A Brief Introduction to CFA®

People harboring the ambition of working in the finance industry would have heard of the CFA® Program. In this article, we will examine what the CFA® Program entails. We will explore in detail what this course is about, who is eligible and why one should pursue the CFA® Program.

What is CFA® Program?

Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) Program is a professional credential for finance professionals. The CFA® Program is run by CFA® Institute, a global association of investment professionals. It is a non-profit organization that sets the standard for professional excellence in the finance industry

CFA® Program is among the most respected and recognized investment management designations in the world. It is a tough program with a success rate of less than 20%, i.e., less than 20% candidates who enroll for the CFA® Program end up receiving the CFA® charter (But this CFA® course can help you crack the exam).

The CFA® Program covers a range financial topics that are needed to succeed in the financial industry. The program consists of three exams of progressive difficulty levels. CFA® Level I, Level II and Level III. The focus topic for CFA® level I exam is investment tools, CFA® level II exam is asset valuation, and CFA® level III exam is portfolio management. CFA® Program also puts a significant emphasis on ethics, and it is an integral part of the program.

Who is eligible for the course?

There are several hurdles on your way to becoming a CFA® charter holder. The criteria and pre-requisites for each level are listed below as prescribed by CFA® Institute (https://www.cfainstitute.org)

CFA® Level 1

  • A valid passport
  • Undergraduate Education: You must be an undergraduate or in the final year of your undergraduate course to appear for CFA® level 1 exam.
    have four years of full-time professional work experience
    have four years of professional work experience (full-time) and education in combination before enrollment for the course
  • As the test is only available in English, you must have basic proficiency in the language

CFA® Level 2

  • Passing grade on CFA® Level I exam
  • Must have obtained an undergraduate degree

CFA® Level 3

  • Passing grade on CFA® Level II exam

CFA® Charter

  • Passing grade on CFA® Level III exam
  • Four years of professional work experience in the financial industry
  • The experience can be accrued before, during, or after participation in the CFA® Program

It should be noted that clearing CFA® level 3 does not automatically make you a CFA® charter holder. You must fulfill the CFA® charter criteria mentioned above and then join CFA® Institute as a regular member to become a CFA® charter holder.

Why CFA®

An edge to get into the financial industry

While there are several aspirants trying to get into the financial sector, there are not enough opportunities. CFA® credential helps you break through the clutter of resumes and increases your chances of landing an interview with the top employers.

Cost Advantage

The CFA® Program helps you acquire current industry-standard financial education at a fraction of the cost of an MBA. CFA® costs around INR 2 Lakhs and, in comparison, an MBA costs upwards of INR 15 Lakhs

Global Networking and Recognition

Earning CFA® connects you with the network of 135,000 CFA® charter holders worldwide. This network can be invaluably helpful in advancing your career. Also, as CFA® is well-recognized world over, it can help you land a job outside India.


Compensation is usually dependent on a myriad of factors like work experience, college attended by the candidate, companies hiring, geographical location, etc. In India, Payscale.com reports the following average salaries based on years of experience.

cfa introduction

Top Employers choose CFA® charterholders

Global employers of CFA® charterholders include almost all leading financial institutions in the world. Following are some of the major employers:

Revved up to start your CFA® journey?

To help you get started, we have roped in leading expert in CFA® preparation, Mr. Amit Parakh, for a webinar. Mr. Amit Parakh is a CFA® FRM ACA and has 20 years of experience in mentoring thousands of students in their CFA® journey and more importantly acquiring knowledge of Financial Management.
Do join us on July 12, 2018, at 2:00 PM for the webinar on “How should you start preparing for CFA®?”.

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