CFA Study Materials

CFA Study Materials

CFA Exam Study Material & Resources

CFA Study Materials, CFA Materials, CFA MaterialI sometimes get emails asking questions regarding CFA material options, what to use to study and what type of exam prep process might be best to take. I have not earn the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Designation but thousands of people have. Here is some advice straight from someone who has passed all 3 levels of the CFA exam and their advice on what CFA exam materials might be best to use.

Study materials to prepare for the CFA exam can include the books provided by CFA Institute when a candidate registers for the exam, resources from Kaplan Financial's Schweser, Stalla and other less popular ones like 7city. I had mostly used the material by Schweser for all the 3 levels along with the materials provided by the CFA Institute.
Every candidate I know used either of these two, with most of them using Schweser. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute provided material is quite comprehensive and covers the topics with more explanation than Schweser. Nonetheless, Schweser does cover all the topics well, as has been my experience for the 3 levels of the CFA exam program.

If the candidate feels he can put in the time to cover the material from the CFA Institute factoring in two thorough readings (one pass on the readings probably won't be sufficient to remember everything), then that should be the 1st choice. However, given a rationing of time, Schweser should be the next best choice. Since I don't know anyone who has used Stalla, I don't have a comment on it, but suffice it to say that one of those discussed above should serve the purpose quite well.

A recent poll showed that individuals used study materials in the follow percentage amounts:
  • CFA Institute provided - 8 votes (50%)
  • Schweser - 7 votes (43%)
  • Stalla - 1 vote (6%)
  • Other - 0 votes (0%).
- CFA Guest Blogger

Read dozens of additional articles related to Hedge Fund Jobs by visiting the Hedge Fund Employment Guide.

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Hedge Fund Survey

Hedge Fund Survey

Hedge Fund Investor Survey

Hedge Fund Survey, Hedge Fund Investment Survey, Hedge Fund Investor SurveyA recent survey of hedge fund investors showed that many of them, over 50% are satisfied with their alternative investment or hedge fund investments right now. Only 30% of this same group were satisfied with their stock and bond investments.

I thought this would be interesting to post here and important because it cuts through the bias placed upon the reporting on hedge fund blow ups, billion dollar take downs and locks ups that we have seen a lot of in the mainstream news outlets.

Here is an excerpt from another blog posts on this subject:
The survey, of 400 clients with $3 million or more in investible assets, found that more than half of those with hedge-fund investments were “satisfied” with the funds’ performance.

That compares with an approval rating of just 30% for traditional investments such as stocks and bonds. Other alternatives also fared better than stocks and bonds: a 41% approval rating for venture capital, 41% for real-estate, and 35% for private equity.

What gives? Haven’t hedge funds had one of the worst years in history?

According to Hedge Fund Research, the hedge-fund industry was down 3.2% for the month through July 24. That’s the worst July performance since the research firm starting tracking the business in 1990, and the worst monthly performance since 2000.

Yet stocks have fared even worse. The S&P is down 16% for the year, and the Dow is down about the same. Hedge funds also offer a greater opportunity to play the downturn with distressed funds.

Source: WSJ Wealth Report

Special thanks to Rick at for alerting me to this survey.

- Richard

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Latin America Funds

Latin American Funds

Latin American Funds Remain Strong

Latin America Funds, Latin America Fund, Latin America Hedge Funds, Hedge Fund in Latin AmericaHere is a guest article by Naveen Kumar on hedge funds in Latin America and Brazil.

The HFN Latin American Average (LatAM) was launched in early 2007 and since then it’s exhibited tremendous growth. The benchmark has increased by almost 30%, blowing away every strategy specific HFN benchmark. Only the HFN benchmarks for Brazil, Middle East, North America, and China have outperformed the LatAM index.

This tremendous growth can be attributed to the large increase of investments in the region’s equity markets. To give you a sense of this, out of the 115 composite funds, 46 focus solely on equities. This is 24 more than in December of 2006. Many of the funds in LatAM focus solely on Brazil, a country whose own benchmark has risen 40%. Luckily funds invested in Brazil have been sheltered from the recent damage as a result of the weakened global prospects suffered by funds invested in India and China.

