Do you use video lectures in your CFA prep?
I personally used them for my Level II prep, as I had the extra budget to go beyond the bare-bones notes I used for Level I. I felt that they did help, but I wasn’t sure if the time would have been better spent re-reading my study material.
Everyone has different ways of learning. Some candidates respond fantastically to video lectures. Other candidates may find it more useful to study at their own time using traditional materials or prefer face-to-face classes.
Other readers here at 300 Hours swear by video lectures, so candidates’ preferences vary. To help you decide, here are pros, cons, and every possible aspect of video lectures you should know before you take the plunge yourself.
- They can be viewed at your own timing, schedule, pace and place. Whether it’s squeezing efficiency out of your daily commute, or a few minutes of revision before bed, video lectures mean that you can access it whenever, wherever.
- It demonstrates and explains in a way notes never can. Sometimes there are concepts that take ages to understand from a book, but takes just a few minutes of conversational explanation to get across. An example is if you have trouble understanding conditional probability – just some bags of red and black dice will cement the concept in your mind, rather than reading text over and over again.
- Economies of scale. Video lectures mean that a single class can reach so much more than the average classroom capacity, allowing economics of scale to operate. Access to good video lectures in general will therefore be much cheaper than attending face-to-face classes. It also means that a candidate from Madagascar can ‘attend’ a video lecture given by an instructor in Toronto.
- You can ‘attend’ the class over and over again. Got a concept that needs clarifying? Get your virtual lecture to explain it again. And again. Just like Gordon here.
- They lack the interactivity of classes. If you have a question in class, you can just put your hand up, or discuss with the instructor after class. Video instructors can’t do that. To be fair, providers these days tend to address this by having a stellar helpline straight to instructors where they will answer and clarify any issues you may have.
- Procrastination becomes a bigger temptation. With face-to-face classes, you are dictated a particular schedule that you have to stick to in order to make the best of your classes. The danger with video lectures is that a candidate can continue to put everything off until it’s too late to catch up. You’ll have to discipline yourself – but that’s something you should be doing anyway.
Overall – video lectures can be a great asset to your CFA prep
On the whole, video lectures are a great substitute for those that benefit from classes. They’re definitely recommended for anyone that might be considering face-to-face classes but are constrained by time, money or location.
As an example, Nathan Ronen is the lead instructor at Chalk and Board, and he’s often mentioned as a particularly effective instructor by readers. A sample recording of one of his Level II classes can be found below, with Nathan explaining the key concepts behind free cash flow to the firm (FCFF) and free cash flow to equity (FCFE).