Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): The Most Sought after Finance Certification

Tue Feb 2, 2021

CFA is a post graduate professional certification offered internationally by the American based CFA Institute. CFA Institute was established in 1947 and over the time, it has emerged as the benchmark qualification of the investment industry. It is one of the highest distinctions one can achieve in the field of finance. 

CFA allows you to gain analytical skills and expertise in quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting, investment analysis, and portfolio management. The industry insight and the practical exposure candidates get throughout their CFA study makes them unparalleled in the finance industry. Constant input from industry experts ensures that the curriculum remains relevant and prepares Charterholders to enter today’s market.

Before we go on to explore the benefits of being a CFA Charter, let’s just give a brief look at what is the eligibility criteria to enroll for the CFA program. A Candidate should have a combination of four years of full-time work experience and/or college/university education on the date of registering for the Level I exam. The dates of education and professional work experience cannot be overlapping. A final year undergraduate is also eligible for CFA L1 application.

Here are some of the benefits of getting a CFA Charter:

  1. Developed Analytical Abilities: CFA hones the analytical skills of a candidate and enables them to look beyond accounting numbers. The rigorous thinking required while clearing the CFA program sharpens one’s analytical abilities.
  2. Instant credibility and Industry Respect : Quoting Financial Times on the credibility of attaining a CFA: “Among the countless finance degrees around the world, the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification has become the gold standard." This shows how prestigious and valued it is!
  3. Investment Ideas : With CFA charter, coming up with innovative investment ideas is a cakewalk. The entire program trains you to manage and create wealth, hence, CFA Charterholders are also known as “Wealth Magnets”
  4. Networking Opportunities : On completion of the CFA program, candidates are given membership of the CFA Institute and thus get connected with a network of experienced finance enthusiasts. This gives an opportunity for escalated career growth and self-development.
  5. Worldwide Opportunities : A CFA Charterholder is recognized and in demand worldwide. Top investment firms value this knowledge base and give more preference to charter holders than other candidates from related fields. With impeccable analytical abilities, the entire world is a small global village and nothing is out of reach for a CFA Charterholder.
  6. Monetary Benefits : CFA charter and job values your charter will make your pay package more attractive.
Now let’s take a look at some of the Roles best suited to a CFA Charterholder:
  1. Portfolio Manager: A portfolio manager is a professional responsible for making investment decisions and carrying out investment activities on behalf of individuals or institutions.
  2. Equity Analyst: An equity analyst is responsible for picking out diamonds from coals. Fundamental analysis and company elevation are the core responsibilities for an equity analyst professional.
  3. Derivative Trader : A professional responsible for entering into derivative trades using technical tools and indicators is a derivative trader.
  4. Research Analyst : A person responsible for evaluating investment options and coming up with various investment proposals through thorough research and analysis.
The full range of job functions includes relationship management and wealth management, credit analysis, chief investment officer, trading, accounting and auditing, and financial planning. (Source:- CFA Institute Website)

That’s not it! Fortunately, we are living in a dynamic country where industry or technological changes pave way for new prospects every minute. Some of the unconventional profiles after CFA are Fintech, Financial writer, Forex analyst, Entrepreneur and Education line. 

Some of the firms hiring CFA Charterholders in India are : Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, D.E Shaw, Bank of America, RBS, SBI, UBS, RBI, Nomura, Deutsche, CITI group, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, KPMG, PWC, EY and Deloitte. 

If you’re still on the fence on the CFA designation, feel free to share your thoughts, current situation and career goals with us at info@finkore.com or +91 7042666890 – let’s see if we can help! You may also join our discussion forum to interact with CFA Level 1 Students ( Public Forum (finkore.com)) .

CFA Institute does not endorse, promote, or warrant the accuracy or quality of the products or services offered by FinKore. ” CFA® Charterholder, CFA® designation, CFA® charter” are trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

Jai Kalantri
A Nagpur-based financial writer, an avid reader and finance enthusiast.

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