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okay so far we have 5 ppl in this thread for level 1 june 2006: myself, shalabh, arjun, archbishop, and
ankit3k. i think we should coordinate and share info so that our lives become easier.

archbishop...i`ll try and answer what i know:

1. i dont think there should be any restriction on that, but i`m not sure. check the website of the cfa

2. Exam expenses:
Rs.16,875 (Membership fee--once only) + Rs.19,800 (Exam fee) = Rs.36,675 (total)
Total for three levels = Rs.36,675 * 3 = Rs.1,10,025
You can save Rs.6,000 if u register in the early deadlines for the other 2 levels.

Books and Material:

this completely depends on what material u use and where u get it from. the CFA reccomends some standard
textbooks, which are quite expensive...but the indian editions are relatively cheaper. you could pool in
money with friends and buy stuff together by sharing costs, you could buy second hand material, xerox
notes, etc etc. total cost for study material can be anywhere between 6,000 to 30,000 depending on where u
buy from and what u buy.

3. there is no restriction as to when you should take your level II and III exams. you can take the level 1
now and take level 2 after 5 years, level 3 after 10 years...anytime u want. if you take level 1 and go for
MBA, u will find your mba syllabus pretty easy to cope with and ur academic performance will be good. if u
do your mba and then cfa, you wont have much trouble clearing cfa exams coz u already are familiar with
the concepts. i have personally chosen to follow the first cfa first and simplify mba studies.

anyways, so i wen thru the recommended reading list and here`s a list of books that were frequently
recommended. (the percentages in brackets is the weightage given to the topic...i`m not sure if it is
accurate, ignore the percentages):


                                                   CFA LEVEL I
Financial statement analysis (20%)
The analysis and use of financial statements (3rd edition) – White, Sondhi, and Fried
Financial Accounting (8th edition) – Needles and Powers

Ethical and professional standards (15%)
Standards of Practice Handbook (9th edition) – CFA institute, 2005

Quantitative methods (12%)
Quantitative methods for investment analysis (2nd edition) – Richard A. DeFusco, Dennis W. McLeavey,
Jerald E. Pinto, and David E. Runkle

Economics (10%)
Economics: Private and Public choice (10th edition) – Gwartney, Stroup, Sobel, and Mcpherson

Analysis of equity investments (10%)
Investment analysis and portfolio management (7th edition) – Frank K. Reilly and Keith C. Brown

Analysis of fixed income investments (10%)
Fixed income analysis for the CFA program (2nd edition) -- Frank J. Fabozzi

Corporate finance (8%)
Fundamentals of financial management (8th edition) -- Eugene F. Bringham and Joel F. Houston

Derivatives (5%)
Analysis of derivatives for the CFA program -- Don Chance
Portfolio management (5%)
Investment analysis and portfolio management (7th edition) – Frank K. Reilly and Keith C. Brown

Alternative investments (5%)
International investments (5th edition) – Bruno Solnik and Dennis Mcleavey


As i said, i`ve already bought two of the books from this list. If things go well, i aim to buy at least 50% of
all the books on this list. please add to this list if u know more.

1. The actual price of these books is some $100+ The price of the indian edition of the books is 750. if u
bargain a little, u can get a 10% discount and get them for 675. so two books cost me 1350. i further
bargained a little and got the two for 1300...that`s 650 per book. not bad, considering that they cost around
$100 and will be useful to me over the next 5 years!

2. there are 2 major prep material companies. one is called stalla and the other is schwieser. most ppl who
buy prep material buy it from one of the two. now i dont know which of the two is better, there is a lot of
debate...u can google a little and read the reviews of the two prep materials. also, the CFA institute has
released it`s own set of prep material this year. so u have the choice of 3 prep materials: stalla, schweiser,
and official cfa stuff. visit for more detials...i think the stalla package costs around 22K!!

3. most of the ppl taking the cfa exams are working ppl...but what difference does that make to you? unless
u have work experience in finance, there isn`t much difference. in fact, being a student, u have an
advantage coz u have the time to study and u still have the aptitude for studies. becoz of my job, i am not
able to devote so much time to studying...i get tired from work....come back late etc etc. u have the
advantage of being a student, exploit it. i wish i had started on this course when i was in college!

eah, many of these expensive foreign books have indian/asian editions which come at a fraction of the price
of american editions. it always makes sense to search for indian editions rather than order them from US or
from foreign websites.

yes, these books are exactly the same as the recommended books. these are cheap because they are not
imported from US, but are re-printed locally by regional distributors. sometimes, these books are not printed
on the high quality bond paper as in US, but are printed on thin paper and are in black and white...but what
difference does that make to us?!

no, not all the recommended books have indian editions...only a few, and for those too, u have to search a
lot. some of the books are CFA institute`s in house publications, so i guess u`ll have to order them from
there only. they`re pretty expensive, but once you register for the exams, cfa institute gives u really cool
discounts and u can buy from their online bookstore.

Here i am again! i`ll use this thread as a place to record my personal progress throughout my studies for
level 1. others are also encouraged to do so!

I studied 2 topics in 2`s going better than i thought.

according to my calculations, i should spend about 2-3 hours per day to reach a solid preparation by june.
i`ve managed 5 hours in the last 2 days, so things are on track. 2-3 hours seems pretty managable for now.
i magically woke up at 6.30 last morning and at 5am today...wonder what`s wrong with me! i`ve started
with the "study session 18" i.e., "portfolio management". it`s quite interesting, and for the first time i`m
taking some interest in studies.

the first reading assignment, "the asset allocation decision," was pretty elementary. it was more of an
introduction, with some basic concepts explained. sat thru it for a few hours and underlined whatever i felt
was important. it`s really important to underline when u read such massive books coz it makes it easier to
look up important points later on. if u dont underline, and u need to look up one small concept later on and if
u cant remember where it is, it`ll be like searching a needle in a haystack! the recommended reading list
states the "learning outcomes," which are nothing but the topics and concepts that you should be familiar
with by the time u finish reading the chapter. interestingly, the "learning outcomes" appear as exact
subheadings in the textbook! good. the chapter was a breeze, just one or two concepts were explained for 20
pages...i guess u have to tolerate that much redundancy when u`re reading from a 2000 page book!

i did the second reading assignment this`s called "introduction to portfolio management". this
one was tough...seems like the real stuff has arrived (or was this one also supposed to be simple?!). lesson
learnt: if you wanna grasp this stuff, u HAVE TO be comfortable with math. the text was full of stuff like
covariance, standard deviation, coefficient of correlation, variance, mean, distribution, probability, etc
etc...that explains the number of engineers in finance. i didn`t find so much difficulty in grasping the
concepts, but i seriously doubt if i can retain all the info. plus, i havnt solved any numericals...and i
remember the golden rule of quant, which i learnt the hard way in school and college: u can browse through
tonnes of pages of math and "read" all the steps and derivations...but the real learning happens only when u
put pen to paper. i`ve gone thru all those numbers and formulae, but am yet to solve any full fledged
problems...the reality of the situation will hit me when i actually solve a risk-return problem...for now, it
doesn`t seem so tough.

my faith in this course (CFA) is getting stronger. while studying this morning i realized that eeven if i fail, i
will go to b school with at least 50% of the syllabus already in my head. that cant be bad. ppl doing this
course after their mba will find it pretty easy too. so both the groups--the pre-mba and the post-mba group
are at a great standing. in the meantime, it feels nice to drop fancy terms like risk-return profile, markowitz
investors, optimal portfolio, capital asset pricing model, portfolio diversification, utility curves etc.        Will
keep this space!

stalla and schweiser are two major test prep companies that sell notes, books, and software that help u
prepare for the CFA. you could either read everything from the textbooks prescribed by the CFA institute or u
could buy these test prep material, where they condence all the material and teach u stuff from a very exam
oriented approach. if you`re looking for extensive knowledge and understading of the subject, then u should
probably go for the textbooks (i`ve made a list of recommended books in one of my earlier posts). if u
wanna focus on exam oriented questions n learning then get hold of these prep material. the latest entrant in
this scene is the CFA institute has released it`s own set of prep material...that one should be the
big daddy of all notes i think!

these notes are pretty expensive...u can check out the prices at and might cost u
anything between 15-22K. the only way to cut costs is to either pool in money with other interested ppl and
buy it together or xerox it from friends or buy it second hand from someone who`s done with their exams.

i`ve heard that somewhere myself. I dont know if they`ve simply put together all the chapters from different
books or have added some value to it. the website says there are some "solutions" included in these
books...maybe that`s their contribution. it`s a set of four books and the total number of pages is around
4000. compare that with schweiser, which has 7 books totalling to 1500 pages!! but the one thing u can be
sure about is that the cfa material will be both authoritative and comprehensive. i mean, questions can only
be from those books and u dont have to go anywhere else for answers. here`s what the ad says on the cfa

2006 Level I Program Curriculum: $395.00
Self-contained volumes that offer everything you need for your study program. Includes all required
materials, learning outcome statements, and solutions. (CFA Institute)

they wouldn`t use words like "self contained" and "everything you need" and "includes all required material"
unless they actually wanna say something....these are the ppl who give the highest weightage on "ethical
standards" in the exam!!

