CFA CFA General What to do prior to starting the CFA program

What to do prior to starting the CFA program

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    • ClimbCO
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      If anyone out there who may have been in a similar situation as myself, or anyone who can offer some good advice, could help to guide me down the right path it would be much appreciated. Please be easy on me as I am new to this site, and the idea of a CFA in general so I do not know the lingo, nor exaclty how the process works.

      I am 27, working full time in logistics, while taking classes online. I am taking 24-30 credits a year and will start into my major classes, accounting, in the fall. Graduation should be in 2017.

      But, what can I do in the mean time to prepare for the CFA? I am 2 years from being able to enroll in the CFA program, according to the educational and professional requirements they are asking, but would like to start preparing now. A large part of me wanting to get started on it now is that fact that I would like to get started on my MBA as soon as I finish with my under grad, however I would still like to be able to get the CFA exams knocked out while in my MBA. What are some good resources / study materials I can get my hands on now that will actually be of benefit. I have found a couple companies that offer CFA prep materials but I do not want to spend hundreds of dollars on something that will not provide any useful information.

      Also, has anyone worked full time while attending an MBA as well as studying for the CFA? Nothing is impossible, but will I get more than 2 hours of sleep a night if I were to attempt this?

    • ClimbCO
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      P.S. I work in logistics right now so I am in a completely unrelated field. I have been working in this office for about 18 months, prior to that I was in restaurant management.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hi @ClimbCO‌ – I admire your determination! It’s quite a load to take up there. I haven’t done an MBA myself so I wouldn’t be able to comment. But I believe quite a few members here in the community do have a MBA and are taking CFA (or already have one).

      As it’s still 2 years away, I think you can start off gently by familiarising yourself with finance/accounting concepts, or just by reading relevant articles you find interesting from publications such as Financial Times and the Economist. You’d get to know the details later from the preparations. If you manage to get some old versions of the CFA books it may be worth looking looking at what Level 1 is about, if it helps ease your mind.

    • ClimbCO
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      Thanks Sophie, I appreciate the input.

      From what you are saying, I gather that the materials for the CFA are different/updated as the years go on in order to keep up with the growing industry. I would imagine most of the information being published today would still be relevant in a couple years. If I buy some books now, how long do you think the information I gather form them will be relevant?

    • Sophie Macon
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      @ClimbCO‌ , it’s difficult to say. But say about 10% of the material changes from year to year. If you’re curious about the material just for light reading, feel free to get older books/2nd hand ones just to have a look through as you will get the latest ones when you register for the CFA exams anyway.

    • ClimbCO
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      Thanks again Sophie.

      Although I wouldn’t consider it ‘light reading’, I went ahead and ordered the level 1 Schweser books. With work and school, it will probably take me the next 2 years to read through these books, just in time to start on the real material for the first exam. This is not a fun process is it?

    • Sophie Macon
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      haha, it’s not that bad really if you’re interested in finance (which should be the case)! Tell us more about your background, it’s quite a big change from logistics to finance, but totally doable. How did you get here?

    • ClimbCO
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      When I was in grade school I wanted to be an accountant. Although I was not exactly sure what an accountant was, I know I liked numbers and math. I was in accelerated math classes through elementary and middle school. In 7th grade I was receiving letters from Duke to join their ‘honorary math club’ or something like, that because I was in the 99 percentile in the state for math scores. Then I got into high school, found alcohol, girls, and started to party all the time. High school was a struggle for me, I graduated just a few spots from the bottom of my class. After high school was pretty much more of the same, I took classes at the community college but was eventually kicked out of the University system of GA when I was 23 or 24 for failing too many classes. I moved to CO when I was 24 in an attempt to get away from the local crowd and straighten things out. I worked out there in a restaurant and started classes at a community college. After about 2 years out there I had things back on track. I moved back here to GA a little over a year ago, when I was 26, and a buddy was able to get me a job with him as a freight broker. Although I had no real interest in the field, it was a way to get some experience working in an office and make a decent salary, considering I don’t have a college degree.

      So now I work in this office while taking classes online. I should be graduating with an accounting degree from University of Southwest GA in about 3 years. I am 27 and way behind the punch for breaking into finance. It’s a tough industry to get into as a fresh graduate from Harvard, let alone a guy in his 30s who graduated from a school no one heard of. The whole time I have been interested in finance, especially securities. Outside of school I have read many books on financial statement analysis, securities evaluation, and the like. My interest has always been in finance, so I am now re focused on going in that direction. I know I have my work cut out for me, but I will not let being a little late on the draw stop me.

      Although I am unsure exactly what specific line I want to take within finance, I do want to work with money and numbers

    • Sophie Macon
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      @ClimbCO‌ let’s just say you’re the man! Thanks for sharing your story with the community, it’s super inspiring, and I’m confident you’ll do well with the CFA exams. It’s never too late to learn, in fact it’s never too late for anything as long as you make a baby steps towards that direction and doing something about it. You’re on the right track, just keep at it! We’re here if you’ve any questions, do browse the Level 1 topic picks (it’s on the left side bar) for some of the popular questions.

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