CFA Certification | CFA Certifcate
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CFA certification is obtained in a multi-step process. First, a CFA candidate must take and pass Levels I, II, and III of the CFA examinations. Next, the Candidate must apply for CFA certification through the CFA institute. The process further continues because the candidate must maintain a high level of ethics and professionalism set by the CFA institute and monitored annually.
The Level I study program emphasizes tools and inputs and includes an introduction to asset valuation and portfolio management techniques. The Level II study program emphasizes asset valuation and includes applications of the tools and inputs (including economics, financial statement analysis, and quantitative methods) in asset valuation. The Level III study program emphasizes portfolio management and includes strategies for applying the tools, inputs, and asset valuation models in managing equity, fixed income, and derivative investments for individuals and institutions. All three exams are administered on paper on a single day; the Level I exam is administered twice a year (usually the first weekend of June and December). The Level II and III exams are administered once a year, usually the first weekend of June. Each exam consists of two three-hour sessions. Level I is multiple choice - all information required to answer the question is contained in the question. Level II is item set - a vignette followed by selected response questions. Level III consists of a session of short-answer questions and a session that is item set. The curriculum for the Chartered Financial Analyst Exam is based on a Candidate Body of Knowledge established by the CFA Institute. For exams in 2008 onwards candidates automatically receive the curriculum readings from CFA Institute when they register for the exam.
To gain CFA Certification, an individual must first pass a self-administered ethics examination and then apply for membership. The prospective member must have sponsorship from a regular member to apply. The CFA institute will then perform a background check on the applicant’s educational experience, work experience, and professional conduct. After all the material has been reviewed, the CFA Institute will issue the applicant the type of membership that best fits their background check. The three types of membership are regular, charterholder, and affiliate. The CFA member must then pay the required dues.
After becoming a CFA Charterholder, the CFA institute requires that members sign an affidavit annually. This verifies that the member has not deviated from the CFA ethics or standard code of conduct.
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