Total assets for funds invested in Latin America rose quickly in Q1 2008 to a little over $21 billion. This represents a nearly 30% rise in assets in this quarter alone. Rebounding from a slow period between 2004 and 2006, assets between 2007 and 2008 showed an increase of $14.5 billion. Most of this growth was due to new allocations and not simply performance gains.
One point of potential concern is that a rapid influx of capital to a country’s hedge funds is sometimes followed by a drop of in the country’s equity market. This happened in Russia, India, and China and resulted in a fall of assets. In the long term, however, growth prospects look to remain strong.

- Richard

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RAB Capital Plc | Hedge Fund Notes - 1 Page Guide

RAB Capital Plc

RAB Capital Plc - Hedge Fund Notes

RAB Capital Management Hedge FundThe following piece on RAB Capital Plc is being published as part of our daily effort to track hedge fund events in the industry. To review other hedge fund related announcements please see our Hedge Fund Tracker Tool.

Resource #1: (8.4.09) Hedge fund firm RAB Capital (RAB.L) said on Wednesday that clients had started putting money back into some of its funds helped by a recent upturn in performance, adding to signs the industry may be recovering.

The firm, some of whose funds have been hit by poor performance and illiquid markets during the credit crisis, posted a 32 percent drop in overall assets. However, it said it saw positive net flows into its single strategy funds in the second quarter and into July, excluding the effects of recent disposals.

"I think we feel cautiously optimistic. We're beginning to see some flows and they are continuing seemingly into the third quarter," chief executive Stephen Couttie told Reuters.

The inflows were in "tens of millions of dollars", he said. Allowing for small net redemptions from its fund of funds, flows across the group were broadly flat. more

Resource #2: (4.3.09) RAB Capital bought 2m shares in its own listed hedge fund on Wednesday, proclaiming it "good value" after the shares plunged 85 per cent last year, writes James Mackintosh .

The RAB Special Situations Company, listed on Aim, invests its assets into RAB's flagship Special Situations fund, which fared badly last year. source

Resource #3 (2.2.09) RAB Capital, the troubled London-based hedge fund, yesterday agreed to sell its Asian business as it tries to shore up its finances.

The fund manager, which on top of the general woes affecting the industry has made wrong calls including buying shares in now-nationalised lender Northern Rock, said it was selling the assets and business of its loss-making Northwest brand for £1m to its original owners, at a big book loss. As recently as last June, RAB valued Northwest at £20m. However, the sale will allow the fund manager to save between £3m and £4m in costs annually, and a spokesman said that after tax adjustments the writedown would be closer to £9m.

Northwest's assets under management, held in three funds, were approximately $300m at the end of December. On a pro-forma basis, the business and assets it is selling generated pretax profit of around £9m in 2007, but analysts believe Northwest may have slipped into the red last year.

RAB said it would continue to do business in Asia, where it also sells products, including those branded under the Pi Asia Fund. It also said the sale would not materially affect its trading position, though it does marginally improve its liquidity. "The cash consideration will be allocated to general working capital purposes," a spokesman said.source

Resource #4: (12.3.08) Artradis Fund Management Pte, RAB Capital Plc’s Northwest unit and Cannizaro (Hong Kong) Ltd. are cutting fees and locking up investors’ money for longer in new hedge funds that will buy bonds after prices fell in Asia.

Merrill Lynch & Co.’s prime brokerage unit has been approached by at least eight money managers about starting such funds in Asia to buy beaten-up fixed-income securities such as convertible bonds, said Eddie Guillemette, the firm’s regional co-head of global markets financing and services. Some of the hedge fund managers are offering to reduce management and performance-based fees by as much as 50 percent, he said. source

Resource #5
: (10.26.08) ONE of Britain’s best-known hedge funds, RAB Capital, has stopped investors cashing out of a second of its flagship funds. Investors in RAB’s Energy fund - which has lost more than 50% of its value this year - have been told they will not be able to liquidate their holdings.

Those who want to quit will be handed “redemption shares” instead of cash - a promise on behalf of the fund to pay back investors as and when it can sell out of enough stocks.

The fund, run by Gavin Wilson and Mark Redway, is entitled to do this under existing agreements with investors. Those who opt to stay in are being offered the chance to lock up their money for three years in exchange for a reduced management fee. The proposal is based on the deal offered to investors in RAB’s Special Situations fund, run by former chief executive Philip Richards.

