Career prospects after CFA®

Becoming a CFA charterholder is not easy – and before you invest your time and money in pursuing this career path, it is natural to think of career opportunities that will be available to you. It is evident that there are two segments of aspirants for CFA and both have a different perspective on why they want to pursue the CFA dream. The first segment is a) working professionals and b) college students or graduates. The working professionals may be CAs, or finance professionals looking for a career change or a designation change in their organization. Some want another qualification added to their resume – and the list or reasons may go on.

For college students or graduates, the decision to pursue CFA may be to get an edge over other graduates and land a job with a better salary and organization as compared to other students just fresh out of college. The option to pursue CFA is also more attractive as it takes less time (3 years) to clear all three level as compared to other professional degrees in Finance. A qualified CFA charterholder will get job opportunities world over – as the qualification is accepted globally.

Job Titles for a CFA

What kind of roles are offered to CFAs? We have compiled a short list for you, however, there may be others which are not mentioned here. For example, CFA charterholders may become[1] entrepreneurs, teachers, forex analysts, financial writers or become business researchers.

CFAs may be considered for a job such as:

  • Portfolio Manager: The responsibilities of portfolio managers include doing extensive research work so that they can make investment decisions for funds under their control.
  • Research Analyst: The job description of a research analyst is to make in-depth reports on securities and assets for use within the company or a client.
  • High-Level Investment Executives: They work mostly with the clients – having an understanding of the client’s financial information, remuneration, taxes, and insurance – to advise their clients on further investments. In short, they implement financial plans for their clients.
  • Investment Banking Analyst: Their primary objective is to provide financial information from global investment data. They also give advice and recommendations to fund managers, stockbrokers, and stock market traders.
  • Corporate Financial Analyst: Keeping in mind an organization’s goals the financial analyst will provide insights for making investment decisions. They analyze stocks, bonds, income statements and budgets to forecast and gather information.
  • Investment Strategist: With the help of financial information, investment strategists prepare and develop investment offering lists for clients.
  • Personal Finance Executive: Individuals receive advice and insight from personal finance executives for making personal investments. They may handle portfolios of median net worth.
  • Freelance Investment Consultant: Independent consultants who advise individuals in the same capacity as personal finance executives. They do not work for organizations – instead build their client base.

There are a few other designations that CFA charterholders are likely to be eligible for in India and abroad.

Organizations that hire CFAs

Aspirants are mostly concerned about what kind of organization will hire them? These organizations are mostly in the investment sector. Some organizations that prefer CFA charterholders are as follows:

  • JP Morgan Chase
  • HSBC
  • Citigroup
  • Wells Fargo
  • Other investment/banking related organizations

It is important to mention here that a CFA course enables the degree holder to enter into the world of financial investments.

Average Salaries

With the investment market in India growing[2] there is a new scope of careers opportunities for CFA charterholders in India. The average salary of CFA at the entry level is 4 Lakh per annum going up to 12 Lakhs (with 8 years of experience) and 19 Lakhs (with 10 years of experience). In the US the average salary[3] at the entry level is $ 77,000- $ 97,000 going up to more than an average earnings of $100,000 annually. CFA charterholders may get a job in 30 countries around the world.

CFA Success Stories

There are CFA holders who command high profile positions in investment companies and otherwise (Government, own successful organizations), globally. There are others who work in the industry as investment consultants and handle portfolios worth millions of dollars. A CFA’s success depends on a lot of hard work, experience, and passion for the world of investment. To inspire your jouney, here are some famous personalities who are CFA charterholders:

  • Abby Joseph Cohen, Senior U.S. Investment Strategist at Goldman Sachs
  • Gary Brinson, Founder of Brinson Partners
  • Bill Gross, Co-Founder of PIMCO
  • Nikesh Arora, CEO Chairman, Palo Alto Network
  • Vikas Kohli, Founder, Fatlabs
  • Prem Wasta, Founder, Chairman, CEO, Fairfax Financial Holdings

These are some individuals who are CFA Charterholders and have done extremely well for themselves.

The CFA exams have three levels that need to be cleared before becoming a CFA charterholder. With the CFA Level 1 exams right around the corner, some important dates have been given by the CFA Institute. Be sure to go through them, even if you have registered. The Level I exams are going to be held on the 1st of December 2018. The exams are to be reviewed and graded between December 2018 to January 2019. Results will be declared in January 2019.

CFA exam dates

To be awarded the CFA Charterholder, aspirants must have 4 years of minimum work experience and have a university degree. However, students are eligible to start giving the CFA exams if they have ticked off the following criteria.

CFA enrollment requirement

The CFA exam is a paper-based exam and candidates may receive only a pass or a fail result – and not a percentage or grade. The Level, I CFA course, covers broad subjects such as financial reporting and analysis, asset valuation among others.

To know more about the process for enrollment, its qualifications, you may visit the CFA website[4].
To start preparing for your CFA exams, we invite you to join the course on CFA Level I on Learno by our star instructors Amit Parakh, CA, CFA; and Ankur Kulshrestha, CFA. This instructor-led course begins on 28th July 2018. To know more about the course and to register now click here!


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