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CFA vs Masters in Finance

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Old 27-05-2011, 03:43 PM   #166
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it is one of the top school in uk.
Nanyang Technological University also has no link to business, but they produce good graduate for accounting and business as well. Some school just developed beyond their name implied, i think.

Anyway, I am doing this distance learning now in M.Sc. Finance (Quantitative), hopefully to complete in 2years. So far I like this program because:-
- the content is quite interesting and encourages critical thinking, not like typical unis that usually force syllabus into your head.
- suits my work environment, since I am required to travel overseas sometimes.
- more efficient study, since you really have to understand what you read and study, instead of typical one-way lecture in school here where sometimes don't even know what the lecturer is teaching. i had this experience when i took M.Sc. engineering course in NTU, which I gave up half way, which I think attending the night class is kinda waste of time, and energy.
- they have interactive discussion forum for students and tutors, but some courses forum are active, some are really quiet.

Cons:
- doubtful about recognition in sg, but since I think all UOL degrees in sg is considered distance learning (the difference is just that they are conducted in some schools like Kaplan or SIMS), I am less worried. I think for those UOL degrees offered in Kaplan or SIMS, you can choose to study yourself, then register the exam with UOL directly. Anyway, I believe certification is just the beginning, you need to market yourself and prove your performance in long run.
- require high self-discipline and resourceful, especially since you are on yourself most of time.

My plan is to get M.Sc. Finance, and see if I could get a good/interesting job in Finance. If CFA could enhance my job, then I will take it slowly in future while working. Currently, I have a decent job in engineering (manufacturing). So, really no rush for me to get into finance industry, unless manufacturing dies abruptly, which I don't think so.
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Old 27-05-2011, 03:57 PM   #167
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Yes Konnichiwa. I rather you invest those hours of studying into going for networking sessions or talks or even learning technical analysis of stock trading. CFA is always best studied when your already in a related-job. Thats my personal opinion but there will lots of pple chasing it right after their degree and they expect a good job just because they passed all 3 levels. Well, thats the paper-chase society.

When you see people passing all 3 levels without any experience in the finance sector, then they start making noise why they can't find a good research-based job? Only then they will realise how important experience counts and they will be so demoralised that they have to use back-office to network their way in which is a waste of time i feel.
Yes, i agree that we should really beware of "herding effect". If not very sure whether CFA is really what you want, I suggest go for M.Sc. Finance.
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Old 27-05-2011, 04:02 PM   #168
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Will CFA actually give an edge to those who aspire to be in the public sector?
I think public finance is very different than that studied in CFA. Public finance may deal a lot with economics (macro & micro) and/or international finance (forex and global trades).
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Old 25-07-2011, 01:19 AM   #169
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hey,

saw on the requirements that CFA lvl 1 needs to be in the last year studying for a degree? are there any exceptions to that rule, cos i vaguely remember seeing a few cv's of year 2/3 business students having lvl 1 CFA!

thanks
4 yr of relevant working experience. can erode off the degree requirement
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:53 PM   #170
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Is there any school that provide courses for cfa...
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:48 AM   #171
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i just feel cfa is overhyped especially in this market condition where experience really matters.
having cfa 3 does not guarantee you a job....
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Old 13-10-2011, 05:40 AM   #172
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Do your CFA first, start work. Masters can be done later
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Old 20-11-2011, 08:13 PM   #173
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I have spent 4 months to study CFA, end up register CIMA than CFA in last minute
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Old 21-11-2011, 11:34 PM   #174
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hi guys,

probably need ur opinion abt my path to greater heights.

currently i am working in a bank under a trade finance dept,
i am thinking of pursuing a Masters in Finance part time, but the
issue is most of the modules (in fact all) in the program are not relevant to wat i am working right now. Hence, i will need some opinions from u
guys whether Masters in Finance is a right path for me or otherwise?
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Old 22-11-2011, 02:45 AM   #175
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If you're interested sure just go for it
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Old 22-11-2011, 06:36 AM   #176
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hi guys,

probably need ur opinion abt my path to greater heights.

currently i am working in a bank under a trade finance dept,
i am thinking of pursuing a Masters in Finance part time, but the
issue is most of the modules (in fact all) in the program are not relevant to wat i am working right now. Hence, i will need some opinions from u
guys whether Masters in Finance is a right path for me or otherwise?
Education is to prepare you for the bigger role in the future and not merely the role you're playing now.
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Old 22-12-2011, 12:48 AM   #177
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Path Finance - Home - CFA ® Level 1 - Finance Accounting Statistics Economics

