The CFA charter is viewed in the United States and around the world as the most prestigious and difficult to attain certification in the investment industry.

Professional Certification

My CFA Charter

 

You would not hire a lawyer without a law degree and proper state credentials. You would not consult a medical doctor who had not been to medical school and received their MD. You would not hire an accountant who was not a CPA. And yet many people frequently hire so-called “financial professionals” who lack sufficient training and certification in investment management, and entrust their entire wealth to them, sometimes with devastating consequences.

 There are two major credentials in financial and investment management, and – in my opinion - your advisor should have at least one of them. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a credential representing investment capabilities in various areas including stocks, bonds, real estate, derivatives and options; and The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a credential representing capabilities in personal financial planning including investments, insurance, and estates. If your advisor cannot reliably represent such a credential, you should reconsider your relationship. You should also be wary of other credentials that an “advisor” attempts to pass off as suitable: there are numerous “organizations” that confer sham credentials upon anyone willing to pay the money for them. And you should take little – if any – financial advice offered to you through media channels.

Chartered Financial Analyst is a certification offered internationally by the non-profit CFA Institute. I am CFA charterholder #65227. Working with an advisor who holds the CFA charter confers significant benefits upon you. The CFA charter is viewed in the United States and around the world as the most prestigious certification in the investment industry. Its prestige derives from two sources: first, the extraordinarily rigorous course of study and testing on investment theories and practices; and second, the Code of Ethics and Standards that prescribes and mandates the ethical behavior of charterholders.

You can be assured that in earning the CFA charter I demonstrated a deep level of investment acumen across a broad spectrum of knowledge. The CFA curriculum consists of three skill levels, all of which contain challenging material on investment topics including equity, fixed income, alternative investments, economics, quantitative methods, and ethics. The difficulty of the material is compounded further by the difficulty of the testing methods: one may not move on to a higher level of study until passing the current level; pass rates at each level are around 50%; testing is performed only once a year; and each test is a grueling six hour exam taken in a strictly-proctored group venue. Taken together, these criteria mean that the quickest the charter may be earned is in three years, and that doing so is a significant accomplishment. In a world of increasingly complex financial securities and concepts, I believe that this course of study helps in understanding that complexity - as well as, ironically, guarding against it.

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