The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program is the most highly respected designation for investment management professionals. It is the accepted benchmark for technical excellence in national and international financial markets, with networks across the world. CFA is the globally recognized mark of distinction for measuring the expertise, experience and ethics of investment professionals.
Top Chartholder Careers
Top careers include portfolio managers, research analysts, chief executives, consultants, relationship managers, corporate financial analysts, risk managers, and investment bankers.
- Investment Companies/Mutual Funds – 25%,
- Private Client Wealth Management/Advisor – 11%
- Hedge Funds/Fund of Hedge Funds – 6%
- Banks – 7%
- Insurance Companies – 4%
- Pensions & Foundations – 4%
- Private Client Wealth Manager/Advisor – 2%
- Investment Bank/Broker Dealer
- Research Firm
CFA at BYU
The finance major is the best preparation for passing the CFA exam, as the core courses closely mirror the various sections of the CFA. Students can expect to average a total of 300 hours of study time to prepare for the exam. The national passing average for the CFA Level 1 exam is 42 percent, but for BYU Marriott finance students it’s over 70 percent. Our passing rate is evidence that BYU’s support and preparation resources are helping students find success.
The finance major hosts an annual info session on CFA where interested students can learn more about the CFA program. It will be held on Thursday, 13 September 2018 from 11 a.m.–noon in W408/410 TNRB
The Finance Department offers a CFA preparation course during the Winter semester to help students prepare for the exam. Our CFA prep class is taught by Jim Brau, finance professor and CFA Charterholder. The class is variable credit hours so students can choose how many credit hours they want the class to be worth based on how much they plan to study. It is predominantly a self-study course so it is important that students are self-motivated. Every student who passes the CFA exam will receive an A grade in the class even if the student received a lower grade at the end of Winter semester. The Kaplan Schweser study materials are the textbook for this course, so it is vital that every student taking the CFA prep class purchase the Kaplan Materials.
The CFA curriculum leverages current and best experience of practitioners around the world to bridge real-world practices and theoretical knowledge. The course offers unmatched insights and knowledge. To provide a strong foundation of advanced investment analyses and real-world portfolio management skills, the CFA is organized into three exam levels and ten curriculum areas. Students spend an average of 300 hours studying for each exam.
Level 1 – Investment Tools, Knowledge & Comprehension
Level 2 – Asset Valuation, Application & Analysis
Level 3 – Portfolio Management, Synthesis & Evaluation
- Ethical & Professional Standards
- Quantitative Methods
- Financial Reporting & Analysis
- Corporate Finance
- Equity Investments
- Fixed-Income Investments
- Alternate Investments
- Portfolio Management & Wealth Planning
Kaplan Schweser Publishers has given BYU a discounted group rate on CFA books (for Levels 1, 2, and 3) and the Essential Self-Study Package (including the online Question Bank which normally is an additional cost). These book sets are available to students for $299. Please place your order as early as possible, as the first order will be placed in November. If you get your name in with the first order, the books will be available in December in our office (610 TNRB). Orders will be charged to your BYU student account. If you are interested in ordering a book set and would like to receive an email with more information, please enter your information here.
Exam Costs and Deadlines
For all exam registration costs and deadlines please visit the CFA website. Deadlines and costs change from year to year.
CFA Institute Scholarships – There are quite a few scholarships made available to BYU through the CFA Institute. These scholarships waive the one-time CFA program enrollment fee (if applicable) and reduce the exam registration fee (including access to the curriculum ebook) to $350. Interested students can apply online at https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/programs/cfa/scholarships/student. Please make sure you attach to your online application a résumé and a cover letter outlining the following:
- Reasons for wanting to take the exam, including a future career plan
- A study plan to ensure passage of the exam
- Other work experience or special needs
The deadline to apply is Monday, January 14th. A panel of professors will review the materials and choose the scholarship recipients.
Peery Foundation’s Reimbursement Program – Through the generosity of the Peery Institute, a reimbursement program is available to those who do not receive a scholarship. The CFA exam must be passed, and the participant must be a BYU student when registration for the exam was completed in order to qualify for the reimbursement. This program will reimburse the cost of the test and registration fees when all the conditions are met (late fees are not covered).
To apply for reimbursement, please submit the following to 610 TNRB within two weeks of the CFA exam results being posted:
- Completed CFA Reimbursement Form
- Copy of the exam registration costs (late registration costs are not reimbursed)
- Copy of the final test results
- W-9 form, or a W-8BEN form for international students
Reimbursements may take up to six weeks to process. For current BYU students, the reimbursement will be deposited into your BYU student account. For students who have recently graduated, a check will be mailed to you at the address you provide to us. Any questions about the CFA Program at BYU can be emailed to Amy Densley at Amy@byu.edu.