Most of the books are common in L1,2,3

and yeah those books from CFAI arnt bad considering the fact that you can put in $400 per attempt instead
of getting all books for $1500 in one go.

On top of that you are sheilded to the frequent version upgrades to those books, as you always get the
material for that year only
See Mr.Srategy, the CFA course doesn't require any kind of work ex or specialisation. For gettin in, all you
need to have is a graduation degree or an equivalent in your own country.

Read carefully..... you need a four year work ex in finance for getting the CHARTER. You can do that with or
after your Three levels. Don't worry about that.

And despo..........

If i am eligible to comment about it, i think that the notes are much more beneficial to a non-finance grad
than a finance one since the notes explore the basics also. we finance grads have exposure to basics and the
CFA books are prepared keeping in mind a finance guy since its the most specialised course in finance. get it

And anyways 99% of the CFA junta studies from the notes either stalla or schweser since most are working
and are short of time.

The study notes turned out to be much more comprehensive that i had envisaged. The pages run upto 16 to
1800. Guys we dont have time to go thru pages and pages for simple concepts. There are something called
as Learning Outcome Statements (LOS) for each chapter. This is the most important thing in each chapter.
and you know, as you said, it is very difficult to remember the concepts for a lesser mortal like me. Well its
36k for one level. So 72k in total.
welcome aboard to the CFA club! I like your nick name and i`m all falttered coz you called me a "senior"
(and hence the prompt reply         ).

1. what do you mean by "CFA material"? are you referring to the recommended text books or are you talking
about the cfa institute ka prep material? well, it`s true that the delivery of either will take few weeks to
reach your home. and no, it wont be a good idea to prepare for level 1 for just 3 months without any finance
background. not becoz it`s impossible, but becoz you`re spending so much money, why take the risk? i dont
agree that registration/confirmation will take you 3 weeks...unless you`re sending a dd or something. paying
online by credit card should get you registered within minutes.

2 and 3] indian version? what it is?      if you mean the indian editions of the standard text books, yes, you
can get them from some good college-level book store (not your neighbouring stationery shop, find out
where all the b-shoolers buy their books from). these books are exactly the same as the foreign versions,
except that they`re printed on lower quality paper and are paperbacks for us lesser mortals. i posted
sometime back that i got 2 indian edition textbooks from a store here in mumbai. well that store had a whole
lot of finance books coz it is located exactly half way between IIT-SOM and NITIE. if you`re talking about the
indian version of the cfa insti ka prep material, i dont think something like that exists. you could find out if
someone`s doing the icfai ka cfa and catch hold of their study material (or call up icfai and ask them if
they`ll sell you the material without enrolling for their course. my guess, they will    ).
if you`re too particular about all this, you can buy one or two indian edition text books (the two i bought cost
me around 650 each) and study those until your phoren-maal arrives.

4. You`re sounding like a tourist now. of course you can get the calculators in india! will need to search
around for a good bargain though. i`ve gotten some feelers (from private sources                ) that you could get
your hands on it for 2-3K if you search at the right places.

i agree, dont register in haste, becoz you dont wanna waste friend from IIT just did. he`s flunked
L1, which is giving me jitters. my prep started off with great fanfare (and expenditure!) in the beginning of
jan, and it has already fizzled out! i havnt been studying at all for the last 2 weeks coz of my work...and now
there`s this family wedding thing coming up...damn. anyways, my advice: register only if you`re sure you
can put in about 2 hours a day consistently for the coming 4 months.
the most sure-fire way to get thru any job interview is functional area experience. it is very difficult to
replace work experience by any academic course. the CFA is considered abroad as a sureshot entry point into
the world of finance. unfortunately, in india, cfa hasn`t got the recognition and respect that it deserves. of
course, having a cfa will help you get into finance, but cfa in india is somehow overshadowed by the it`s big
brother: the MBA! building a career solely on the basis of cfa in india could be a tricky is better
looked upon as a combo with an MBA...either pre mba or post mba. i`ve come across many job postings on
naukri and times where the qualification asked for is "CA/ICWA/CFA/MBA". if you`re looking at job market
abroad (like i am), then a cfa will definitely do wonders for might not need an mba once you do the
Re: Need some Opinions on CFA. - 14-02-2006, 06:32 PM

Originally Posted by archstone

people from delhi if you are preparing for level I guys let me know

I wish I were there in mumbai it would be a great study group there

time for real introspection starts
ahem...wrap up that introspection asap coz the deadline for registering for the cfa level 1 is TOMORROW! of
course you can register after that too, but it`ll cost you 14K more! best of luck.

i think an excellent place to start learning the basics is go to the tutorials section and start
reading the tutorials sequentially and you will get a fair idea of the basics. once you`re done with that, you
can logon to and go to the ncfm section. there are quite a few free ebooks there on different
topics, which you could start reading, once u know the basics (these may not be directly relevant to cfa
becoz they deal with indian stock markets, but you can skip those parts and focus on the concepts alone). i
think with investopedia, nse, and your daily finance newspapers will equip you with the basics over the
coming few months.
If you looking to gain experience in Indian market, ICFAI CFA is more then enough along with UG/PG. Course
contents of ICFAI CFA are wonderful. Opportunities exist in KPOs, Indian equity research, forex trading,
derivates, options, commodities market etc.

I have lot of friends with UG + CFA ICFAI working in firms like evalueserve, Mckinsey knowledge, copal
partners, smart analytics doing NASDAQ, european capital market research.

CFA AIMR is a true CFA, if you ask me frankly. I am doing CFA ICFAI. but in life every thing which looks good
is not easy to get. CFA AIMR is a competitive course and you need to have a really good grasp of subjects to
clear all 3 levels. Its in global context and unfortunately our education degrees are still not inclined to global
curriculum except top colleges. Have you studied sample papers at CFA AIMR website? Study ICFAI CFA
papers and CFA AIMR and you will be able to understand the strategic difference between 2 courses. CFA
AIMR is extremely challenging and i wont advice for a fresh Indian graduate to persue it. Stakes are
also high. ICFAI CFA is approx Rs 55000.

Easiest job in world is to form an impression. Forming a negative impression about ICFAI CFA means you are
insulting 2500 successful CFA ICFAI where some of them are occupying top positions in their trades

Think practical and then make a decision. CFA AIMR is not a cakewalk. ICFA CFA is again not a cakewalk. But
for indian students ICFA CFA gives you sound foundation in core finance concepts + a chance to complete all
three levels with little ease + market brand.

If my aim is to go abroad and do MBA in 2008 or 2009, then this is what i would have done:

Step 1: Do CFA ICFAI. Fantastic finance concept knowledge with subjects like M&A, equity valuation,
derivates and bond trading, ethics etc

Step 2: Complete CFA ICFAI in 2 yrs flat. 2 hours daily grinding is more then enough.

Step 3: Mention in CV 'MS(Finance) from ICFAI UNIVERSITY, HYDERABAD-XX.XX %, 1st division. I will not
mention CFA FROM ICFAI because of ongoing battle and fact you cant use CFA ICFAI in US/Canada.