Investors have until Friday to tell the firm whether they want to accept the Energy fund’s lockup deal or sign up for the special shares.

The fund, which was worth more than £1 billion at its peak, has been one of the biggest backers of oil and gas-exploration firms on London’s Alternative Investment Market.

It is understood that the fund has held informal discussions with a number of large oil companies interested in buying some of its holdings. The fund mostly holds large stakes in small companies - investments that have become almost impossible to trade in today’s volatile environment.

RAB Capital said: “The fund managers have exercised their right to make redemptions in specie in light of the difficult market conditions.” Source

Resource #6: RAB Capital has plugged at least one hole in its sinking flagship. Investors in the firm’s Special Situations fund voted to accepts a new three-year lockup, RAB said yesterday. Had they rejected the proposal, RAB would have been forced to hold a second vote on whether to liquidate the portfolio. The proposal, which includes fee reductions for investors, passed by a “considerable margin,” RAB said in a statement.

“We are grateful that investors in RAB Special Situations have given strong support for the restructuring proposal,” CEO Stephen Couttie said. “The three-year lock-up is the best way to secure value from their investments.”

The US$790 million fund—which managed US$2 billion at the end of last year—has been battered by investor redemptions and market volatility. The fund is down more than 50% year-to-date. Earlier this month, Philip Richards, who manages Special Situations, stepped down as RAB CEO to focus his attention on the plummeting fund. RAB also announced plans to spin off its Northwest Asian-focused hedge funds. The London-based firm will own 51% of the new entity, while its managers, George Philips and David Rogers, will own 49%. The six Northwest funds manage some US$630 million. Source

Resource #7: RAB Capital Plc said Chief Executive Officer Philip Richards will step down after almost seven years to ``focus exclusively'' on running RAB Special Situations, the hedge fund that has lost 38 percent of its value this year.

Richards, 48, who co-founded RAB in 1999, will be replaced by Stephen Couttie, 50, who has been chief operating officer of the London-based hedge-fund manager since July 2005, RAB said in a statement today.

Special Situations, the largest of RAB's funds with about $1.5 billion under management, has been hurt this year after it invested in Northern Rock Plc, a mortgage lender nationalized by the U.K. government, and small natural-resources companies. Richards will continue to run RAB's Global Mining and Resources Fund, which he started at the end of 2007.

``This is a sensible, and arguably overdue, clarification of roles at RAB and should be welcomed,'' Rae Maile, an analyst with JPMorgan Cazenove Ltd. in London, wrote in a note to clients. ``It obviously cannot address the concerns of the poor recent performance. The recent weakness of commodities doesn't inspire much confidence in an imminent revival.'' Read more...

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Financial Derivatives

Financial Derivatives

Financial Derivatives - Video Introduction

Here is a short video on financial derivatives. If you cannot view the video below click here to view it now.

Tired of reading articles? Watch more videos like this one above within the Hedge Fund Videos Directory.


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Hedge Fund Compliance

Hedge Fund Compliance

Hedge Fund Compliance Firms: This is one page of the directory focused on hedge fund compliance consultants and firms. As I develop relationships with additional professionals in this area I will be adding to this listing.

The ICS Compliance Asset Management / Broker-Dealer Group, comprised of highly experienced investment compliance consulting and senior industry professionals averaging more than 20 years of experience including backgrounds as Chief Compliance Officers and/or Federal Regulatory Examiners, provides clients with invaluable expertise, complex compliance solutions and insight. We deliver asset management consulting services to Investment Advisors, both registered and those seeking registration with either the Securities and Exchange Commission or their respective state(s), who provide advisory services to mutual funds, private funds, hedge funds, private capital funds, fund of funds, CLOs as well as Broker-Dealers.

During ICS Compliance’s 13-year history, we have developed a tailored approach and strong regulatory awareness, giving clients with the confidence that comes from hiring experts in compliance. To learn more about our services, please contact Gary Swiman, President of ICS Compliance Asset Management / Broker-Dealer Group at 267.670.1958 or, and visit us online at

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European Hedge Funds

European Hedge Funds

Guide to Hedge Funds in Europe

European Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds in EuropeHere is a short guide collection of articles on the hedge fund industry in Europe. I am always looking for more valuable online tools and resources to add to these geographical hedge fund guides. If you have a white paper or PowerPoint that I can include here please send me an email and I will post it for everyone's benefit.

