The Chartered Financial Analyst is one of the most reputed courses in the field of finance. It is offered by the CFA Institute in the USA and is recognised across the world as a professional finance qualification. This course mainly focuses on subjects relating to advanced investment analysis and consists of three main levels. After successfully completing all three levels and gaining 4 years of work experience, you will officially be known as a CFA charter holder and pursue your career as a financial analyst.
The Top 7 Benefits of Pursuing CFA
- Earn a Globally Recognised qualification
The Chartered Financial Analyst qualification is recognised across the world as one of the most valuable degrees in the field of finance. CFA currently has a global network of over 135,000 investment and finance professionals and is expected to grow at a rapid pace in the future. The CFA charter is awarded by the CFA Institute which is based out of the US and recognised in over 30 countries and territories. By successfully earning the CFA qualification, you can easily expand your career internationally and find opportunities in over 164 countries across Asia, Europe, and North America.
- The Learning Ecosystem by The CFA institute
The Learning Ecosystem is an interactive study tool that is made available to registered candidates. It features helpful tools such as a study planner, progress tracker, mock exams, flashcards as well as learning games to help you stay productive and consistent with your preparation. You have access to the platform as long as you are a registered candidate of CFA.
- CFA is considered a Gold Standard in Finance and Investment
Among all the qualifications offered specifically for finance professionals, CFA is by far one of the most respectable and coveted courses you can pursue. A CFA charter holder is considered to be an expert in all aspects when it comes to the field of finance and is often indicative of the quality of work of a finance professional. After successfully completing CFA, the number of opportunities being made available to you will be endless.
- It gets you started in the field of Investment Banking
As a student planning to work in lucrative roles like investment baking or hedge fund management, the two most valuable courses to pursue after graduation are CFA and MBA in Finance. However, you will only be able to gain the maximum advantages of an MBA when done from one of the 10 colleges of the country, which can be quite a difficult process. The exam pattern is such that you can even appear for the Level 1 exam in your final year of graduation. As far as a career in finance is concerned, you can get started with either MBA or CFA.
- Exemption from Graduate Level Entrance Exams
Another big advantage of pursuing a globally recognised qualification is that you can claim exemptions! If you are a CFA, you are eligible to be eligible for waivers on coursework for professional certification courses such as Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA), Chartered Market Technicians (CMT) charter, Investment Management Certification (IMC) exams, Professional Risk Manager (PRM) designation. The official website of the CFA Institute has listed all the exemptions and waivers that can be claimed after completing each stage of CFA.
- The Return on Investment is Quite High
Excluding the training fees, the overall cost of pursuing CFA can be anywhere between INR 1.5 to 1.7 lakhs or USD 2100 to USD 2400. With training, the overall cost of completing CFA in India usually does not cross the INR 3 or 3.5 lakh mark for a period of 3 years. After successfully clearing all 3 levels of CFA, you can easily expect a starting salary of INR 7 to 8 lpa. So the amount you spend initially will be recovered by you within a year of working!
- Improve your job prospects
Even if you are already working as a finance professional, the CFA charter will only improve your future career prospects. After completion of each level of CFA, your level of compensation is expected to increase significantly. You also have a better chance of climbing the corporate ladder, especially if you already have some relevant experience in the field.
Job Profiles after CFA
If you have completed one or more levels of CFA or have completed all three levels and are officially a CFA charter holder, there are numerous job profiles that you can start working in. Moreover, you may also get the opportunity to work as a finance professional outside India if your skills and resume are strong enough!
1. Investment Banker
For many students, the main reason behind pursuing CFA is to get into the field of investment banking. The primary job role of an Investment Banker is to manage the investments of a company and raise money for them. They look after the investment portfolio of their organisation and, based on their valuation results, offer recommendations for private equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and product offerings.
2. Portfolio Manager
A Portfolio Manager is someone who manages the existing assets and investment strategies of a company. Such professionals are required to manage their client’s portfolio based on how much risk their client is able and willing to take and how much they can invest for the short term or long term.
3. Financial Advisory
Working as a Financial Advisor mainly involves gathering data from the financial statements of an organisation and analysing this data to help them make better financial decisions in the future. They offer forecasts and suggestions regarding the next steps that an organisation should take when it comes to managing its finances.
4. Risk Manager
A risk manager is a professional who analyses the amount of risk faced by an organisation and suggests ways to reduce that risk. They also help determine the potential loss that may be incurred by the organisation as a result of that risk. A risk manager also manages the liability programs and directly operates the risk management program of a company. You can also pursue risk management after completing FRM, but the salary to be expected will increase drastically after CFA.
4. Hedge Funds Manager
Hedge funds are investment partnerships where funds pooled funds are managed using aggressive investment strategies in order to earn higher returns. A professional who manages these funds is known as a Hedge Fund Manager. Such professionals make investment decisions on behalf of High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNWI) and attempt to improve the performance of their existing investments.
The Chartered Financial Analyst is a globally recognised qualification in the field of finance and investment. If you are looking to step into a career in finance, pursuing CFA will definitely help you along the way. If you have recently completed your graduation or are appearing for your final semester, you may be eligible to become a CFA. Interested? We highly recommend checking out our Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course.
Can I pursue CFA after FRM?
Yes, you can. Since the eligibility for FRM is 12th grade, most students usually start pursuing FRM early in their careers. A combination of FRM and CFA will only strengthen your resume as qualified finance professional.
When should I start studying for CFA level 1?
If you have made a concrete decision to pursue CFA after completing your 12th grade, ideally you should start preparing for your Level 1 exam at least by your second year of college. This not only keeps you in a consistent routine of studying but also helps you prepare better for the exam.
Can I pursue CFA after graduating with a Science background?
Yes, you can! A lesser-known fact about CFA is that a graduate from any of the three fields i.e Commerce, Science, or Arts, can pursue CFA.