Usually when you leave a nightclub at 6am you would be heading for the comfort of your bed. Instead, a few years back in June, I went and sat my CFA Level I exam.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the first CFA candidate to attempt the exam while drunk…but I certainly didn’t plan on it, and it’s a pretty funny story. So when someone asked me to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), I decided to give it a whirl.
Here it is.
Having come from an engineering background, I realised that my actual financial knowledge was pretty limited. I was good at the maths though. Having my company pay for me to sit an exam, an exam that could actually teach me how to be better at my job, and thus hope to earn more money for both them and myself seemed a good use of time. But of course by then, I had missed the December cutoff date. (Tip: keep track of deadlines with the CFA Calendar!)
So I figured: why not do the June exam?
Unfortunately for me, the exam was on a Sunday morning. This meant I would likely miss out on the weekend’s nightlife. Having flown in late Friday night to Hong Kong, we proceeded to go out on the lash. Waking up dazed on Saturday I had pledged myself to study and have an early night, while my friends went out to get suits made at cheap Hong Kong tailors. Come the evening, they dragged me out with a promise of a quiet dinner, a couple drinks with female friends of ours and a 10pm curfew.
Dinner started with a round of beers. Then another round of beers. Then some sake…and that’s only when the waitress arrived to take our food orders. I could already see how the evening was starting to go.
We headed out into the bright lights of Lan Kwai Fong and hit a string of bars/clubs. In each fine establishment, a glass of different coloured liquid was shoved into my hand and quickly downed. Red Bulls and vodkas as chasers added some caffeine to the party and perhaps it was the jetlag, the company, the exotic city we found ourselves in, but I just did not want to leave. By the time the last club we were in closed, the sun was rising, there was a warm humid mist as soon we stepped outside, and I was still quite lost in a fog of thumping electronic dance music/alcohol.
That was how I started the morning of my CFA Level I exam. In Part II, I’ll continue with my experience of the CFA exam day and how I completed it.
This is a honest-to-God account of my admittedly less-than-exemplary tale of my CFA Level I. You can read Part II here. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.