So what did i get in return:

1) Enormous cost savings.

2) Hardcore finance knowledge which was true puprose before starting MBA.

3) MS(Finance) degree which is from decent, respectable university.

I will prefer to start off with easy things first, and then move later to complex things if talent permits.
CFA is a progressive modern finance degree giving you leading edge to be global finance professionals.
Following MBA after that is not a necessary requirement. Decision depends upon lot of factors.

One obvious difference between the CFA program and an MBA program is the
breadth of the curriculum. A good analogy is that the curriculum of the CFA
program is a foot wide and a mile deep while the curriculum of MBA programs are
a mile wide and a foot deep


Be sure why you want CFA and in which areas of finance you are targetting after
its completion. In india , KPO is hottest at the moment.These are the areas where
you can use your skills after completing CFA:

Capital Structure management

Resource Mobilisation

Fund Utilization


Treasury Operations
Cash Management

Project Management

Overseas fund Mobilisation

Foreign Exchange management

Risk management

Forex dealing

Forex consultancy

Fund management

Portfolio management

Mutual funds

Equity research

Investment consultancy

Corporate banking

Retail banking

project appraisal

financial products designing

financial products marketing

investment banking

venture capital


credit rating

stock broking

financial advisory services

All the best         . I graduated in 2003 and its being a roaller coaster ride as
you come out of that safe college shell and face practical issues of managing
career, survival and growth.

Cudnt reply since a long time. Neways did u get a calculator? I got some quotes
ranging frm 1.85k-2.6k. Neways they say its in short supply.

For all those who want a calci............ post on this thread and we can order it directly.
I guess we'll get some discounts too.

And dont go for the TI BA-II plus Professional one since it costs about 1k more and
adds practically no value.

So guys lets get together as CTD has proposed and join hands to reduce efforts and
costs. Please post as early as possible.....

the only thing relevant for the exam is the LOS statements
Here`s something interesting i found on the cfa ka`s called "Level 1 Withdrawal Option". Now
doesn`t that sound simply great? For all those who have been regretting their decision to enroll for the june
2006 level 1, this must sound like such a get to withdraw and appear in december. read this:


LEVEL I WITHDRAWAL OPTIONLevel I candidates currently enrolled for a Level I examination may withdraw
their enrollment and re-enroll for the next Level I examination.
Withdrawal forms must be received by CFA Institute by the deadline date listed on the form. Late withdrawal
forms will not be processed or returned. Candidates failing to withdraw by the deadline will not be
able to re-enroll for the next Level I examination until Level I results have been released. The
records of all candidates who did not officially withdraw from the current exam or who sat for the exam are
“frozen” until exam results are released. CFA Institute typically releases Level I examination results within
sixty (60) days of the examination date.
As a re-enrolling candidate, an additional registration fee is not necessary; however, all applicants are
required to pay an enrollment fee for each examination as determined by the CFA Institute Fee Schedule.

         Enrollment fees cannot be deferred from one examination to the next.
         There is no refund of any fees.
         Candidates may only be enrolled for one examination at any time.
         Enrollment forms must be received by CFA Institute no later than the final
          enrollment deadline for that examination.
         The curriculum and suggested textbooks will change from year to year and
          the examination is based on the curriculum assigned that year. The Level I
          curriculum does not change from June to December.
         Candidates will be unable to enroll online until their withdrawal has been
          processed. Please allow 7-14 days for processing.
         Once processed, withdrawals will not be reversed.

Once the withdrawal has been processed, should a candidate wish to re-enroll for the original examination,
another enrollment form and enrollment fee must be submitted, according to the CFA Institute Fee and
Deadline Schedule. CFA Institute will not accept enrollment forms submitted after the published deadlines.
CFA Institute strongly suggests submitting a paper enrollment form along with the Withdrawal Request Form
for quicker processing.


Doesn`t the statement "as a re-enrolling candidate, no extra registration fees is to be paid" sound like
music? Notice the fine print though. they wont refund your money even if you withdraw from their
exam...neither will they transfer the registration fee to the next exam!!! If you withdraw now, and register
for the december level 1 exam, you have to pay the 20K again! So this option is nothing more than a
graceful exit. as in, if you`re sure to fail, you might as well not appear for the exam. The only difference is,
you wont be declared as failed, you`ll just be a "withdrawn" candidate.

Who on earth would withdraw from the exam instead of attending it for the heck of it...i have no clue. These
ppl dont wanna miss any opportunity to make money basically. Anywyas, just wanted to let you guys know,
and warn you not to fall for it.


PS: archbishop dude...what about the calculators man? i wanna buy one me before you buy one.
call me even if you`ve already bought one
I confirmed it, both the models are allowed.
In all 4 models r permitted- 2 each from HP n TI.
But the schweser CDs explains using the TI models.
Also, the professional has some added features n is the latest one.
So I will buy th TI BA II Pro. I asked an imported stuff's shop in nagpur to get me that. Lets see if this
materialises, else I wld get that from bbay.
Can u pls tell the details abt the store where I can get that for 2700?? The price looks ok as its for
about 4200 on ebay
 if you ARE buying textbooks, it is better to stick to the recommended`s safer to do that. Havnt gone
thru needles and powers yet, wont be going thru this book of yours no comments                  Try not to
worry too much about derivation of formulae etc at this stage....just try to gobble as much content as you
can. i know this is against the spirit of the exam, but what to time! For a good explanation of time
value of money and discounted cash flow applications,try referring to DeFusco's quantitative methods wala
book...quite a gem. i`d have loved to go thru it over and over in detail...but had to skip a lot of content for
lack of time. in case you`re an engineer or a math/science grad, quant is gonna be a breeze...accounting is
gonna be a nightmare.

hey guys...I have been following the posts.. and think it wud be good grnd for discussion and sharing our
preparation status.. I am giving CFA L-1 this June .. appears frm the previous posts that a lot of ppl frm
Mumbai are giving CFA this june..!! wud like to knw ur prep status.. i m presently at 8th SS..preparing frm
Scheweser..!! I also have an extra complete set of latest (2006) Scheweser MAterial which I want to dispose
off.. in case anyone of u is interested ..mail me.. also got hands on a CD which has some 5000+ questions of
CFA L1 exam...and a pdf file of the ethics standard handbook released by CFA institute this yr.. and study
notes for revision,,which has all sources' notes (like schweser, stalla, allen, etc) condensed into one..!! cd is
quite good for revision...!! in case anybody is interested in any of these (notes or cd).. drop me a mail at ..
or call .Also wud like to inquire.. if anyone of u has been able to get the cfa-calci (TI BAII plus or HP
platinum) in mumbai.. have asked frm a couple places.. but they quoted quite high prices.. is there a grey
market for the same ??m looking for making study grp .. near arnd case anyone likves
close by..!! Regards.

cfa level 1 xam is on 3rd dec.and u can take it at mumbai only

glad to know that other people r taking cfa L-1 from delhi in dec06.
kawal cfa institute generally changes 20-25% of the study material every year. and this 20% is given high
weightage in exams. for more u can check "curriculum improvement for 2006" link on
so i guess new books are imperative & necessary.
I have got loads of queries about calcies, and this is a post answering all of them....

See, the only authorised dealer of TI in Mumbai is the one at fort. It offers you calcies for INR 3125/-. You
can get it assured there. Also it comes with an one year warranty. Now if you are a risk averse guy go for
it.....its definitely a good buy.

The second option is to get it from the gray market in VT. You can ask there anyone for the best place to buy
gray electronics goods. The price ranges from INR 1800-2300/- depending upon the demand supply
economics and the seller's ability to con you. My sources tell me not to pay a penny more than 2300/-

The third place is at Parla (Irla). The place seems to be perennially out of stock of calcies though. Their
assurances of getting it in two to three days can't be believed and you have to be really patient. Also i got
mails from a guy offering to drop it at my doorstep for INR 2500/-. Try ur luck. I think cfa.aspirant got
similar mails frm some guy at andheri (E).

