

If I could offer just one piece of advice.

  • This topic has 12 replies, 10 voices, and was last updated Apr-17 by altins.
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    • Marc
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      Due to recent circumstances, my wife has more than once found herself saying something along these lines:

      “Marc, there are many things that you are bad at. So many, many things. I really don’t have time to get into all of the. However, one thing that you are very good at doing is studying for CFA exams.”

      I think that it’s meant to be a compliment, although it does seem to be a rather back-handed one.

      Anyway, perhaps there is some truth to that and I do have some wisdom to impart on studying for CFA exams. If so, and if I was limited to offering just one of the peals from my endless strand of CFA wisdom, it would be this: Get a map.

      I adore maps. I won’t wax poetic about them, so I’ll just be a brash North American and say: Think about how screwed you would be in life if we didn’t have maps. Beyond their practical value, they truly are works of art and history. I own a map of London dated 30 November 1867. To put that in context, this map is precisely 132 days younger than my country. Tower Bridge is not on this map because they didn’t even start building it until 20 years after it was published. But I digress.

      Probably the single most useful study aid that I have ever employed during any of my studies (CFA or otherwise) is the image below, which I call my LOS map.

      Excuse me, could you please direct me to Macauley Duration?

      Encountering the CFA curriculum for the first time (or even the third time) is a bit like being dropped off in the middle of, say, Istanbul. It’s massive, confusing, foreign, and, while it appears that everyone else knows where they are going, you don’t even know if you’re lost because, to know that you’d need to know where you want to go and where you are in the first place.

      You start down one road, only to get frustrated because it doesn’t seem to be taking you where you want to go anywhere near as quickly as you would like. So you start down another road, only to encounter the same frustration. Moreover, each road appears to arrive at a completely different destination that any of the others and they none of them even appear to run parallel to each other. And forget about asking for directions, because nobody speaks your language.

      Wouldn’t it be great to have a single piece of paper that captures the entirety of this sprawling and confusing territory and let’s you know both the exact location of your destination as well as your precise whereabouts at any given moment? In other words, a map.

      The above LOS Map is for the Level 3 curriculum, but can obviously be easily converted for the purposes of other levels. To me, it seems pretty self explanatory so I won’t get into it any further unless there are questions. I would just not that the Ethics LOSs have been modified a little bit – notably it doesn’t make much sense that Reading 2, which is something like 130 pages, should only have 2 LOSs. Therefore, I have created a separate artificial (or, should I say “synthetic”?) LOS for each individual Standard.

      PS. It was only in researching for this post that I learned that Frederick Macauley, of Macauley Duration fame, was born and raised in Canada. His father was the Chief Actuary for a Canadian insurance firm. Much of his professional career was spent in the US, so the Americans try to claim him. Also, the British – or at least the Scots – try to claim him as well because of his ancestry. But hands off, he’s ours. And, by the way, so is Christopher Plummer (who doesn’t even have a British accent, so why would anyone think that he’s from the UK?). You are, however, more than welcome to keep Greg Rusedski and Owen Hargreaves as we have no use for them.

    • Zee Tan
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      You can have Justin Bieber too dude! (low, I know…). I do thank your country for Robin Sherbatsky though.

      Great article – the map tool really speaks to me as well! I only wish I used it as a candidate.

    • lulu123
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      why can’t I see the image?

    • Sarah
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      I kinda wish I could read maps -well not that I can’t but I can’t seem to orient myself on a map. I am severely challenged when it comes to directions.
      I also can’t see your map, hopefully its one of those maps I can read, like a mind map. I’m good with those.

    • Marc
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      @diya, @lulu123,

      Can you see the image now?

    • lulu123
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      @marc yes!

    • jimmyg
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      Cheers for the map! Useful to mark where I’ve nailed things down and what I need to revisit.

    • Reena
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      @marc, I must just say you’re the most organized, “digitally tidiest” person I know ^:)^

    • sankrutimehta
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      I cant see the image:'(

    • padniaki
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      Can’t see the image 🙁

    • NoRa
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      @marc I can’t see the image either. Can you help?

    • Zee Tan
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      The pic appears to have moved. @marc – any ideas?

    • altins
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      Still no map/image…..

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