I’m a CPA who has an undergraduate degree in finance and economics that has not been tapped in about 3 years. I’m trying to decide on a prep course and setup my study schedule for the December 2014 Level 1 exam. I am super tempted to choose Elan because Peter Olinto lectures in Elan’s videos and he was great in Becker when I studied for the CPA. What I’m looking for is video lectures to walk me through the sections and the ability to answer multiple choice questions immediately following lectures/reading, which pertain to the sections that were just reviewed in the videos. Elan also happens to be much cheaper than Scheweser.I also appreciated, in my CPA Becker review course, how the study timeline was mapped out for me. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
@wtcollison I am also a CPA and sat for Level 2 last month.
I mostly used CPA Excel for CPA prep, but I did both that and Becker for REG because I wanted to knock that awful tax stuff out for good.
I used Schweser and agree it was not cheap, but I felt it prepared me for Level 1. If I didn’t pass Level 2, I blame myself and not Schweser.
Olinto is one a kind. Hell of an instructor, but he’s a lawyer and CPA and I’m not sure how much of the CFA curriculum he teaches. Schweser has a guy named Andrew Holmes who’s great. He’s not as over the top as Olinto, but he is entertaining and does an excellent job at getting the material across to beginners. He’s also extremely intelligent. They also have a guy named Jonathan Bone who is great as well.
They have questions broke out by video session.
I think as long as you go with any large, reputable study program, it’s mostly about putting in the work. All other variables equal, I believe a candidate who completes 100% of the second best CFA study provider’s program will best the equally-talented candidate who completes 90% of the best CFA study provider’s program.
Also, be grateful for having the CPA background. The Financial Reporting in Level 2 stops a lot of candidates in their tracks and is part of what makes Level 2 so tough. It’s like 25% of the exam and to be honest, accounting is so boring that a lot of people just don’t put in the time requires to be proficient. I don’t blame them. It wasn’t my strongest point either and I’m an ex-Big 4 auditor. Being a CPA won’t make it a cake walk by any means, but it will definitely give you an edge over others.
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