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Completing The CFA In Singapore

>> Monday, October 7, 2013

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program is a professional credential offered by the CFA Institute to investment and financial professionals, particularly in the fields of investment management and financial analysis of stocks, bonds and their derivative assets. A candidate who successfully completes the program and meets other professional requirements is awarded a "CFA charter" and becomes a "CFA charterholder".
The program focuses on portfolio management and financial analysis, and provides a generalist knowledge of other areas of finance. Additionally, the CFA charter has experienced increasing relevance and demand within corporate finance.
To become a charter holder a candidate must satisfy the following requirements:
- Have four years (48 months) of qualified work experience
- Become a member of the CFA Institute and apply for membership to a local CFA member society
- Adhere to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct
- Complete the CFA Program

Completing the CFA Program involves passing 3 levels of 6 hours examination each level. The median passing rate for Level 1 is about 39%, for Level 2 is about 44% and for Level 3 is about 57%. However, the passing rate seems to be decreasing in recent years.
Having completed this grueling program, fulfilled all the requirements, and successfully applied for the charter, looking back, it has been quite a journey. The annual ritual of going to Singapore Expo, hear the monotonous announcer give the same no nonsense speech, squeeze with the thousands for a quick lunch and the physical/mental exhaustion parallel to a full marathon.
I suppose many take up the program for various reasons. For me, it all started when I was introduced to investing when my “Financial Advisor” aka insurance agent shared with me about the importance to invest. Needless to say, I started an Investment Linked Plan with him and the rest was history. Well, he was right, investing is important. However, what he forgot to emphasize is how one invest is just as important. And by history, I mean literally the ILP lost almost everything and now only part of just a memory.
Along came another friend who was a broker and I naturally obliged to open a stock trading account with him. He started providing some good tips on stocks to invest and gradually, I was making some small profit. However, this mini bull run was pretty short lived. Having grown bolder with his successful advice, I went heavily into a stock called “Unifood” at 60 plus cents. I had not learnt the discipline of a stop loss yet and today, I still have that stock as a reminder of my foolishness. It is now less than 6 cents.
Enough is enough, no one is going to be responsible about my money except myself. I needed to learn investing, so what are my options. Some options include, courses from gurus sharing their investing prowess, a post graduate masters programmes or the CFA program. After a quick comparison, it was a no brainer.
Most courses by gurus cost over $3,000 and there were absolutely no guaranteed nor tangible benefits after completing the course. Masters pursuit cost upwards of $10,000 which I could not afford and one with global recognition will cost even more. The CFA program if I were to pass all 3 levels on the first attempt without attending any classes will cost about $3,000 and have global recognition.
No regrets on my choice. All the best to candidates who are also pursuing this route. Gambatte!


Gerald October 18, 2013 at 11:07 PM  

So you mean after completing the CFA, you still lost monies in investments because of your friends?

Make me wonder whether CFA adds value to one's investment capability.

By the way, I have changed my blog name to SG Wealth Builder ( from SG Web Reviews (

Please update your link.
Thank you.

Lau October 19, 2013 at 9:18 AM  

Hi Gerald

I'm not sure how you read things but there seems to be time line issues on your interpretation. Mind helping point out what led you to that conclusion? :)

Anyway, an education does not guarantee one to be a millionaire, neither does have the CFA guarantee one never to lose money in any investment.

Updated the link.

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Gregor Renk July 24, 2018 at 4:44 PM  

Passing three levels of cfa needs utmost hard work. Best way to pass the entrance with flying colors is joining one of the best LSAT Logic Games online. Many questions and logical reasoning part is still not clear. Charter ethics and some five hours of study time should be devoted for superb preparation.



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