The CFA Exams and Questions that aren’t Really Questions

Right about this time of year, about eight weeks until the June CFA exams, a group of questions pop up on the exam forums. Questions like, “which is better, the CFA or MBA?” and “Is the CFA designation even worth it?” Of course, these are relevant questions and should be asked but it strikes me how much more frequently they come up half-way through the study season. The fact that I’ve seen them asked by many that have already started studying for the exams, or are even passed the first exam, confirms that they may not be questions at all.
What? When is a question not really a question?
When it’s an excuse or a plea for motivation.
Believe me, I’ve been there. You are putting in your 40+ at work, your family wants more quality time and you’re starting to feel a bit like a hermit. You still have another nine weeks of study just for this test and another 300 hours for each of the other exams.
So, the questions start coming. Is it worth it? Will I ever use it? And the possibility that the answer is no becomes easier to imagine.
In the past, I’ve looked for answers to give candidates. The statistical evidence that charterholders make more, on average, than their peers. The fact that many job requirements call for the charter or progress towards attainment signaling that it is valued in the industry. Even anecdotal evidence from my own experience where I have gained consulting work based on the designation.
This time, we’re going to put aside the data and facts (not an easy task for an analytical nerd like myself).
At this point, presumably well into your study plan this year, you need to keep going just to see if you are up to the challenge. Because over 400,000 candidates have passed one of the exams and you are just as good as any one of them. Understand that those questions you’re asking is just your doubt trying to get the better of you. Push through it and be a more confident person for having beat it.
Two months is nothing. Two months is less than two-tenths of a percent of your life but I guarantee that if you quit now, you will wonder about what could have been for the rest of your life.
We’ll be starting week 13 of our 21-week study plan next week. Stay strong and keep studying.
‘til next week, hang in there.
Joseph Hogue, CFA

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