CFA Course

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CFA Course

Do you want to pursue a career in Finance and its allied specialisations? Are you good with numbers and calculations and have a varied set of management and problem-solving skills? Rather than opting for the same old conventional fields, there is a varied range of specialised career domains in Finance that you can choose from. One such prospect is a CFA course which is increasingly becoming popular amongst those wanting to earn professional degrees in Finance. Amongst the toughest exams in the world, CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst which is an internationally recognised credential and is one of the most sought-after professions amongst the graduates of Finance and Investment. Through this blog, we aim to explore the key features of the CFA course along with highlighting the different exams you need to qualify and the job opportunities you can avail.

Course NameChartered Financial Analyst
Application WindowAvailable all year
Exam ModeOnline
Course LevelUnder Graduate
StreamFinance & Commerce
Exam LanguageEnglish
Fees50,000 – 1,50,000
Salary after CFA4,00,000 – 25,00,000
Duration1.5 to 4 years
Examination Levels3
Websitewww.cfainstitute.org/

What is the CFA Course?

Offered by the CFA Institute, this course focuses on several facets of Finance and Management along with integrating the essential knowledge of the discipline of Investment. It works towards honing your analytical abilities and provides you with an understanding of how you can navigate ethical problems in the investment industry. Studying the CFA course, you will also gain valuable insights into the workings of the finance and investment sector and it will equip you with the right skills required in handling real-life problems and complex situations in this dynamic domain. This program is immensely beneficial for those aspiring for a career in banking or financial services.

CFA 2021 Important Dates

CFA 2021 exam dates have been announced & here are all the dates level-wise.

CFA Level 1

SessionSession Window
FebruaryFebruary 16 – March 1, 2021
MayMay 18 to 24, 2021
JulyJuly 18 to 24, 2021
AugustAugust 24 – 30, 2021
NovemberNovember 16 – 22, 2021

CFA Level 2

SessionExam Window
MayMay 25 – June 1, 2021
AugustAugust 31 – September 4, 2021
NovemberNovember 26 – 30, 2021

CFA Level 3

SessionExam Window
MayMay 25- June 1, 2021
AugustSeptember 1 – 8, 2021
NovemberNovember 23 – 25,  2021

Eligibility Criteria

In order to pursue the CFA course, there are some prerequisites specified by the CFA institute that you need to fulfil. These eligibility requirements are elaborated below.

  • You must have a bachelor’s degree in a Finance related field as the institutes strives for candidates with the foundational knowledge of the Banking, Finance and Investment industry which is further polished through the CFA course.
  • You must have a proven work experience of at least four years in a Finance-related career profile.
  • Reference Letters: As over 150,000 people from more than 165 countries are registered charter holders, the competition for the CFA course is rigid. Hence to establish your credibility, you would need to submit reference letters from more than two reputed and established professionals working in your field.

Related Read: How to Pursue CA After Graduation

CFA Course: The Process

The CFA course is bifurcated into three levels of exams which you need to clear into order to attain the professional credential. Every level of CFA tests the candidates on different aspects encompassing the disciplines of Finance and Investment. To help you understand the process of this course, we have detailed the three levels of CFA below:

Level I

The first level of the examination would test the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of financial investment and its various tools and techniques. Here is a table enlisting the key features for the Level I of the CFA course:  

Structure of the Exam 240 Questions
Length of the Exam Two Sessions: 
1. Morning Session- 120 questions in 3 hours
2. Afternoon Session- 120 questions in 3 hours
Format of the Questions Multiple Choice 
Declaration of Result Within 60 days of the examination 
Level Advancement Once the candidate has fulfilled
the enrollment requirements for the next level  
Rate of Level completion  43%

Level II

This level of the CFA course examines a candidate’s knowledge about the applications of case studies in Finance and Investment as well as the essential aspects pertaining to facilitating asset valuation. Check out the exam pattern for this level described in the following table:

Structure of the Exam 120 (supported by 20-30 vignettes) 
Length of the Exam Two Sessions:
1. Morning Session- 60 questions
supported by 10-15 vignettes in 3 hours
2. Afternoon Session- 60 questions supported
by 10-15 vignettes in 3 hours
Format of the Questions Multiple Choice
Declaration of Result Within 60 days of the examination 
Level Advancement Passing of Level 1 of the examination 
Rate of Level Completion  45% 

