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CFA vs Masters in Finance

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Old 14-05-2010, 10:35 AM   #46
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I think I will pack lunch too, get some sleep after that.. hehehe
why not go lunch at subway? faster and healthy right?
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Old 14-05-2010, 10:36 AM   #47
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doktorj: wah really pack lunch ah. haha. i just checked out there seems like a lot of places to eat leh? I'm going to chiong down 2 cans of red bull during lunch. lol

friendlyguy: Im a guy la. hahaha. 6 mths is definitely enough. u might want to check out analystforum i found it quite useful ^___^
red bull take effects lei? not coffee instead? Many ppl said redbull not good. good luck
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Old 14-05-2010, 11:47 AM   #48
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I think don't take redbull lah... Just have enough rest the day before and you should be fine...

My friend nose-bled when he had too much redbull on exam day.
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Old 19-05-2010, 09:43 PM   #49
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Help me in choosing between MBA in Finance and CFA

Hi Guys,

I work as an equity trader and I wish to branch out to be a research analyst and then to be a fund manager.

I have a first class hons in engineering from NTU and I think I need to have a finance background before I can be in the research team.

Which option is the best to enable me to do my intended job?

a) MBA in Finance from University of Nottingham
b) CFA
c) Msc of Finance from either Macquirie or Adelaide

Thanks.
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Old 19-05-2010, 10:28 PM   #50
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Hi Guys,

I work as an equity trader and I wish to branch out to be a research analyst and then to be a fund manager.

I have a first class hons in engineering from NTU and I think I need to have a finance background before I can be in the research team.

Which option is the best to enable me to do my intended job?

a) MBA in Finance from University of Nottingham
b) CFA
c) Msc of Finance from either Macquirie or Adelaide

Thanks.
how come u didnt include NUS, NTU or even SMU MBA with concentration on finance or even a pure finance master from smu?
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Old 19-05-2010, 10:52 PM   #51
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After studying in NTU and knowing their structure, I would rather try other institutions to experience a better MBA exp. Our local universities basically just force their content into the student's throat.

INSEAD is out as I have to study part time and I think Chicago and Manchester are quite tedious.

A pure masters in finance is a bit lacking in terms of the networking and leadership modules. Some people even take Msc in finance and then a general MBA. Why not just take a MBA in finance instead?
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Old 20-05-2010, 12:20 PM   #52
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Thanks millie.

The only issue I have with CFA is that it is extremely difficult. The structure of the exams do not make much sense as well. For each level (which contains so many materials to study), there is only 1 paper. Level 2 and 3 are worse as they can only be taken once a year. If a person is unlucky and has to take each level twice, he will be effectively taking 5 years of his time.

Although it is a cheaper (in terms of monetary issues) than the other 2 choices, but in terms of time wastage, it is equivalent to taking both a MAF and a MBA. In fact a person can probably complete both of them in a shorter time than CFA. The exams are broken up into sizable bites and if a person fails, he just need to ta pao that module.
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Old 20-05-2010, 12:30 PM   #53
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Thanks millie.

The only issue I have with CFA is that it is extremely difficult. The structure of the exams do not make much sense as well. For each level (which contains so many materials to study), there is only 1 paper. Level 2 and 3 are worse as they can only be taken once a year. If a person is unlucky and has to take each level twice, he will be effectively taking 5 years of his time.

Although it is a cheaper (in terms of monetary issues) than the other 2 choices, but in terms of time wastage, it is equivalent to taking both a MAF and a MBA. In fact a person can probably complete both of them in a shorter time than CFA. The exams are broken up into sizable bites and if a person fails, he just need to ta pao that module.
It's true that it take a lot of time, but from the perspective of an employer, it speaks volumes if the person he interviews is a CFA/is taking the CFA exam. The fact that it is not easy contributes to your market value.

In HK, CFA is the industry standard. I've spoken to some of my friends who have worked/are woking there, and they all tell me that it is not uncommon to find CFA charterholders, as opposed to Singapore.

Perhaps Singapore will evolve to that level in the near future with knowledge inflation.
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Old 20-05-2010, 12:51 PM   #54
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Hi doktorj,

It is true that CFA is a great professional certificate. But let's say if I want to get into investment analyst or research analyst job and I have experience trading professionally. Do I really need a CFA to accomplish my goals or can a MBA in finance or a MAF suffice?

I really do not want to spend 5-6 years of my life to study so much. The research analyst job will be used as a stepping stone for a fund manager job.

If I have to choose one of them, which one should I choose?
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Old 20-05-2010, 05:50 PM   #55
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After studying in NTU and knowing their structure, I would rather try other institutions to experience a better MBA exp. Our local universities basically just force their content into the student's throat.

INSEAD is out as I have to study part time and I think Chicago and Manchester are quite tedious.

A pure masters in finance is a bit lacking in terms of the networking and leadership modules. Some people even take Msc in finance and then a general MBA. Why not just take a MBA in finance instead?
You got a big throat...
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Old 21-05-2010, 03:05 AM   #56
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MBA (Finance) or Specialised Master ??

