How To Become A CFA

If you want to become a CFA, you will need to work through 3 steps. This might not seem too hard, but it does require dedication and planning. It is important that you know the steps to take to become a CFA before you start to ensure this is the right path for you.

Enroll In A CFA Program

The first step is to enroll in a CFA program. To do this, you will need to meet the education or work experience criteria as set out by the CFA Institute. Once you have enrolled in the program, you will be able to register for the first level of exams.

To enter the program, you need to have a bachelor’s degree or be in the final year of your degree. If you have not completed a degree, you can still enter the program with the correct work experience. You need to have 4 years of professional and relevant work experience. The CFA Institute does have a limitation on the professionals who can become a CFA and you will need to check this.

Pass 3 Levels Of CFA Exams

Once you have entered the CFA program, you can register for the first level of exams. These exams are considered the finest financial exams in the world and will test you on financial and technical knowledge. All 3 levels will need to be passed in order to move onto the next step of the CFA process.

The exams will cover core subjects and topics including equity investments and fixed income. Ethical and professional standards as well as portfolio management will also be covered in the examinations. The level 1 test is held in June and December while the level 2 and 3 tests are only held in June.

The overall pass rate for all levels is 48% which is a good indication of the difficulty of the test. The level 1 exam has a pass rate of 44% and level 2 has a pass rate of 43%. Level 3 has a slightly higher overall pass rate at 54%.

Become A Member Of The CFA Institute

After passing the first examination level, you can apply for membership of the CFA Institute. There are 2 types of membership that you need to know about and they are regular and affiliate. The type of membership you apply for will depend on your work experience.

The regular membership can be applied for once you have passed the first level of examination. You will need to provide proof of your education and submit professional reference statements. You also have to pay the annual dues and follow the OFAC Compliance Policy.

Affiliate membership can be applied for by investment professionals and you do not have to enroll in a CFA program first. You will need to become a member of the local CFA society and submit professional reference statements. You will also need sponsors to complete online forms and you have to pay your annual dues to activate your membership.

There are 3 steps to becoming a CFA that you need to be aware of. These steps are enrolling in a CFA program, passing 3 levels of examinations and becoming a member of the CFA Institute. Choosing the right membership application is important.


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