Level III

As the levels go up, the CFA course demand candidates to demonstrate the synthesis and evaluation in terms of portfolio management. Let’s take a look at what the final level of this exam entails which is detailed in the table below:

Structure of the Exam A varied number of questions constructed
around 20-30 specific case studies
Length of the Exam Two Sessions:
1. Morning Session- 8-15 case study-based and
response-based questions in 3 hours
2. Afternoon Session: 10-15 case study-based and
response-based questions in 3 hours
Format of the Questions Vignette-based Multiple Choice Questions and
Constructed Response Questions 
Declaration of Result Within 90 days of the examination 
Level Advancement Passing of Level 2 of the examination 
Rate of Level Completion  56% 

CFA Course Syllabus

There are three levels of the CFA. Each level has mostly the same topics & carries different weightage. Here are the names of all courses & their weightage at different levels.

Topic AreaLevel ILevel IILevel III
Ethical and Professional Standards1510 to 1510 to 15
Equity Investments1015 to 255 to 15
Quantitative Methods125 to 10N/A
Fixed Income1010 to 2010 to 20
Economics105 to 105 to 15
Derivatives55 to 155 to 15
Financial Reporting and Analysis2015 to 20N/A
Alternative Investments45 to 105 to 15
Corporate Finance75 to 15N/A
Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning75 to 1040 to 55

CFA Registration Process

If you wish to apply for CFA & confused about the registration process. Here is the step-wise registration process.

  • Visit the official website of CFA
  • Create an account by filling up required information like personal & professional details.
  • Upload the required documents.
  • Pay the required application fee.

Important things regarding CFA registration

  • You can pay the application fee via debit/credit card or internet banking. 
  • The amount of the CFA application fee is not fixed & displayed at the time of registration.
  • The first registration fee timeline is cheaper than the last one.
  • The registration process is the same for almost every level.

Top Institution for CFA

There are limited institutions offering CFA in india. Here are top 5 institutions offering CFA courses.

  1. Narayana Business School
  2. Central India Institute of Management Studies
  3. International College of Financial Planning
  4. Shri Chimanbhai Patel Institute of Professional Training
  5. International College of Financial Planning

Top CFA Institutions Abroad

Here is the list of CFA institutions offering CFA abroad.

  1. University of Toronto, Canada
  2. University of Melbourne, Australia
  3. University of Arizona, USA
  4. University of New South Wales, Australia
  5. University of British Columbia, Canada

Career Prospects 

For a professional working in the Finance sector, the CFA course can play an incremental role in enhancing their resume and polishing their skills and expertise. As it is a prestigious program, it has inculcated the coursework of plentiful finance programs offered by popular and reputed universities like New York University, University of Oxford’s Saiid Business School and INSEAD amongst other institutions. Earning your credential as a certified Chartered Financial Analyst, you can explore a varied range of career profiles including,

  • Research Analyst 
  • Corporate Financial Analyst 
  • Portfolios Manager 
  • Financial Advisor 
  • Investment Banker 
  • Relationship Manager 
  • Financial Strategist 

CFA Jobs

After CFA there are plenty of options available in India & abroad. The salary after the CFA course ranges between 8,00,000 – 35,00,000 (in INR). 

Job ProfileSalary per annum (In INR)
Market Research Analyst₹336683
Risk Manager₹1225481
Chief Executive Officer₹2955544
Business Consultant₹981786
Investment Manager₹1300000
Portfolio Manager₹1119625

FAQs

Can I apply for CFA in my final year?

Yes, appearing students are eligible for CFA

Is there any work experience mandatory for CFA?

Yes, there should be work experience of 4 years.

What is the salary package after CFA?

The salary after CFA can range between Rs. 8,00,000 – 25,00,000

What is the level of competition of CFA?

The level of competition depends upon the level, it can be between 40 % to 50%

What is the duration of CFA?

The duration of CFA 1.5 to 4 years.

Are there any universities abroad for CFA?

Yes, there are various universities abroad offering CFA.

Also Read: 

If the CFA course appeals to you with the colossal exposure it offers but you are confused about how it can benefit your career or how you can effectively prepare for this examination, then reach out to our team of experts at Leverage Edu and we’ll guide you in sorting out your interests and aspirations along with connecting you with suitable mentors that can help you prepare for this exam and attain this globally recognised credential to advance in your career.

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