I have found free videos
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Old 16-03-2012, 01:11 PM   #178
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yes, cfa does provide a good prospect in jobs within the finance market, but it also locks you into the industry becos of your specialisation. On top of that, only 30% of the cfa candidates pass lvl 3, and gets the certification. So, what happens to the 70% who failed? Retake the exams again? On average, people take 5 years to complete their CFA. 5 years to some doesnt seem long, but if you are at the age of 28-30, when will you receive your CFA, 33-35? By that time, do you think you still need a CFA?

A Masters of finance does not provide you a better job prospects now, but if you are talking about "management" level, it does provide a better prospective. Most managers or c-levels now hold a masters, unless they have 20 years of experience. Some masters in singapore takes about a year to complete like Kaplan or Aventis. The chances of passing are higher, especially if they are executive masters of finance, because class profiles for executive programs are working adults only!

So if you compare the timeline between executive masters of finance (if you have the experience) VS CFA:
EXECUTIVE MASTERS OF FINANCE
Year 1: Study and work
Year 2: Graduate with EMOF
Year 3: Find a new job
Year 4: Got a job or promotion
Year 5: Earned back your school fees (ROI)

CFA
Year 1: CFA level 1 and work
Year 2: CFA level 2 and work
Year 3: Retake CFA level 2 and work
Year 4: CFA level 3 and work
Year 5: Retake CFA level 3 and work
Year 6: Certified CFA and find a job
Year 7: Got a job or promotion
Year 8: Earned back your school fees (ROI)

The above is based on a "I wish" scenario. 5 years to get back your returns on school fees for Masters, and 8 years for CFA.

That is just the timeline. How about the process?

If you look into the brochures of any CFAs, they will tell you straight up, exam-focused. Most CFA candidates are working adults, and now they are telling you to go back to school and study like a nerd again, then go for exams again. And the best part, chances of you failing and retaking is 70%. When they say exam-focused, they will probably provide you case studies based on what they think will come out during the exams, and what is shown in your textbooks. If this is what you want, you must be hoping to teach finance subjects after receiving your CFA.

If you look into the process for executive masters of finance, they are industrial focus. They expect every students in the class to contribute their previous experience like problems they had faced, or solutions they had provided in the past. So it's not just about the textbooks, in fact they probably won't even use it, it's about actual experience and what is happening in the world. Just last week, I'd stepped into an executive masters class, and the professor was engaging students on debts issues in the EU, and what are the best strategies to prevent this from happening again in the next cycle. So there are lots of interaction, and the materials on the desk was hardly utilised. And the best part? If you take up executive masters in american universities, they will always try to avoid examinations!

But of cos, american universities are sometimes quite expensive, normally about $50,000 range if you look at University of Chicago from Chicago Booth. But they sell you networks too, like CEOs and MDs of MNCs in singapore or the region.
City University of New York from Aventis also offers the finance program in singapore, at about $30,000 range. They also offer you the networks and practical process.

I heard there is a preview presentation coming up next thursday, it's either chicago booth or aventis that is having the presentation. I think you guys should go check it out to know more about the differences.

Hope the above helps.
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Old 22-03-2012, 11:37 AM   #179
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CFA is very exam focused, but honestly, if you are disciplined and start early, bit by bit every day, it is manageable. And be prepared to sacrifice your weekends.The material is not too difficult - to me, it's just the volume that is staggering. So as I mentioned, start early.

As for its relevance, I do find that it is very helpful in my work. It's very theory-based, but it does give you some good fundamentals of how the financial industry works. But honestly, your work must really be related, or it will be hard to remember and apply what you have learnt.

A headhunter told me that academics like CFA and masters of finance etc is good for people doing sales, and if you are younger. This is because when you are young, experience matters less and academics matter more. As for the sales part, it is more for institutional or channel sales (not individual sales). But if you are looking at an investment/fund management job, CFA and masters don't help that much cos the employers will be more focused on your investment experience.
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Old 21-05-2012, 06:24 PM   #180
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Hi guys, sorry if this is a little off topic. I am intending to take SIM UOL banking & finance full time,is it advisable for me to take CFA straight after the degree? Thanks.
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