CFA, an acronym for Chartered Financial Analyst is an investment designation given to those who have passed the CFA exam, offered by the CFA Institute. It is a globally recognized degree that is considered to be one of the most reputed for all the finance and investment professionals. CFA Institute, a not-for-profit organization is an American-based professional entity that aims at providing financial education to all investment professionals worldwide. The CFA program is a three-level exam structure where candidates are tested for their financial analysis, money management, and accounting skills. Talking about the CFA level 1 course in specific, it focuses on the knowledge of investment skills along with professional and ethical standards.
The CFA designation is one of the most sought-after professional credentials globally that is valued across different countries. Candidates from the finance and investment backgrounds are ideal for this course. However, this degree is not for the fainthearted and uninterested candidates. To be able to qualify and pass all the levels of the CFA exam, extensive knowledge, patience, and diligence are prerequisites. The lack of any of these can impact your journey to becoming a CFA Chartholder. The CFA is a self-study program that demands the students to appear for a yearly exam while fulfilling the candidature requirements. There’s no need to attend regular classes or sessions as such. The complete curriculum information and study resources are available on the official CFA website that can be accessed by all the applicants.
Eligibility, Syllabus & Career Options: An overview
Before we discuss the importance of CFA level 1 preparation classes, it is important to know the basic requirements and career prospects after completing this program. Since it is a widely recognized post-graduate designation, CFA Chartholders have huge demand in the finance and investment industry. Professionals with a CFA designation are the most valued ones in the industry and are offered excellent packages. While appearing for the three levels of the CFA program, the candidate is expected to master a broad range of portfolio management and advanced analytical skills in the investment domain.
To appear for the CFA level 1 exam, the candidate must fulfill the following criteria:
- Must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in any stream.
- Must be able to take the exam in the English Language.
- Must have a valid international passport.
- Must have relevant work experience i.e. not less than 4 years while registering for the exam.
Note: Candidates in the final year of their graduation can also have them registered for the program.
The CFA level 1 course is divided into 10 broad topics that cover important subjects such as investment tools, portfolio management, professional and ethical standards, wealth planning, etc. You can find a complete list of topics and sub-topics included in the Level 1 curriculum on the CFA official website. Some of the common topics that you’ll be required to study for passing the level 1 exam are financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, derivatives, etc. All of these are intended to help the candidate develop specialized knowledge of finance and investment subjects.
Some of the most common job roles that a CFA chartholder can take are as follows:
- Risk managers: As the name suggests, the risk managers are responsible for anticipating any financial flaws and pitfalls that may impact the business’s success and growth.
- Financial advisors: A financial advisor is responsible for helping clients with investments, laws, and other financial decisions concerning a business entity.
- Research Analysts: An analyst is a professional who reviews the data and market conditions to predict future financial and investment strategies.
- Portfolio Managers: A portfolio manager is responsible for managing a group of researchers, analysts, funds, and clients to keep businesses relevant to market trends.
CFA Level 1 Preparation classes: How they are beneficial
Although the CFA level 1 course materials and resources are available on the official CFA website, they are not sufficient to prepare well for the exams. Most of these videos, e-books, and pdfs available are unorganized and can confuse the candidate. On the other hand, opting for CFA level 1 preparation classes offered by various online course providers is a viable choice. Registering for such courses can help in preparing for the level 1 exam in a methodical way under professional guidance.
A majority of these CFA level 1 course covers all the topics in-depth that are curated by experienced Chartholders. They prepare short videos that emphasize the key concepts in the most explanatory manner. You don’t have to struggle to find accurate and relevant study materials and resources. All of it is included in a single module comprising of animated short videos, practice questions, and mock tests to prepare you completely for the level 1 exam. Enrolling in online CFA level 1 preparation classes can help in easy visualization, processing, and retaining concepts better.