MBA (Generalist skills) Vs Master of Science (Specialist Skills)

Both the MBA and the MSc are demanding graduate degrees. Admission to both these programs is highly competitive and people who hold these degrees are perceived to be high achievers, a characteristic valued by employers. Both the MBA and MSc degrees will enhance your career opportunities but they differ in the following:

  • MBA is a general degree and offer some knowledge about management across a wide spectrum of topics. It covers an extensive breadth butlacks the depth of an MSc program. MSc programs are specialized degrees specifically designed to equip you with a high level knowledge in a specific discipline.

  • An MBA prepares you for a career in general management while a MSc prepares you for a high level career in your selected field. Graduate degrees in professional areas will always be recognized by employers as a signal that candidates are on a developmental track which can lead either to a specialization in the profession, or to advanced management careers.

  • There are many MBAs available and the quality of education can varies, MSc programs are highly selective degree which makes up a maximum of about 20% of the graduate education enrollment.

  • On the same note, there will be at least four times more MBA holders the market compared to specialist Master degree graduate, making you a rare resource and a highly valued employee or a leader that stands out amongst your peer.

My personal opninion - (MBA and MSc Finance holder)
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Old 21-05-2010, 07:01 AM   #57
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Hi doktorj,

It is true that CFA is a great professional certificate. But let's say if I want to get into investment analyst or research analyst job and I have experience trading professionally. Do I really need a CFA to accomplish my goals or can a MBA in finance or a MAF suffice?

I really do not want to spend 5-6 years of my life to study so much. The research analyst job will be used as a stepping stone for a fund manager job.

If I have to choose one of them, which one should I choose?
From your comments, its pretty obvious that you have already made up your mind. Anyway, Good luck in your academic pursuits!
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Old 24-05-2010, 09:05 PM   #58
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Hi doktorj,

It is true that CFA is a great professional certificate. But let's say if I want to get into investment analyst or research analyst job and I have experience trading professionally. Do I really need a CFA to accomplish my goals or can a MBA in finance or a MAF suffice?

I really do not want to spend 5-6 years of my life to study so much. The research analyst job will be used as a stepping stone for a fund manager job.

If I have to choose one of them, which one should I choose?
Unless the MBA you're talking about is an Ivy League or equivalent MBA, the CFA will definitely look better on you resume.

Also having professional trading experience doesn't really count for anything when we're talking about research analysts jobs. The differences in job function and character fit and skills requirement for both jobs are so vast.
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Old 24-05-2010, 10:06 PM   #59
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Hi zerox,

Thank you for the reply. I am just concerned which cert. to take. Actually I got offered a research analyst job from a firm with just my undergrad degree (Engineering). But between trading and research analyst, I chose the obvious choice (which is trading).

This post-grad degree is just used as an additional tool if I want to change my career. I honestly would not stop my job and take up a ivy league FT MBA like INSEAD due to the opportunity costs and the tuition fees. Therefore a MBA is out until further notice.

That leaves MOF vs CFA (both can be studied PT)

1) CFA

Pros
- Universally recognised everywhere
- Cheap (7k? for Kaplan)

Cons
- Tedious to study
- Min time to pass is 2.5 years

2) MOF

Pros
- Recognised depending on school
- Has good alumni
- Career office (if needed)
- Easier to study
- Min time to pass is 1 year

Cons
- Not as recognised as CFA
- Expensive (29k to 40k)

By the way, why do some people still take CFA after they complete their MOF or MBA (finance)? I am pretty sure the modules covered in the post-graduate course is more than sufficient to do research work.

Extracted from MOF from SMU website:
"Exemptions will be considered if you have completed equivalent modules taken in a Master Programme with good grades. Passing CFA Level I does not exempt students from any modules. Our modules cover more than CFA Learning Outcome Statement."

From the above statement, can I conclude that MOF covers more than CFA? Or is MOF slightly better than CFA Level 1 only?
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Old 25-05-2010, 12:35 AM   #60
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To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what a Master of Finance can achieve for a finance career. I mean, if you get a Masters in Financial Engineering, it's pretty obvious that you'd need to aim for the structuring side of the business but a Masters in Finance, I'm not so sure. I would think a Masters of Finance would be the equivalent of an MBA, ie. quite useless in terms of recognition unless it's an Ivy League or something.

If you're interested purely in research, I'd say the CFA is the route.

As for why people take CFA after MOF or MBA. My guess is that there are two main reasons, either their MBA is not really recognised (ie. from a no-name uni) or they're just being kiasu and doing the whole paper chase, which is pretty stupid, IMO.

Out of curiosity, are you a prop or market trader?

EDIT: Just read through your previous posts. Yes, CFA is hard, mainly because you have to work and study at the same time, really painful. But for someone with first class from NTU engineering, I don't think it's something that's too difficult to accomplish. Just takes time. Also, if you're midway through the CFA program, ie. only passed level 1 or 2, and want to switch careers, it will still look good on your resume and will still be recognised by employers.

Last edited by ZeroX; 25-05-2010 at 12:42 AM..
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