Fourth option is to ask a big stationery shop owner to order the calcy for you ( which he will get frm the VT
place anyways ) and end up shelling out a 100-200 more as a trade off for your convenience.

Fifth, Ask your friends frm Dubai or Singapore to get it for you frm the duty free islands. You save the
customs duty and the shipping costs on this. No idea what this costs though.

Sixth and the most unexplored option is to order it through the internet. I think Amazon offers it for $ 45 +
shipment costs. It comes with an year's warranty also. If anybody follows this method, please enlighten the
rest of us about your experience.
For calculators, try this link.
it is expensive but highly functional.available in delhi at palika market for about 4500 INR.
and this link for TI calcis.
it is cheaper but not as functional as HP calci.
Hp one has many functions not available in TI calci.

also HP calcis use reverse polish notation which will take some time to get used to.
Eg. in reverse polish (10+20) would be operated as 10 <enter> 20 +

its a one time investment so if you have money go for HP 12C platinum. it will be helpful in the long run.
I hope i've answered the question
I think my experience has been a bit different frm Phoenix's.

I started with Quantz and on the very first few pages of quantz Schweser notes, they have strongly
suggested to go for the TI calcis. The scweser notes have primarily given explanation in terms of TI calcis (
although at some places they have included both).

As correctly pointed out by phoenix, the HP ones have reverse polish finish notation. Which means even for
simple calculations like additions and subtractions, we have to do some acrobatics              which are really
cumbersome.        ??:

Now i am no advocate of any company. Neither HP nor TI pays me any commission for suggesting and
hardselling their products (though i wish they cud  ). But having been thru TVM and having used TI plus, i
wud definitely put my money on it. Personally, wth many of my seniors appearing for the exam, i havent
seen anyone with an HP.

The one major drawback in selecting the calcies is that u have to make a decision abt HP/TI/plus/pro when
you go to get them. Thats because the person won't open the pack and let you inspect it. So you have to
make a decision on suggestion and instincts
I think it's better I'll start posting as and when i have time than to wait for the time when i can pen down a
10,000 word essay that no one wants to read! So here goes....

Overall, my CFA L1 was disastrous! But as bad as it went, i'm gonna keep hope alive until the results come in
about 2-3 weeks and be positive. Plain, simple, straigt-forward advice: DO NOT TAKE THE CFA L1 LIGHTLY.
This is NOT your regular school/college exam where you can study and cram for a coupla weeks and then
vomit it in the main exam and pass. If you dont have a commerce/eco background or work ex, ou need at
least 6 months of consistent preparation with 2-3 hours every single day and full time studies on the
weekends. i studied very sporadically. i started in full force in december 2005, which tapered off by feb. Then
picked up some speed around late feb and tapered off again around april. I hardly studied in May and by
then it was too late. The ideal time to prepare for a newbie is about 8-9 months, assuming he has a job and
can snatch a coupla hours here and there. for students (who can devote much more time for studies), i think
it'll be ideal to study for 6 months consistently.

the biggest problem i faced was recalling/remembering concepts. There is just SO MUCH to`s really
vast. Even if you study hard, your memory might fail you...there was stuff that i had studied, and i was so
confident that i KNEW it well...but i couldn`t recall something as fundamental as a formula or a shortcut. I
stared at some problems so helplessly coz i couldn`t recall what the concept was, or i spent way too much
time on some problems coz i went long way calculating coz i didn`t remember the formula. the only solution
is to devote the last one month exclusively for revision, and not go in for anything new in that period.

secondly, i focussed a lot on the textual and conceptual part of the topics and didnt focus so much on the
application part. if you study from the prescribed textbooks, each topic is covered in dozens of pages of pure applicaiton, no problems, nothing. CFA asks you to APLLY these theory concepts to solve numerical
problems. So do not get satisfied if you feel you've read thru the text and "understood" everything. You
HAVE TO know how to solve problems and apply concepts. this is where schwesers, stalla, prep material, etc
comes handy. I should have made my studies more exam focussed rather than purely academic.

Thirdly, the calculator! You must be fluent with's quite a complicated peice of machinery! learn to do all
that jazzy techno stuff with the calcy and be fluent with it. Input cash flows, calculate IRRs, NPVs,
amortization values, etc. This stuff can be done manually as well thru regular arithmatic operations, but
knowing ho to use the hi-tech functions of the calcy can save a lot of time.

Fourthly, you have to prioritize and allocate appropriate times to each topic. For example, accounting and
asset valuation forms a big chunk of the paper, and for a person without accounting background, it takes
ages to get used to the concepts. in contrast, topics such as portfolio management and derivatives are easy
to understand, fun to study, can be completed quickly, and carry very little weigtage in the exam. So pick
and choose your topics accordingly and prioritize them well. i spent way too much time studying simple
topics with low weigtage and rushed thru heavyweights such as accounting.

As for study material, i feel one should try and study from as many sources as possible. I mean, you
shouldn`t restict yourself to only schwesers or only textbooks. Schwesers is good from exam point of gives you actual exam questions, application based questions, and problems. but it condenses
important concepts and presents them very briefly, so it`s difficult to understand such concepts for a
newbie. On the other hand, standard books give you no exam based training and present concepts in plain might understand the concept thoroughly, but may not be able to apply them if you study only
from textbooks. A good strategy would be to keep both side by side and study in parallel, referring to
textbooks each time you dont understand something in schwesers. Obviously, such a strategy will require a
lot of time...6 months along with a job may not be sufficient to implement such a strategy.

that`s all i can think of now. if you have any specific questions, i`ll try and answer those. best of luck!

PS: mojo, i think your style of writing, the flow of language, and word choice is very impressive...not to
mention the perfect punctuation!! (i tend to notice such things a lot!)

I am sure the material which i am listing will be really helpful for all CFA (US) aspirants.Do well and clear all
your exams

1. Quantitative Methods for Investment Analysis

2. CFA Level 2: Ethics and Professional Standard 1

3. CFA Level I 2006 AnalystNotes-FormulaSheet <<< This
one has multiple links so kinda tidious process... will surely post the same later.

4. Analysis Of Derivatives

5. Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management(Reilly Brown)7th edt

6. Schweser Pro_Level1_Installer

7. Financial Management and Analysis, Second Edition

8. Standard of Practice Handbook v2005n3

Schweser Stuff---
1. Schweser CFA 2006 Note | First Book

2. Schweser CFA 2006 Note | Second Book

3. Schweser CFA 2006 Note | Third Book

4. Schweser CFA 2006 Note | Fourth Book

5. Schweser CFA 2006 Note | Fifth Book

6. Schweser CFA 2006 Note | Sixth Book
I cudnt get to post on this thread for long. The exam was was just one of those esoteric kinds of
exams where u find yourself completely unfamiliar with what you are reading. Whatever amount of practice
you put in it....the exam's just gonna be a googly. I dont think that the exam was conceptually too testing...
it was the manner in which the questions were asked that was dreadful       . Seriously there were questions
that were like.....the "x" ratio and the "y" ratio means the following.....
The options included four choices having answers to the two questions. In effect you were being tested on
two concepts for a mere 1 mark. That was not the end of it....the answer choices were a wierd mix of various
permutations and combinations. This made life a lot more difficult.

What i understand out of this was...the institute wants the candidate to be absolutely clear about the
concepts. The questions are also logic based...which means that mugging up anything just doesnt work.
The worst was included 60% GIPS and corporate governance (both were new topics in
2006....GIPS was introduced in 2005). I didnt expect them to have such a weightage at all. Also, the
professional code n conduct statements must be just crystal clear. I mean just the practice notes is not
enough...the handbook must be read. It is like law....every clause is important. There could be various
possibilities....each n everything is important. Unfortunately i didnt realise it       ....until the exam day that is.

One important Tip: Ethics may really decide your result in the exam.