European Hedge Fund Articles & Resources
  1. Good overall summary of hedge funds in Europe. While London and New York continue to be the main global hubs for the hedge fund industry Europe as a whole is growing quickly in terms of total managers operating within the geographical area
  2. Excellent recourse for everything relating to European Hedge Funds including European hedge fund indices, newsletters, databases, directories, events, reports and fund profiles
  3. Excellent, in depth, purchasable summary for European hedge fund industry. For those who need more information
  4. Here is an article about how hedge fund fraud less likely in Europe than in America
  5. Here is a list of the Top 50 European hedge funds
  6. Article called “The European Assault on Hedge Funds”
  7. Article on the crisis in the European hedge fund industry
  8. European hedge funds stay clear of the US - click here to read the article
  9. Great world overview of hedge funds
  10. New York Times article about the decline in fund openings
  11. European hedge fund regulation article
  12. High Growth reported for European hedge funds in 2008 - see article
  13. European alternative investment overview
  14. Article describing an interesting trend in the European industry
  15. “The Long and Short of Hedge Funds”
  16. Another closer look at the European hedge fund industry
  17. A Large job for Europe’s hedge funds”

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CFA vs. CAIA | What are the Differences? Which is Better?


CFA or CAIA - What is the Difference?

CFA vs. CAIA, CFA vs CAIA, Chartered Financial Analyst vs. Chartered Alternative Investment AnalystSince the Hedge Fund Group (HFG) launched the Certified Hedge Fund Professional (CHP) Designation, I often get emails about how it compares to other designations available to investment professionals.

For many months now though I have been getting far more emails asking about the main differences between the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Alternative InvestmePublish Postnt Analyst (CAIA) designations.

Here is brief answer to this question:

The CFA and CAIA designations have some similarities – they’re both for finance professionals and are earned through an exam series, but when you look at the curricula and the intention of each, the distinctions are pretty clear. The CFA Institute offers a comprehensive, in-depth educational program on traditional investments; the CAIA Association offers a comprehensive, in-depth educational program on alternative vehicles. The CAIA program is more dynamic, which is in line with the AI industry’s rapid development, whereas the CFA program is much more static, which is in line with their emphasis on the traditional fundamentals that have stayed fairly constant over time.

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Syndicated Bank Loans

Syndicated Bank Loans

Syndicated Bank Loans Video

Syndicated Bank Loans, Bank Loans, Syndicated Bank Loan ProductsIn an effort to explain more about the types of securities or investment types that hedge funds sometimes use in their portfolios I have recently published several videos. Here is another one describing syndicated bank loans. Many people do not know what these are and this video is a quick way to get a high level overview of what they are. If you cannot view the video below please click here to view it now.

Tired of reading articles? Watch more videos like this one above within the Hedge Fund Videos Directory.

- Richard

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Hedge Fund Recruiting

Hedge Fund Recruiting

Hedge Fund Recruiting - 3 Secret Handshakes

Hedge Fund Recruiting, Recruiting for Hedge Funds, Alternative Investment RecruitingWhen I first glance at your info, there are clues right off the bat that tip me to either keep reading or hit the "delete" key. You might call these "secret handshakes" because top recruiters and hiring managers know them but they're rarely discussed. Getting these right doesn't guarantee you the job. It's table stakes at the highest levels of competition. Here are 3 hallmarks of "A" players who know the "secret handshakes":

1. Be Concise. Great people at great companies are concise. They have to be because they're busy and their time is worth a lot of money. When I see resumes and emails with blathering I know the person just doesn't get it. Ditto with phone and in-person interviews. A failure to be concise makes you look insecure, inconsiderate, and weak. Cut to the chase.

2. Be Discrete. Great people keep confidences and err on the side of understatement. They avoid gossip and they avoid trashing people or organizations. When ethics demand whistleblowing, they handle it professionally. That means revealing the problem through the proper channels to the proper authorities with no "leaking" and no drama creation. Discrete people are balanced when revealing their own past mistakes - giving adequate disclosure without getting too personal or graphic.

