The Claritas Investment Certificate is less than a year old and the rumor mill is already operating at full strength. Many of the grapevine assumptions follow pretty closely with those that candidates hold for the CFA exams as well.
- Obtaining the certificate will get me a job in the industry
This is probably the most common misconception for CFA candidates as well, that passing either the exams or getting the certificate will guarantee a job in investment management. While the CFA charter is well-respected and the Claritas Certificate is building its brand, neither are a sure-shot at landing your dream job.
They will make you competitive and may get you an interview where you wouldn’t have otherwise but you’ll still need to work for the job.
Probably the most overlooked advantage of the charter or the certificate when job-hunting is the networking advantage. Though the exams are self-study, there is also a tremendous social network established around local societies. Talk to your local society to see if Claritas candidates can attend a networking event.
- I need the Claritas Investment Certificate to begin studying for the CFA charter
I have mixed feelings on this one. I personally know several people that have used the Claritas curriculum as a start to their studies for the CFA charter. The Claritas curriculum is more generalized and starts a little slower than the CFA curriculum so it may help those with absolutely no experience in finance or investments. You will see a lot of information in the Level 1 exam that was in the Claritas program, so it is not time wasted but you may not need it either.
Passing the Claritas exam is not a prerequisite for the CFA exams and you may not need it to begin studying for the charter. At approximately 100 hours of studying, it is not an overly demanding exam but that is still 100 hours that you could be studying for the Level I CFA Program exam. If you want to eventually sit for the CFA exams, go to your local library for a copy of the Level 1 curriculum. If the material is completely foreign and you are not able to pick up the concepts, then you may want to start with Claritas.
- You only need a 70% to pass the exam
Passing scores are annually a huge topic on the CFA forums and already have a few posts on the Claritas forums. The actual passing score is set by a standard setting process and changes regularly. The score needed to pass any of the exams is not released by the Institute but we do know that no one with a score of 70% or above has ever failed.
So just shoot for 70%, right? Well, yeah if you want to be the person in their career that barely squeaked by their professional exams. Besides that, professional development is a life-long process and those that think it ends after an exam or two will quickly find themselves downsized. Study until you master the curriculum then move on to new curriculum and new challenges.
Those seem to be the big 3 myths for the exam but there are bound to be more. Use the comment section below for other myths you’ve heard.
‘til next time, happy studyin’
Joseph Hogue, CFA