CFA CFA Level 2 Ethics question I encountered on Kaplan’s study material.

Ethics question I encountered on Kaplan’s study material.

  • This topic has 4 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated Apr-18 by Stuj79.
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    • rhuang2
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      The answer explanation says “King’s recommendation is not based on thorough quantitative work because the period used in her study is only one year. Hence She didn’t have a reasonable basis for her recommendation.” There’s much debate in the industry as to the appropriate sample size needed to derive a strong conclusion. If she’s using monthly data, it would probably generate a weak result due to the small sample size, but switching to daily data or intra-day tick data would significantly improve the accuracy of her quantitative estimates. As I learned from the Master’s of Financial Engineering, you need an average of 40+ years of data to generate anything statistically significant, but industry still doesn’t shy away from major quantitative strategies such as momentum, which typically only use one year of data. Some of these strategy are indeed based on only short-term data because long term data could distort the results.

      The answer also provides that “King’s recommendation does not consider the client’s specific needs and circumstances.” However, the question does mention a specific stock but sounded like the analyst is merely recommending a change in strategy from value to growth but didn’t mention client’s preference to any specific class of stocks. Too many assumptions must be made here to arrive at Kaplan’s conclusion that Code of Standards are violated.

      What’s your guys’ opinion?

      Thanks,
      Ryan Huang.

    • DigitalWizard
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      Ethics is quite subjective at times. I think some ethics answers would differ between two official question writers. I often come across questions that I dismiss the official answer, hoping that the real exam will take more thought into removing the need for blind assumptions. However, you only need to get 70-80% of the ethics questions right to feel “safe” on that topic. 

    • rsparks
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      Often they write questions that seem like WTF (official word in the Oxford dictionary now). I often read the end of the question first where they ask, has this person violated this specific standard or the standard in general. You can get multiple violations however the specific question may relate to a standard they have not violated. With a question like yours it’s safe to assume there were red flags in multiple places and they violated the standard in general. Also, im pretty sure in Quants it states 36 observations for a large enough example size. You can view investments on ticks but this person seems like a passive investor and a 1yr return wouldn’t be enough to change strategies alone. 

    • rhuang2
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      good luck to everyone on the exam. Thanks

    • Stuj79
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      Yeah I thought this one was a crappy question too. Too much was “implied”….Schweser ethics stuff can be pretty hit or miss.

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