The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a professional certification offered by the CFA Institute to financial analysts who complete a series of tests and requirements. It is a program in English aimed at professionals who seek to specialize in the world of investment and financial markets, aimed especially at investment management, financial analysis and investment decision making.
The CFA is known for its high professional and ethical standards, and in recent years it is consolidating itself as one of the most complete and prestigious postgraduate programs in the financial world.
CONTENT OF THE PROGRAM
The CFA Program is divided into four fundamental modules:
- Professional Ethics.
- Investment Tools, which includes Quantitative Methods, Macro and Microeconomic Analysis, Financial Analysis of the Company (Financial Statements, Balance Sheet, Profit and Cash Flow Statements), and Corporate Finance.
- Valuation of Assets, in which the Valuation of Assets of Variable Income, Fixed Income and Derivative Products is studied as well as the analysis of other alternative investments.
- Portfolio Management, where aspects related to the Diversification of Assets within a Portfolio are studied, among other topics.
The program is structured to make it compatible with work, since it is mainly aimed at professionals.
The program requires passing 3 levels of exams using CFA study material and gathering a professional experience of up to four years in the area of investment. In addition, it is necessary to sign a commitment to adhere to the ethical code of the CFA institute and become a member thereof. Once all the requirements have been met, the candidate obtains the CFA® designation.
Summary of requirements:
- Have a university degree of Graduate (Bologna) or Bachelor (Anglo-Saxon system), or equivalent to four university years.
- Successfully complete the three exams that prove the financial knowledge part.
- Have at least 48 months of work experience in the financial investment sector.
- Sign commitment to adhere to the ethical code of the CFA Institute.
The exams are divided into three levels (with their corresponding three exams) and you can only take one exam each year. Therefore, it takes at least three years to pass the exams. There is no maximum limit to overcome the levels.
Study of the tools and techniques for the valuation and management of investments. Introduction to asset valuation and portfolio management techniques. The exam consists of 240 questions and lasts approximately 6 hours.
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Valuation of assets and application of the techniques and tools studied in level I (micro and macro variables, analysis of financial statements and quantitative methods). The examination cost 20 sets of mini-cases to develop, 10 in the morning session and another 10 in the afternoon.
Management of portfolios and strategies to apply the techniques in the management of fixed income, variable assets, and financial derivatives (for institutions and individuals). The exam is a morning test, including 10-15 questions, and 10 mini-cases in the afternoon.
Finally, it should be noted that the study on Professional Ethics standards is covered in each of the three levels.
The professional outputs are mainly focused on jobs related to financial markets, investment, in large financial institutions such as investment banks. The majority of CFA graduates are employees of large international financial institutions, such as Bank of America, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse or UBS, among others.
It should be noted that the CFA is one of the most prestigious international degrees that an investment professional can have. In addition, obtaining this degree allows you to be part of a network of contacts of more than 75,000 professionals.