CFA Question

I'm considering doing a CFA, and since I know there are many people here who have this designation and are currently working towards it, I was hoping to get some feedback.

The two things I'm wondering about most are for those who have it,do you feel it was worth your time/effort? What type of work/opportunities has it opened for you, either just from having the letters or from the knowledge gained while studying it.

For those currently studying, I'm wondering how much time per day you put into it... How much time you've spent studying between receiving the books and the time you wrote the test?

As I said, I'm unsure if I want to pursue this yet, but I'd love to get some feedback before I look into it further.

Thanks for any help

I forgot the website that is like a centralized forum for everybody who is taking CFA. Sort of like what is to MMA. It has all kinds of helpful information. Try to google it. I will try to post it if I find it.

I just passed the level I in June. So far, I'm happy I started it, even though what I learned stuying for it doesn't help me with my job's primary requirement, which is technical analysis/trading ability - I'm getting a CMT for that. I wanted to get a CFA designation because i) I had zero business background in school, and I wanted a good footing in finance, and ii) it seems to help me with clients and potential clients insofar as I can speak their language a bit better. However, realize the purpose of the endeavor, as AIMR envisions it, is to be able to read a financial statement and manage a diversified portfolio.

For instance, many times I meet with CFOs who are suspect of technical analysis and hedging programs. However, when I can tell a CFO that, for example, unrealized gains/losses on hedges go into Other Comprehensive Income and don't effect net income until they're realized, he or she feels that my work has a place in their specialty as well, and they feel more comfortable with it.

As far as difficulty, it's pretty hard simply because of the amount of information. I only spent six weeks studying for it becuase I procrastinated. However, I studied hard those six weeks, probably 2-3 hours per day. Also, I have a math background, which made the quantitative portions easier.

For level 1 exam how much do I realistically have to study assuming i have good math and some financial background?

I believe AIMR recommends 250 hours. I think I spent a little over 100. So, take that for what it's worth.

"I've seen some studies that show that people with CFAs do make considerably more money in investment management (mutual funds, hedge funds, etc) positions than those without."

passing your CFA exams is definately correlated with smarts ;)

kinda late, but the equivalent for anything CFA related is

edited for double-post

anyone know if cfa is recognized by the europeans?

It's an international designation.
Just recently I read the number of people sitting for the June CFA part 1, 1/3 or 1/2 were from outside the US & Canada. I was shocked to have seen this.

see the website posted above and you can see how many people outside the US are taking the exams.