Debt, derivatives, Alternative Investments, Equity, PM every topic takes its turn to try to screw you. Believe topic spares you. Debt is particularly difficult for me atleast ( lot many things to study for very few
marks). You have to have a clear understanding in each topic. If I say that the exam was dreadfull, the
results were equally dangerous. The passing rate this time is 40%, marginally higher than the last time.
Many people i know have not cleared even after joining classes. Its a real tough game here. The stakes are
very high. The exam duration too short. The exam atmosphere very tense and the expectations too great. Its
not a simple game.....I am not rying to frighten anyone here....just cautioning people...enter the game only
if you are serious. With this i think i should wrap up my sermon           (though unintended) and thank the
people who helped me on this thread. Thanks everyone. And ya...I passed the exam                 .
2 more good CFA US books:

CFA Analysis of equity investments Valuation.pdf

(LII book)--35 MB

sondhi white-Analysis of fin statements.rar
(LI and LII-22 MB)

Most textbooks can be found here
yes finally got hold of FSA txtbook
Google Groups: CFA-LI-DEC-2006
financialdreamz - FINANCIAL DREAMZ
financialdreamz - FINANCIAL DREAMZ

Firstly thanx to everyone on this thread for giving valuable information during my preapration towards
december 3 rd CFA level 1 exam

Debriefing follows:--


3 months before I gathered all kinds of ebooks..ppts and videos etc..all of which can be found
here(financialdreamz - FINANCIAL DREAMZ)
There are basically two parts to this whole journey towards CFA ..There is a inner game and and outer game
.Innner game is when u try to improve ur skills , knowledge in finance.This is something which u read
because of interest.I used to read .All these things helpu to understand the big picture of
things..and innner game pays in the long run..
Outer game is alll ur efforts towards passing the exam.The number one thing is Schweser notes.Schweser
cuts down the BS and gives totaaal exam gyaaann...So this is what u need to concentrate towards the end of
ur preparation..bcos thats what will save ur arse finally.As far as outer game is concerned schweser rox.

As i am from engg background FSA(financial statement analysis) was painful for me...So I tried
concentrateing more on that to begin with...which paid off in the end...The syllabus for this exam is vast and
making ur own notes helps in a great way....Quant is a cake walk for engineers..though some of the stuff on
sampling and estimation is a bit painful...
Ethics is major area where ppl can score easily only if they read the practice handbook by CFA institute
atleast five time..I read it four times and paid the price....Do not neglect GIPS ....about 30% odf ethics was
GIPS this time.....and remmeber u need to maintain report discontinued operation for 5 years .....5 years ....

Asset valutaion is interesting and I enjoyed it thouroughly...dividend discount model is asked in almost all
Economics remmeber stuuff like what happens when inflation goes up what ahappens to interst rates...

alos do not neglect chillar topis like alternate investments,portfolio managment etc..they are high scoring
and u dont want to loose out on that...

Over all I would say FSA and ethics are key to passing the test

I am attaching a word doc this atleast 100 times...almost 40o% of questions where based on this.....

Results wiill be out in mid Jan....will post the outcome here...

Sigining off

Could you answer a few queries for me.
1. Did you refer to any other material apart from Schweser notes.

Even though i had stalla and lots of PPT by some finance crazy guys I did nt use them....For the
exam they are not needed ...maybe for knowledge sake u mite use them

2. Did you order the original notes or did you buy it locally in India (The photocopied version             ). If yes
then from where?

I took print outs of the schweser notes book 1 to book 6.

3. This one might sound incredibly stupid but what is the significance of an LOS. I mean, in the exam, are
most of the questions directly based on the LOSs?
See basically LOS says what to read and till what depth....So if they mnetion candidate shud know
what is "coeffecient of variation"...they mean u shud only know "coeffecient of variation"...The
point is Schweser guys figure all this sematics for u and compile exam friendly read
schweser notes ...By not neglecting any LOS i mean that do schwser completly...they are some
boring sections esp in fixed income secuirities dont neglect those...even though there
marks/LOS is really low..


great work inzomniac.... i would like to supplement your video links with audio links....
all these are in mp3 format.....,_Basic_Concepts_A.mp3,_Basic_Concepts_B.mp3,_Basic_Concepts_C.mp3,_Financial_Ratios_and_Earnings_per_Share.mp3,_Assets.mp3,_Capital_Market_Theory.mp3,_Analysis_and_Valuation.mp3,_Basic_Concepts_A.mp3,_Basic_Concepts_B.mp3

Originally Posted by N_Z_O_M_N_I_A_C
Web links:
00. CFA Institute
01. Finance Web
02. Microsoft Excel Training
03. Study Finance
04. Pagal Guy
06. Stanford Finance
07. Analyst Notes
08. CFA Institute India
09. CFA Advantage
10. Aswath Damodaran
11. Columbia Education
12. FE News
13. Fisher Finance
14. Finpipe for Derivatives
15. Sam.sdu
16. Options, Futures and Derivatives by Hull
17. Roxane Gunser
18. Baruch College
19. US Securities & Exchange Commission
20. Analyst Forum
21. Essential Principles of Economics: A Hypermedia Text

22. The Little Handbook of Statistical Practice by Gerard Dallal

23. Statsoft for Statistics

24. Statistics by Howell

25. Statistics I by David Doanne
26. Oakland Edu

27. American Statistics Association

28. Business Book Mall for Statistics

29. Grant Thornton - M & A Deal Trackers

30. eBooks Club for Finance eBooks

31. Project w for Finance eBooks

32. M&A Site

33. Dreamgain Research Reports

34. World Bank

35. CFA Study Session Level I Outline

36. Ebooks from

37. Top Quality Finance Articles

38. Myths In Your Finance

39. An Interview with Eugene Fama

40. Accounting & Book Keeping

41. Wharton Articles

42. Accounting Basics

42. Economic Derivatives

Calculator Details:
Download BAII PLUS ™ PRO Guide Download BAII PLUS ™ Guide
When I first started off with CFA preparation a friend of mine recommended the official CFA textbooks for
preparation .However they are far too verbose and all encompassing for the purposes of this exam.
The Schewezer notes are in my opinion more than enough.I had done no financial courses before and found
the notes easy and comprehensive .I would recommend canidates preparing for this exam to stick to these
notes only ,however if for your own learning you want to do certion sections more comprehensively there is
no harm     .
As regards the time frame required it depends on your abilities and the time and effort you put in.I know of
people with no fin background cracking the exam with 30 days of preps and also of MBA not being able to
make it.

On an average I would suggest 4 months of preparation with about 8-10 hours a week.of course for the
weeks leading upto the exam you would have to study more intensely.Try to finish the course at least 3
weeks before the exam .The questions in the Level 1 exam are in themselves not very tough ,the problem
being the sheer volume of the course you tend to forget the concepts you had studied in the past.The more
you revise the better it is because you will keep forgetting concepts and formulas.Also start practicing with
approved calculators beforehand.Schewezer provides a step by step guide to use those calculators.

And finally for the exam day do take some chocolates and health drinks along with you .I made this mistake
,did not have any breakfast and on the center found only 1 single shop catering to thousands of
candidates.Finally was so sleepy and hungry by the afternoon exam that I did not even stay for the entire 3
hrs ,walked out in just under 2 hrs.

And on a slightly different note many people would be giving this exam for various different objectives .But if
you are seriously interested in making a career out of this field it would be most beneficial to follow the
happenings in the Investment Management business .Try to regularly reading online editions of the
Economist, Business week, Fortune ,Risk etc and try to go through all the articles dealing with Financial
Services.Even the Schewezer notes do not cover everything.For example this year we had a question on
Hedgefund alphas something that was not covered well in the Schewezer notes.Fortunately I had read an
article on Hedge Funds weeks before the exam which helped me out.

I hope this proves useful to all future aspirants for the CFA Level 1 exam.As for me just hope I can compose
a similar post in July about the Level 2 exam.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - document sharing - download Cfa 2007 Schweser Level 1 Book 4.pdf

I was a silent reader and follower of this thread for quite some time. But now the time has come to be more
active. well frnds, I have enrolled for Level 1 , Dec Exam. And going through some references. I have
collected some materials from net and for the time being good amount of study materail i am having. I
would like to call all folks who are going to take the Level 1 exam in 2007 to become more active and start
discussing and sharing knowledge and resources. Well about me ....I am right now working from Bangalore.
Passed out my Enginering in 2006 from IIT and working in IT sector. Have keen interest in investment and
equity research kinda stuff. so ppl come together and lets have some active group.

