Candid comments by a 20-something advisor on the eve of the CFA exam suggests some firms may have hurt rather than helped the chances of some test-takers.
“I found it difficult, except for the last week or two (before the exam) to get time off and out of the office. The expectation was that I would be in the office all day and leaving earlier or coming later wasn’t seen as a good thing for my career even though I was taking the CFA which would enhance my reputation and the firm’s. I think it was because I am in a sales role.”
And yet the young advisor who spoke to WP Friday night hours before taking his CFA Level II exam was less than thrilled with the support, or lack thereof, that his firm provided to him as he prepared for this grueling test of investment knowledge and understanding.
In this advisor’s opinion the 300 hours taken to study for the CFA by the average candidate isn’t welcomed by many firms in the industry who view the designation as unnecessary, especially those whose primary role is of a sales nature.
That’s unfortunate given almost 160,000 people worldwide wrote a six-hour CFA exam Saturday including 13,333 Canadians, a 6 per cent increase over June 2014. With more than 123,000 CFA charterholders globally, it’s become the designation of choice in the wealth management industry.
“The CFA Program is incredibly well-regarded. It's known for its integrity, the difficulty of the exams, and its stature in the industry," said Jeff Spector, CFA, VP of Strategic Partnerships and Alliances, FactSet Research Systems. "Earning the charter is honestly my greatest educational accomplishment."