22 October 2012

CFA Charter Approved

Today I received an email stating I have been approved to join CFA membership. Without second thought, I quickly went to the website and activated the membership. It cost me about 325USD to apply for both US & Singapore CFA Society. 

In case you do not know what is CFA, I can explain it to you in summary. Its full name is Chartered Financial Analyst. To obtain charter holder, you have to spend a lot of time to study and pass 3 levels exam, which includes but not limited to Equities, Derivatives, Alternative Investment, Private Equity, Commodities etc and also have at least 4 years working related experience. 

To pass the exams, I spent at least 300 hours per exam, and it actually worked well after I practiced a lot of exercises and mock exams. I wish to thank my family and friends who gave me full support for the passed few years, especially when I failed several times in level II exam. It is a quite tough mental game, especially you have to spend your free time after working hour, which to me is impossible during the years when I was business analyst. 

I have been criticized by some for my Broken English, luckily I never give up to complete the exam and finally get the charter holder. It gives a lot of confidence to me. That even though I am IT-trained background and did not have any good degree in finance/business/accounting/economy, but I still managed to pass it. 

I hope that my case can be the motivation story for those who wanted to change their career path to Investment related industry. Just do not give up once you have already decided. Your fate is in your hand. Keep it up! 

Jack Phang Sheng Jie, CFA


  1. hi , Jack Phang ,thank for your sharing...
    wanna to ask you that i aslo interested in this area also, but i not clear about CFA, like how to apply for exam and does we need to be working at the same field only can help in stdy CFA.
    Because currently i was fresh graduate on finance account and finish my ACCA exam and working in audit field and i really not sure about my future what i want be become what is more suitable for me.
    So that i hope that you can share more about you job and how you stdy ...

  2. Hi, thanks for your comments here. Basically I spent at least 300 hours for each exams I passed. I first started to know about CFA program through http://chinese.cari.com.my. From there, I knew from my net friend that he was taking the CFA programme. I further found out the details of the course from the website http://www.cfainsititute.org. I later on went for a tuition class at Inti College, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After first two level, I went back to Singapore and took up a job as business analyst. It allows me to work together with fund manager and financial advisers to build the wealth management tools together with them. I slowly grew my financial knowledge through my work as a Business Analyst and through CFA program. What I understood was that auditor is not under the job qualification criteria. You have to be in investment related industry, such as relationship manager / wealth manager / research analyst / dealer / IT developer / lecturer in investment related field etc to obtain the charter. It is a very narrowed down field. So think twice before you start off level 1 course. Of course, it is good if you can pass level 1 exam first before you deciding whether to continue. My 2cent humble opinion. Rgds,
    Jack Phang, CFA

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