Resources I am having :

1) Schweser study material in pdf form .. all 6 books for 2007 exam.

2) Financial Accounting book in pdf form for CFA references [ I don't remember the author name right now]

3) Investment analysis and portfolio management [ kelly etc. ]

4) Microeconomics and Macroeconomics [ ICFAI Books for thr MS (finance) degree ]

5) more books which i have collected but haven't started reading.

for the time being...I am going through financial accounting books.

Hope to see more ppl coming together soon.


Totally false .Let me clear a few misconceptions .CFA is not geared towards Equity Research but towards
Investment Management that is why in Level 3 80% of the portion is portfolio management.Equity research
can be a subset of Investment Management when you are working in buy side firms like Asset Management
corporations,Hedge Funds etc or in the sell side like an Investment Bank.
The ultimate aim of a person working for a CFA would be to become a Fund Manager however such
opportunities are limited in India and hence ppl feel that a CFA only gets you into equity research.
Abroad where the market is much more diverse and has a lot more depth a CFA is useful a a variety of
different functions .
In any case Finance is far too big for an one certification to do everything.
THe CFA focuses on Investment Management,FRM on Risk Management ,CIAI on Alternative Investments
(the kind of assets Hedge funds usually deal in) .In short finance is far to big to be covered by one program.

However the greatest appeal for the CFA lies in it's brand value due to the fact that it is in the market for
such a long time it is easier for the market players to evaluate someone with a qualification that they know
and recognize than with some which they do not.
I'm back. I'm gonna start preparing for L1 December 2007 this week....and this time, i better crack it! Last
year was disastrous, and this time I'm gonna learn from my mistakes and get it right. Will record my
experiences here as often as i can.

My Resolutions:

1. I will study consistently and regularly, never not-studying for more than 2 days in a row.

2. I will "STUDY" and not merely "READ".
Read = casually flipping thru the pages, without bothering to put pen to paper or taking notes. Going thru
solved sums rather than solving them myself.
Study = sit down seriously with pen, paper and calci, solve sums, take notes and work systematically without

3. I will not wait for study groups to form and coordinate my schedule with others. If like-minded sincere ppl
come along, well n good, if they don't, i'll do my own thing.

4. I will not let any self-pity come in the way.

5. I will make up for every lost day of study with equal number of hours of study the following day.

6. I will not use "heavy workload" as an excuse to not study.

7. I will mercilessly and ruthlessly cut down on all useless fringe activities such as casual phone calls,
chatting, hanging at street corners, pointless outings, watching every damn movie in town, endless
downloading of crap from the net, and other unmentionables.

8. I will set realistic targets and hold myself accountable for achieving them on a daily basis.

9. I will be shameless in asking for help and support from people. Will not let ego issues come in the way.

10. I will not be miserly in spending on books, CDs etc. I will not waste my time hunting for study material,
xeroxes, and what not for dirt cheap prices.

11. I will use my holidays effectively, putting in at about 3-4 hours of study on holidays and at least 8 hours
of study every weekend .

12. I will maintain this enthusiasm throughout the study period. I will not let it fizzle out within a few weeks.

13. I will stick to my resolutions and treat the above list as non-negotiable and read-only. I will not be a
spineless weasel and secretly logon and edit the list to suit my conveniences at a later point.

Done. Sorry for spamming, guys. Im starting preparations for L1D07 this week and intend to use this post as
my reference point. If anyone wants to join hands in preparing together absolutely consistently and
sincerely, we can think about doing a group meeting once in a while. Im looking for guidance on the FSA
part, and im sure i can guide ppl on the quants part. Wat say? Wish me luck! CFA L-1 ACT II


i have just completed reading book4(porfolio mgmnt).. i started with it.. next i will do fsa, eco, derivatives &
fixed income and last ethics & quant..

Hey CTD!
the major reason why i'm taking L1 on June 3 is because of ur insights on this thread, so thanks a lot for

now about FRM Vs CFA. as someone who did lots of research on them, i can vouch that these two are very
different courses with different perspectives.
You would beaware of the fact that Fin is a VERY broad are. WHEN SOMEONE SAYS ,"I like finance", that's
one of the most generic statements s/he can make. So CFA is one thing, and PRM/FRM is another.

take CFA if you're interested to become a fin analyst in watever area you want. that's what it is for. makes
you competitive AND gives you a "thappa" you passed it means you're good

Take FRM/PRM if you specifically want to go into Fin Risk Mgmt. that's a NICHE area. it has its own plus
points, whichyou would obviously have gathered from the thread. The thappa factor also plays an imp role
here, and job prospects are good, thopugh in some sectpors only.

and dude, if you are looking from a long term perspective, CFA is THE thing to do today. So don't wonder if
you did the right thing or not. Beleive me, I trust you

Leo_rulz, You're right. You dont get the CFA material for free along with your registration of $ have
to buy it separately.

Big dady (i neve thought i'd ever be starting a sentence with those words      ), some people without finance
background have passed the L1 with just the schweser material while some have not. There is no clear
consensus on whether schweser is definitely sufficient or not. I personally did not find it sufficient and had to
refer here n there a lot.

Doing L1 along with MBA-I is a very challenging task. I dont mean to discourage you, but MBA is known to
be a hectic course in itself. Also, your first year mba will be a genaral overview of all subjects even if you've
chosen to major in finance. So essentially, you'lll be doing two distinct courses simultaneously with very little
overlap. it is difficult, but possible. Personally, i would suggest to concentrate on one and get that right, coz
low grades in MBA might affect your final placement. At the time of placement, companies look for potential
rather than knowledge...and in india, unfortunately, low grades translates to low potential...knowledge
(read: CFA) comes later. Not to forget that if you have a trimester system, your MBA quizzes might overlap
or cut very close to your CFA exam in december and you might have to choose one over the other. you only
get one chance to do an it right.

$dreams, i remember mentioning in one of my very early posts that low-cost indian editions of many of
those prescribed books are available in bookstores. I myself bought a coupla them. Im sure any college-level
bookseller in delhi must be stocking these books. Find out where MBA students in delhi purchase their
textbooks from and check out those bookstores. these days a lot of those books are floating around as free
ebooks on the net...see if you can find any at 5GB of free space to upload and share your files, photos,
videos and music -

PS: guys, Google has pulled down the webpage on which all that free CFA schweser material and videos were
available. Fortunately, i managed to download about 3 GB of data from that site before it went down.

I wish my posts had the same inspiring effect on myself as they do on others!!

Here's the first in a series of regular posts that i intend to make regarding my studies in the coming weeks
and months. The intention is not to show off     , but just to keep a check on myself and to keep
communication open with other members of the thread and discuss the topics that i list out below (PS: if any
of you guys feel im posting irrelevant personal stuff that you dont find useful, please let me know).

Day 1
Wiped the dust off my old books last night and flagged off my studies with the area im most comfortable in:
Quant. Started with Probability (LOS No. 9) and learnt the following concepts from Schweser's Book No. 1:

Topics Covered

     1.   Continuous/discrete variables, Continuous/discrete functions, probability
          density function, cumulative distribution, expected values, etc.
     2.   Discrete uniform random variable, Continuous Uniform random variable
     3.   Binomial variables, binomial distribution, binomial probability function
     4.   Normal distribution, its properties, finding area under normal curves
     5.   Roy's safety first principle
    6. Monte Carlo Simulation, Historical distribution (or simulation? cant
       remember!     )

Overall, a very productive first day. Stuck to almost all resolutions. Can't comment on the big picture as yet
coz the main topics (Read: FSA, GIPS, etc.) are yet to come.

Weak points

    1. I still cant use the financial calculator properly. Need to work on that.
    2. Need to get out of the comfort zone of quant and familiar topics and take
       the biggies (Read: FSA, GIPS, Ethics, etc.) head on early in my prep.
    3. Need to develop a long-term plan and time table for all topics.

