Saturday, June 2nd, is the big day for people taking the CFA. Some call it the license to unlimited employment opportunities; others call it the hardest professional course, while I call it best measure of one’s discipline. It is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFATM) program. Probably, there are other references from different members and candidates alike.
Primarily, I would like to start by pointing out that getting the right to use the CFA designation otherwise known, as the Charter is not an easy task. Nevertheless, let me compliment you for making the decision to enroll for CFA program. I guess the decision was not as easy either. You probably came across a lot of criticism and moral-killing tags when you first whispered this to your closest friend. Never mind, it is all about discipline.
I will skip the initial stages of enrollment and all because I assume that you have already done this. Both way, it is not complicated, and you should navigate through this without any difficulty. Just make sure that moral values are intact and presentable.
Once you receive the curriculum, this is where it all begins…
The curriculum comes with a study guide that should help you understand the structure of the topics, it is like viewing everything at the same time, the future, the past and the present—you can easily see the flow, to the last topic.
The most common mistake: Never jump to your favorite topic. They are structured in a way that every topic links to the next. So do not express your anxiety by jumping to the topic you liked in your undergraduates. Not within a module and never within modules, so there is your rule number one.
The second rule, do not spend so much time on your favorite subjects or modules; try to allocate the time evenly, or better still, spend some more time on the modules that trouble you most. When the exam comes, everything will be evenly distributed accordingly. I will explain soon why my second rule is so important.
If you cannot adhere to the study guide, then make your own, but always make sure that the first two rules are active in all your CFA studies, and you must allocate approximately 350 hours of study. While some people will advise you that the minimum is 250 hours, this may not be enough especially if you are studying as a private candidate.
During the course of you studies, whether private or group; you will come across several sample questions after each subject or topic. Rule number three, you must make sure that you attempt all of them and more importantly get them all. If you fail some of them, it is all right, do not worry they will not be in the exam.
The main goal for these sample questions is usually to help you understand the structure of CFA exam questions. You should at least make sure that the mentality of these questions appearing in the exams stays miles away from your vulnerable conscience.
The Texas Instruments Calculator is Crucial
A financial calculator is important before beginning your study, especially after the first topic on ethics. Thereafter you will come across several quantitative subjects all the way to the end. The thing is, you must use the recommended financial calculator to perform the calculations. This is because it is the only one allowed in the exam room, and it is by no means fit to understand all the functions. You need to have all the functionalities at your fingertips by the time you get to that hall/room. That is rule number four.
Rule number five: Discipline
The biggest enemy to man is his inability to maintain discipline. Discipline means dedicating yourself to adhere to what you have set to achieve. Many people are very good at setting targets and developing very clear plans, however few adhere to it.
This is the same reason the CFA pass rate is too low. It barely reaches 50%. Therefore, I guess you can learn a lot from the statistic, as well. It may sound like a simple rule since it only has to do with the will and no ingenuity required. This is one character, which most servants would compete successfully with their boss. My statement is if you get this right, then the rest will come along, and the joy shall be yours in August.