CFA

I am preparing to be a CFA level 1 candidate. Starting today I will be updating some posts based on my preparation for the exam. I will talk about other economic or finance news, ideas and investments but my focus would be on the CFA content.
I am using this blog to share my ideas and learnings from CFA material and to gain knowledge from fellow CFA applicants or from people who have already taken Level 1 exams and are or aren’t charter holders.

Please feel free to comment and share information.

I am just sharing my knowledge and understanding of the material and in no way am I guaranteeing that anyone who reads my posts is well prepared for the exam. Also, any recommendations I make are also not a sure shot way of passing the exam, everyone has different ways and methods of performing tasks. This is just a forum to come together and help each other learn.

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  1. This is a great idea.

    • Christian
    • August 10th, 2009

    This is a great idea finstu. I am also writing the CFA Level 1 exam in December, so we can get updates on one another. I got a jump start and started in late February, so needlesstosay I’m well on the study path…I figure I should have two months or straight-up practise exam study time…

    I’ll check back here soon!

    Take care,

    Christian

      • finstu
      • August 10th, 2009

      Christian,

      Thanks for the comment. That’s awesome that you are well ahead of most of us. Do you have any suggestions as to how to go about studying? What books or resources are you using?

      Thanks

      Karan

    • Christian
    • August 10th, 2009

    Thanks for the quick reply Karan.

    I’m using Scheweser notes 100% without cracking open the CFA books. I’m hoping just using their system that concentrates on the LOS will work out just fine. Luckily all of my finance major B.Comm. courses from the past has exposed me to a lot of this material, so nothing is terribly shocking…but still, it’s going to be one “fun” exam I’m sure. I have my CFP designation as well and I thought that was a tough exam…but these 3 levels I’m sure will smoke anything else I’ve done before…

    As far as studying goes, I’ve gone through the Schweser notes from front to back, making notes all along the way. Then I started the process all over again and am 80% done the second runthrough. Yes, this takes much, much longer…but reading it through the second time is WAY EASIER and you tend to retain it better. With each section or “book”, I’ve made detailed notes.

    So basically, when all is said and done…I’ll be studying my own personal notes…based off of the Schweser notes…

    I hope that makes sense…I see many different strategies people use…

    What is your strategy?

      • finstu
      • August 10th, 2009

      I’m using Schweser too. I’ve heard that CFA books are more in depth than Schweser. I havent registered for the exam yet but once I do I was thinking of using the books the institute provides/
      FOr now I’m using schweser and have prepared a day by day reading schedule on excel. I first started studying the first book but it got redundant and thought of breaking it down. I anticipate my preparation to be over by the end of october and the month of november would be just practice exams.
      If you are anywhere closer to the Washington DC area maybe we can take some practice tests together.

      Thanks

      Karan

      • finstu
      • August 10th, 2009

      Also, would you recommend any strategies? or on how to take notes?

      BEst

      KM

    • Christian
    • August 10th, 2009

    Yeah the CFA books are for sure more in depth, but the whole idea I suppose with Schweser or Allen Resources or whomever is that they try to “cut out the fat” and leave you with 100% meat.

    After I’m done the practice exams I’ll hop on to the CFA website and take that free mock exam and maybe even pay the $40 to take another one. The good part about those CFA mock exams is that is comes right from the horses mouth and thay say the mock exams have the same level of difficulty as the real exam.

    So where you are exactly now in the study path then?

    On strategies or taking notes recommendations…umm…as far as the exam goes I guess just pace yourself and be confident. Myself, I plan on leaving the Financial Reporting Section last since that is my weakest…I got the oter stuff nailed down pretty good…I want to get through those first. On note taking…not really. Everyone kind of comes up with their own style. I find for me repetition is the key. I go over many of the formulas every day to keep them fresh in my head….constant repetition. With that comes confidence and confidence is half the battle once you’re sitting in that chair in the exam hall!

    As for the practice tests together…sorry, I don’t live near DC. We’ll have to keep it on the net here! 🙂

      • finstu
      • August 10th, 2009

      As for now I am still on the first book but like I said I am breaking it down into different topics by the day to keep it interesting.

      You can also follow me on twitter if you’d like, just search for financeterp

      Best

      KM

      Ps: no worries on the spellings 🙂

    • Christian
    • August 10th, 2009

    btw…sorry…I don’t spell or grammar check here…hehe

    • Christian
    • August 10th, 2009

    Ah ok…well keep up the good work!

    You said, “That’s awesome that you are well ahead of most of us”. <– Are you a part of a CFA study group, or are some of your finance student pals taking the exam too?

      • finstu
      • August 10th, 2009

      Well, I’m not in a study group as such , I just met this guy once and we talked about how to go about certain topics , etc. But , i did see some people’s posts online mentioning their status on the preparation and that’s where I got the idea that a lot of us need more hard work.

    • Christian
    • August 10th, 2009

    Right on…well this should be fun…

    Keep in touch and I’ll do the same!

    • Christian
    • September 10th, 2009

    We need an update Karanon where you are at in the CFA studies.

    Myself, I have almost gone through the material twice now and made extra study notes along the way. I should be good to do a month and a half of practice exams before the big day. I originally wanted two months of practice exams but my CFA studying took a back seat these last few weeks…time to get back at er!

    • Andrey
    • October 9th, 2009

    I signed up for Dec Lev 1 exam in May, but have only covered about half of the material so far. There is no way I will be even 70% prepared by December. My decision is to attend the test anyway, but consider it as preparation before the next exam in June. Even if I passed the December test, the next 6 months would be unsufficient to prepare for Lev 2, so I think it won’t slow down my progress through CFA program if I take my time on Lev 1.

      • finstu
      • October 14th, 2009

      I think the key is to get the concepts right and practice the mock exams over and over again. My suggestion would be take the exam regardless, it won’t harm you 🙂

    • Christian
    • October 15th, 2009

    Finstu you’re back? Where have you been? Howz the studying going? Are you officially writing in December?

    I’m 3/4 the way through the financial analysis section for the second time, after which I’ll have gone through the whole cfa material twice. The on to one last review of all sections from my study notes then on to a month of practice exams…should be exciting!

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