Next Steps

    1. Make neat summarized notes of all that i've studied so far.
    2. Start next topic: Time value of money, stats, etc.

Comments are most welcome.

aimr cfa india

I blog at
I follow


CFA in itself will NEVER help (in terms of job) any individual unless he/she has previous
industry exposure either in finance or other sectors (automobiles, aviation, fmcg etc)

Most People think that everyone who goes into an I-bank does equity research, Derivative
hedger, Risk management, trading strategist etc. This is hugely wrong. Actual real time big
shot stuff are done by most Quant Phds and its becoming increasingly the case which is
why a lot of the people (including from India) do a lot of tertiary education in the US
(including a second MBA). There are even I-bankers who were past entrepreneurs in 3+
fields and hence have a lot of depth in those areas which they effectively use to allocate

and Everyone who wants to get into finance - if you think you can get bored to death and
still do this stuff or you have no idea about what you are doing as of yet and you are
above 25, then please re-evaluate what you want and where you want to be in 5-10 years.
set up benchmarks for yourself and try and understand the financial procedures from
Warren Buffet started at 16 and he regularly tells people that Finance is about other
functions of management too-something that today's financial managers don't seem to
understand. He succeeded because he believes in Big Picture investing. There are people in
this forum who have absolutely no idea about businesses but want to take up finance as a
major? seriously how does that work? I am still unable to figure out. Warren Buffet at 80
"tap dances to work" because he believed in doing what he does everyday as part of fun
and he preaches the same to everyone.

Be prepared to slog your beep beep off and read a million books and bring them to
practice if you are serious about this which ultimately tests if you really love business as a
science and finance as an art or not. That and a billion other little things ofcourse

Bottomline-Do this because you love it and if you do then please benchmark yourself, start
reading about business a lot along with finance stuff and get a 10 year plan ready.
Ppl only see the sweet side of Finance...U should know the Golden Principle in Finance.... "
Higher the risk , higher the return" and " Higher the RETURN, higher the RISK "

One of my Prof's friend , a CA CFA , had a cult job in Bank of America , South Asia , had a
handsome salary + perks of half a crore per annum. His all friends used to be jealous of
But not now....! In this recession , he lost his job and had to sit at home for a year....!

This field is double edged sword....! Those who are active in Share Market know it
perfectly.... For all aspirants I tell one thing, try your hands in markets....U will come to
know whether this is ur true calling or not....

Now coming to CFA degree....
Legendary Investor, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala once said, I wasted my 4 years doing
As when he entered the market, he came to know all that bookish gyaan is nothing but a
crap....! At that time CFA wasnt popular in India, otherwise he would hv said the same for
CFA....     title="Monsieur Green" class=inlineimg>

Now let me give example of Historical Returns from NYSE from last 15 years....

The Mutual funds in US (handled by so called Professionals like CFAs, MBAs) have actually underperformed
the index funds (those comprise of all the securities in the index in same proportion like Sensex fund in
India, where no professional brain is required for fund management as its just a mechanical job of

This is perfect example of failure of So Called Professionals...!!!

Now I am myself givin CFA L2 this june...So I must back the degree also..    title="Monsieur Green"

Education is never wasted....For a person who doesnt know anything in Finance will certainly get a bucket
full of knowledge doing it...and in fact CFA L 3 is a very tough nut to crack...!
But dont link it to packages.... All the legends we see in the world have become the legends because they
had PASSION for the field....

Love ur education like ur mother, dont value it in terms of money....!   title="Monsieur Green"
Getting a Invt Banking job is a matter of luck also....Just clearing L 2 may not help.... But
CFA L 3 will enhance the chances considerably...
Getting an Invt Banking Job is a function of Education AND EXPERIENCE....
So I would advice u to work in a Small Firm may be Brokerage Co. and gain experience in
Corporate Finance, Equity Research etc.... Plz dont look for Salary here...It may be less....(
I would rather sugeest no one in finance field should look for When I did my CA
Interns in a Brokerage Firm...All Employees used to earn 2X of their salaries just through

And after 3-4 years...U can certainly look forward to Investment Banking.....

The major flaw of these huge invt banks is they dont let u trade in ur personal account on
their tips...They may give u a 25 L P.A. package but then u may not build ur portfolio and
become a much more rich person... :( A major flaw that was told by my boss.....!
Investment Banking is a broad area. There are a variety of roles one can get into an
Investment Bank.
Many people are misguided by the fact that CFA (generally L1) and all solely will help them
which as already discussed is a myth. Just imagine 45% of the people who appear clear
So would it be that great an achievement?

Your selection in I banks depends on the profile which you possess. For example relevant
work x, your achievement in exams of competence like National Olympiads, NTSE etc,
your academic qualification, academic achievements and academic background (the
college from which you are).

Now talking about entry level in I banks as I said there are variety of roles and the one
which is core investment banking is known as IBD (Mergers and Acquisitions Advisory).
This is the toughest to get and one needs to be from the Top 3 IIMs (sometimes even Top
3 is not enough) apart from having a good profile. For other roles like Equity research,
Asset Management I banks do take students from other b schools. I only talked about
entry level, For people with relevant work x and other credentials they can get a good role
despite not being from the Top 3 IIMs.

Having said that, how CFA helps is it shows the recruiter that you are interested in Finance
and would answer atleast the basic finance questions in the interview provided you are
given a chance to be interviewed.

So if you have interest in finance you can certainly you can go ahead for CFA L1, but do
not rely on it to get entry into I banks.
The ones you have named are Indian commercial banks and not I banks

and barring Kotak, ICICI and HDFCother commercial banks are not that active in M&A or
equity underwriting space

Among the dominant players are
Motilal Oswal
Anand Rathi group
Angel Brokers
Enam securities
Bonanza Portfolio Limited (Bonanza Corporate Solutions)
India bulls
India Infoline

to name a few
At last the US CFA is gaining the frontfoot here, June 2010 CFA exams are going to be held
in all major Indian Cities.

It is a safeguard for many aspirants/students/professionals as they hardly knew the
difference between the ICFAI CFA and the International CFA in initial stages, that was a
pure case of brand theft by ICFAI. ICFAI is going to get final nail in the coffin.

ICFAI CFA anyday cannot be compared with its international counterpart, even not in worst
of nightmares.
As India is gaining momentum in becoming one of the favorable global destinations,
international CFA is a safe bait. The cost comes around 3.75 Lakhs even if you fail each
exam once(considering the average brains here).

As for PO work ex + International CFA, some people need to be the torchbearer, the HR
rule books need to be re-written. Indian banking industry is rising, there are scopes of an
international CFA degree in treasury operations, derivatives model, hedging instruments,
G-Secs and bonds, Fund management etc. Just let 2012 come and see India venturing into
IFRS and GAAP, then we shall see who stands where.

Thanks to Indian Judicial system for supporting the Original Brand which is since 1959,
internationally, but they are way too late in deciding one single case, which is amply clear,
but i guess this is India and corruption is paramount here.

I had to enter into job straight after my grads BBA Finance in equity research, i could not
pursue MBA due to high cost career option, later on i decided to pursue international CFA
which could have best defined my job and career aspirations, but could n't pursue due to
the fact that International CFA exam was not held in India or there were limited seats for
either Mumbai or Delhi, i enrolled for CIMA and now in stage III.
India needs to revolutionize its education policy. Why wouldn't the corporates consider
CIMA/International CFA/CPA at par with MBA finance or others, when the country is in high
growth phase primarily due to opening up of economy or globalization.

We genext need to be the torchbearers to reform the Indian HR system.

Originally Posted by      finmark
Dude becoming a CFA in itself is a very big achievement. know of a lot of guys from my elder
bro's college (IIM-I, batch of 2007) who werent able to clear CFA L-1 then.
if you're able to clear CFA you will already be holding a good amount of
knowledge..equivalent to MBA fin of IIM-ABC...
dont think that CFA is very easy to clear...

and yeah after clearing CFA in might not get into I-banks immediately..but sooner
or later it would happen (depending on u)..
Very true.


