The Certified Financial Analyst (CFA®) certification is awarded to individuals who have successfully completed all three levels of the program and who have met a minimum number of years of professional experience in the financial industry.
The CFA program is a three-level examination that covers the rules of good conduct to be adopted in the professional environment while preserving both the best interests of the client and the integrity of the financial markets, quantitative finance, market finance, corporate finance and, more broadly, asset management, methods of valuing derivatives or cash products and the management of various market risks.
The first level covers all the topics in the curriculum, providing a very solid base of knowledge, a necessary springboard to level 2, which deals with the same chapters (Topics) but this time with a more technical approach aimed at providing candidates with the necessary tools to value traditional financial assets (stocks and bonds) but also derivatives, whose essential role in hedging is systematically highlighted throughout the extremely comprehensive CFA program.
Level 3 of the CFA takes an extremely practical approach to the concepts seen in levels 1 and 2, considering that the technique has been largely acquired, it is now time to know how to use it wisely in a professional setting.
A large part is therefore given to the PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT topic.
The cases produced on the day of the exam are practical cases whose advantage is that they are likely to be found in everyday professional activity.
When the CFA program develops a theoretical concept, it is to better understand its practical transposition in the professional context and everyone knows that financial tools and concepts are derived from mathematical assumptions and pre-suppositions which, even if sometimes debatable, justify their daily application.
How to value a derivative without taking into account the sacrosanct principle of the absence of arbitrage opportunities? How to value an option without having ever heard of the Black-Scholes model? How can you value a stock without knowing how to read a balance sheet or discount "theoretical" future earnings? And so on.
The cases (item sets) or multiple-choice questions are written and proposed by CFA charterholders, who have held or are holding top positions in the financial field.
Consequently, obtaining the prestigious certification is a guarantee of expertise in many areas of the financial industry.
Moreover, its international recognition makes you legitimate in any country of the world without having to justify a local diploma to exercise the majority of financial functions: equity manager, bond manager, investment manager in a fund or a venture capital company, back-office manager, compliance manager, trader, hedge fund analyst, credit analyst, risk management manager, economist... Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
There are four passing sessions per year for CFA level In 3 passing sessions per year for CFA level II and 2 passing sessions per year for CFA level 3.
There is a maximum of six attempts per level.
The CFA exams for each level are all computer-based and take place in dedicated centers according to the schedule below.