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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's CFA Results Day And The Natives Are Restless

I just noticed a lot of hits today from searches related to "CFA Results". That's because today is the day that the results from the December 2008 Level 1 exam are released (they were actually released about 5 minutes ago). So, there are currently thousands logged into the CFA site and hiotting the "F5" button every couple of seconds.

Good luck to you all. If you passed, congratulations -- you now get to register for the Level 2 exam in June. In case you're wondering, there's enough study time to make it through the exam -- many have done it before you. But, you should get on it as soon as possible -- there are only 129 days until the Level 2 exam.

If you failed, here are some words of wisdom from one of the most well-known posters on the Analyst Forum website (which you should definitely use if you're studying for the CFA exams):
If You Failed
1) You are in distinguished company
I know a college finance professor who took 7 tries to pass three exams. This guy even wrote a college textbook on corporate finance. (That sounds like an apocryphal story, but I swear it's true but there is no way I'm posting his name).

2) Nobody will care
Everybody seems to have this dread that something terrible will happen when they tell their colleagues, boss, significant other, and parents. What will happen is they will say "Wow, hard test. When are you taking it again?"

3) You will be 6 months older when you get your charter.
I was in my late 30's so most of you will be at least ten years ahead of me when you get it even if you fail a few times.

4) You will get a solid foundation to build on for the next two levels
Learning this stuff again means you will learn it better, deeper, and more committed to long-term learning. This will pay dividends over the next couple of exams.

5) You failed a really hard exam
Every year the pass rate is less than 50%. In that >50% who fail number are oodles of smart people who studied hard. There is a ton of material on this exam and you have a career and a life outside of this exam. It's a bear and you don't even need an excuse for failing.

And to those who passed - Congrats and well done.
And I'd add that (as another poster in the same forum said):
...it's a big deal. But it's not THE big deal. Family, friends, and relationships are much more important in the long run. To paraphrase an old saying, I doubt any of you will say on your death bed "Damn! I wish I'd spent another 100 hour studying so that I passed the L1 exam in December of 08" At least, I sincerely hope not.
Having said that, good luck and congratulations (or sympathies, depending on whether you passed or failed).

As an aside, I tried to log on to Analyst Forum to see some of the posts regarding who passed or failed, and the system wouldn't respond for a a pretty good while. My guess is that there are too many people logging on for the same reasons. Not surprising - AF is a pretty tight community, and some of its members pretty much live on the forum.

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