Originally Posted by      zener diode
by going through the previous posts I have formed an idea that CFA is mainly for those who
are gunning Investment banks which is only possible if one combines with IIM ABC , again I
banks needs stellar acads , so can CFA help any simple graduate with not so stellar acds
interested in finance ?
Not correct, Do CFA L-1, L-2, L-3 and then apply to places. Sooner or later you will get the
position you want. Also look at stuff like FRM.

What helps? A degree in Financial Engineering Helps, VBA Finance Engineering helps.

About stellar and non-stellar, iim-a-b-c or not. It all depends on the fact that are you
looking at all of this in terms of education or not?
CFA and FRM give you more knowledge then a MBA in Finance does in terms of pure
finance intelligence. Welcome to the Open Market. If you have knowledge and you know
how to advertise it then buyers will be there for you. Don't worry about that, gain skills
and knowledge. that should be your primary motive.

Be practical and know how to show what knowledge you have. Just having knowledge
won't help anymore.
By the way, Do you just want to work for a company or do you think someday you will
have enough knowledge to bet your own money on the education and knowledge that you
have garnered over time?

The best or private equity investors have to invest a lot of their personal money to get into
private equity. If you are really good in Financial Investment, and increasingly so in the
new era, you will not work for a big corporation but will work for a small firm or your own
private equity firm. Why? Financial Remuneration (salary-benefits) is about 25:1 for the
best investment analysts in favour of private equity vs the big banks.


Originally Posted by      nishantvdo
sorry if i sound naive...but can CFA be practically done alongwith an MBA??...i am interested
in finance...
It can practically be done if you want to do it and ofcourse it will require more dedication.
The trouble is most of the CFA based stuff willbe taught to you in the 2nd year so you can
only take the test in December (during your placements) at best or July after your
placements are done.

CFA charter is not an option for anyone looking into very serious investment finance, its a
necessary thing. The same holds true for FRM is you are a risk evaluator or risk investment
professional. I say this hoping the fact that its not just the job you want but the knowledge
and long-term growth prospects in mind.

Also, please oh Please don't do CFA/FRM stuff from anywhere else but from the CFA
International Institute and GARP International Institute. No other degree will have any
long term value.

Its not without reason that The Economist along with many other people and financial
critics call the International CFA as the Gold Standard in Investing Education.

The other easier/cheaper way out of a CFP is the CFP but remember that CFP is multi-
centric and not just Investment centric. CFP is also easier than CFA.

Also, To be honest, From what I have checked from the US finance Industry, It seems that
CFA holds way more respect than an MBA in the investment field because the reasons for
doing both are very different, although that is something which people don't realise.
it's a discussion thread from linkedin... I strongly suggest maintain profile on it. dunno
wetehr quoting from there on a public forum is ethical, anyways this is what impressed me
Do you guys do a CFA only for a "job".... then why do it? You gotta be the Disney of it and play with economic tools. Just have the passion for it....even as
others out there despise you, demean you or even ignore your work. It would hurt
you...but build your character....give you renewed vigour to take on the world.

I, myself, shouldn't be here and rather being involved in some pursuits of my own
passion. But wanted to share that while getting back from US to India....I struggled
from pillar to post for a job. Infact at one point, I wouldn't have bothered if they gave
me a watchman's job outside an investment bank....coz I knew once I step my shoes
into vigour and pace of learning would rise me through the ranks.

Though I have been slower in my learnings of finance as compared to some stalwarts
here...but my education was never with the pursuit of a job but with a pursuit of
learning and creating "WEALTH" and not "Money".

Well its you buy a give your money back to the
TATAs....unless you create your own car or beat the system by creating immense
wealth. So, bottom line humility and passion pays.

If you want to be an investor/speculator in the markets....they should run in your veins
and attempts should be made to learn the tools of it econometrics,
science, econophysics with the perspective of outwitting the masses. You got to love
finance like jughead loves burgers.

Just ruminate on the thoughts. Love the CFA or the MBA or the PhD of your life, coz
finance is nothing but life."
Well I got a touching PM, part of which "i respect ur views abt finance...but what if one has
certain responsibilities to fulfill then definitely he will talk abt job....."

I thought I might post it here as well.

Guys, when you're willing to struggle with a solid backup plan; just remember struggle
isn't really struggle when it's about the passion of your life.

I'll emphasize again about the importance of networking. There are several positions for
investment research which are never advertised... just filled through references.
Reference/recommendation is one of the most important thing in this career. These include
positions at all stages of career.

And the person who wrote the above quoted bold text, didnt write in mere enthusiasm, if
you are on linkedin can check his profile for his achievements.
Bharat Book Store
Shop No. 20, DDA Shopping Complex Ber Sarai,
Ph. No. 01126521718

For schweser notes....


can anyone tell me the procedure?
just visit CFA institute website click on enroll rest is self explanatory

can i make an online transfer or do i have to use a credit card only?
You can make payment using credit card (VISA or MASTER) thats most convenient (you
will have to pay 3.5% for internation payments)

do i have to send any paperwork to cfa institute ?
No paper work required ..entire process is paperless ..just make sure you notedown your
CFA account user is and passowrd . In November you will get your exam tickets online.
Just carry its print out and along with government issued I Card ..

now will they send me the study material...???

Yes you will get set of CFA books at your postal address ( so make sure you enter the right
postal address). Normally people get books within a week.

Folks, Here are a few do's/donts that you might want to consider.

1) Do not leave out anything from the curriculum. Please make sure you understand all the
2) Do not allot your study time based on the weightage. While FSA and Equity are the
biggies, do not overlook the smaller ones such as PM, AI etc .. they usually end being the
3) Pay utmost attention to the End of the Chapter problems in the CFAI texts... Give them
priority over any other guide or q-bank
4) Usually you would end up using the calculator for only about 40% of the questions or
may be even less. Usually people tend to pay a lot of attention to quantitative part and
ignore the more theoritcal ones (at least i was guilty of doing this). Do not make this
mistake, Porters five forces is as important as Gordon growth Model.
5) Before deciding on a calculator, keep in mind that the texas TI calculator uses the
normal notation while the HP BA II plus uses reverse polish.. So buy the HP one only if you
are comfortable with the the reverse polish notation.
6) Do not ignore ethics, its been officially declared that on an event of a borderline case,
Ethics is usually the decider.
7) Finally, keep atleast 10-15 days at the end for end-to-end practice. And more
importantly, sit and appear for a mock exam for the whole of 6 hours at a strech atleast
once. It will give you an idea of exam day experience.
i would like to ask you...did u get offer from XLRI..already thru??..if yes then no need for
CFA as you can pursue while doing MBA as rightly stated that CFA would enhance your
finance knowledge in depth....but if you dont have any converted b-school with you..then
you may look upon CFA...
as i said i m into your condtion and was in same dilemma as to have 3 work exp with no
finance ..then what should i do...have been searching for this answer for 1 month by
asking frens/blog/ well as started studying..i can share somthing which i got it from
different sources...
one concern of lot of guys is to get job after CFA in IB..would it be possible....??...if you
look upon current scenarios...blood bath in security market..job cuts in turmoil...even the existing analyst in IB have lost their job so
current scnearios is CFA can only have jobs in finance sector whereas MBA would
fetch you jobs anywhere you want...quite broad..having said that CFA is definitely much in
depth than any mba in finance course in b-school..even people after completing mba in fin
then go for CFA...but if you dont have mba can also get good jobs..i have couple
of fren..named 2-3 atleast..who got jobs in investment research even after CFA level
1....but it was only till last you might be knowing..2007 was the ever growing
equity market we i cant comment on current scearnios..what will happen....but if
i talk about neurtal conditions..then CFA has its own value ...cuz recruiter do
understand..that you have completed somthing worldclass finance course....until you have
reasonable undertanding in finance you cant thru with level 2 for sure....even guys who
completed CFA from ICFAI also got awesome jobs in i m yet hopefull....but
praying to current blood bath to be over soon....
it is a risk..but according to risk-return tradoff theory in CFA books... ..until you opt for
high risk how would you expect the high return..but obviously with care....
Blogs to read
aimr cfa india

I blog at
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Good Luck Fellas.

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