The Chartered Financial Analyst Program better known as the CFA program is an academic cum professional course offered by the U.S based CFA Institute (formerly the Association for Investment Management and Research, or AIMR) internationally. A CFA holder qualifies as a finance and investment professional, particularly in the fields of investment management and financial analysis of stocks, bonds and their derivative assets.
The main focus of the CFA program lies in portfolio management and financial analysis. It is designed to provide a generalist knowledge of finance.
CFA today stands as the most respected and recognised investment designation in the world. The course curiculum covers academic theory along with current industry practice, advanced investment analysis and real-world portfolio management skills.
Several colleges and universities around the world including Said Business School; New York University; Nanyang Technological University etc. recognise the CFA Program curriculum and have incorporated it into their own courses.
CFA is a 3-stage credential with each stage awarded on the basis of an examination individually.
Aspirants can take the exam if :
The CFA Program inculcates in professionals, practical and fundamental knowledge needed for a variety of professions in the investment field. CFA charter provides an opportunity to work with numerous investment specialties and markets across the globe.
On a global scale, CFA charter holders are succesfully working in Consulting firms, Investment companies, Private Wealth Management services, Corporate treasuries, Investment Banking sector, Trust companies and so on.
A CFA Charter holder may assume any of the following roles in the investment sector based upon his/her experience, knowledge and demand:
The CFA exams (Levels I, II, and III) are offered every June at test centers around the world. The Level I exam is also offered in December. Each exam must be passed sequentially. The exams are conducted in the English language only. There is a one-time program enrollment fee for registering to the CFA Level I exam for the first time. The cost of each exam depends on when you register.
For detailed information on CFA Levels I, II, and III exam structure and syllabi, refer to www.cfainstitute.org.