Notes on the CHA Designation | Joining the Program

Notes on the CHA Designation

I recently moved from academia to a start up hedge fund. It is interesting to see how many folks, like me, have come from diverse backgrounds to the industry. I'm sure this is good for hedge funds: we're bringing new ideas and attitudes to the table. But I'm also realizing that I'm at a a disadvantage sometimes because I'm not fully up to speed on many important aspects of finance relating to hedge funds.

Of course I've been reading books, magazines and blogs, and I find them very useful. But how can I know that I'm really getting the fundamental knowledge I need? I'm concerned, for instance, that my personal reading is directed by my own interests and the focus of the fund I work with. I'd like to be sure I have a broad exposure to the fundamentals. I don't want to be surprised later because of a gap in my knowledge.

My top reason for seeking the CHA designation is to be sure I know what the hedge fund industry thinks is important. This will help me be more effective at my fund. I expect that the designation may also help in the future.

I also considered the CFA. Clearly the CFA is prestigious, and more comprehensive than the CHA. But, for me, it is too heavyweight right now, and maybe more than I need. I need a "tactical" education about hedge funds.

I'll post more blog entries as I go forward with my preparation for
the exam.

- Tucker Balch

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