3. Focus On Results, Not Activities. Great people are results-driven. They get excited talking about what they have gotten done. Great people know that preparation, planning, meetings, and process-mapping are meaningless by themselves. Nothing happens until something happens. If the resume details accomplishments and achievements then my interest grows. If a resume limps along with gems like "managed relationships with 200 broker-dealer offices in 4 states" and "oversaw department of 20 people", I start wondering whether you just like to run up the phone bill and sit on a pile of overhead.

If your resume suggests conciseness, discretion, and results-orientation then content begins to matter. Without these three things, it really doesn't matter that you went to Stanford or worked at Citadel. Resumes don't always give a clue to all three "secret handshakes" and that's okay. No news is good news. But if your resume shows these things, it's a leg up against the competition. Savvy recruiters gather info on these traits in the phone screen and the in-person interviews, so keep them in mind at all times. These 3 "secret handshakes" are key emotional intelligence competencies: they are common to almost all true "A" players.

- Guest Blogger Marc Goormastic of Goormastic Executive Search

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Top Banks in the US

Top Banks in the US

List of 30 Top Banks in America

I just found this list of the top 30 banks in America. I know it is slightly outdated but I get requests for lists of top us or global banks so I just wanted to throw this out there as a resource. Hope this helps, let me know if you have a better list to share with everyone.

Rank Name (city, state) Consolidated
1. Citigroup (New York, N.Y.) $2,199,848
2. Bank of America Corp. (Charlotte, N.C.) 1,743,478
3. J. P. Morgan Chase & Company (Columbus, Ohio) 1,642,862
4. Wachovia Corp. (Charlotte, N.C.) 808,575
5. Taunus Corp. (New York, N.Y.) 750,323
6. Wells Fargo & Company (San Fransisco, Calif.) 595,221
7. HSBC North America Inc. (Prospect Heights, Ill.) 493,010
8. U.S. Bancorp (Minneapolis, Minn.) 241,781
9. Bank of the New York Mellon Corp. (New York, N.Y.) 205,151
10. Suntrust, Inc. (Atlanta, Ga.) 178,986
11. Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (Providence, R.I.) 161,759
12. National City Bank (Cleveland, Ohio) 155,046
13. State Street Corp. (Boston, MA) 154,478
14. Capital One Financial Corp. (McLean, Va.) 150,608
15. Regions Financial Corp. (Birmingham, Ala.) 144,251
16. PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (Pittsburg, Pa.) 140,026
17. BB&T Corp. (Winston-Salem, N.C.) $136,417
18. TD Bank North, INC. (Portland, Maine) 118,171
19. Fifth Third Bankcorp (Cincinatti, Ohio) 111,396
20. Keycorp (Cleveland, Ohio) 101,596
21. Northern Trust Corp. (Chicago, Ill.) 77,480
22. Bancwest Corp. (Honolulu, Hawaii) 74,808
23. Harris Financial Corp. (Wilmington, Del.) 69,172
24. Comerica Incorporated (Dallas, Tex.) 67,167
25. M&T Bank Corp. (Buffalo, N.Y.) 66,085
26. Marshall & Ilsley Corp. (Milwaukee, Wis.) 63,432
27. BBVA USA Bancshares, Inc. (The Woodlands, Tex.) 59,953
28. Unionbancal Corporation (San Fransisco, Calif.) 57,933
29. Huntington Bancshares, Inc. (Columbus, Ohio) 55,985
30. Zions Bancorporation (Salt Lake City, Utah) 53,597

- Richard

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Islamic Funds

Islamic Funds

Islamic Investment Funds

Here is an interesting video on Islamic Funds and private banking services. This video is based on a conference that was held in London to bring together academics with private sector leaders in attempt to establish best practices and discuss trends affecting Islamic Fund and Banking products. At one point in this video below a speaker at the conference is interviewed as saying that in London alone there will soon be over $20B of capital put to work within the Islamic banking area. Click here if you cannot see the video below or have received this post via email through my daily hedge fund newsletter.

- Richard

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Hedge Fund Marketing Job

Hedge Fund Marketing Job

Hedge Fund Marketing Job Open

Hedge Fund Marketing Job, Hedge Fund Marketing Jobs, Alternative Investment Marketing JobsFor Hedge Fund Marketing, Sales and Investor Relations jobs please see our Hedge Fund Job Listings page or visit the Marketing, Sales & Investor Relations Jobs page directly.

If you would like to post a job within the Marketing, Sales & Investor Relations Jobs category please email me at

- Richard

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