CFA Institute, the global association of investment management professionals, reports that 43 percent of the 59,627 candidates that took the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level I exam in December 2016 have passed. These successful candidates now progress to Level II of the CFA Program, charting a course to build an investment profession dedicated to professional excellence. The December 2016 exam saw continued growth with an increase of 14 percent from the previous year in the number of Level I candidates tested for the CFA Program, a globally recognized, graduate level curriculum that links theory and practice with real-world investment analysis, and emphasizes the highest ethical standards.
“CFA Institute is dedicated to shaping a trustworthy investment management profession, and the CFA Program prepares candidates from around the world to have the highest level of professional knowledge within the industry to better serve investors and society at large,” said Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO of CFA Institute. “Congratulations to this next generation of investment professionals, who have already displayed a commitment to raising standards in the industry, and are one step closer to becoming CFA charterholders.”
To earn the CFA charter, candidates must pass all three levels of exam (successful candidates often report dedicating in excess of 300 hours of study per level); meet the work experience requirements of four years in the investment industry; sign a commitment to abide by the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct; apply to a CFA Institute society; and become a member of CFA Institute.
The CFA Program curriculum develops knowledge and competencies that investment professionals deem necessary in today’s ever changing marketplace. It covers ethical and professional standards, securities analysis and valuation, international financial statement analysis, quantitative methods, economics, corporate finance, portfolio management, wealth management and portfolio analysis. Level I exams are offered in both June and December and Levels II and III are offered only in June. It takes most candidates more than three years to complete the CFA Program, and requires dedication and determination.
The December 2016 Level I exam was administered in 104 test centers in 72 cities across 40 countries worldwide. Examples of countries and territories with the largest number of candidates that took the Level I CFA exam last December are Mainland China (14,181), the United States (12,187), India (6,357), Canada (4,210), United Kingdom (3,790), Hong Kong (2,210), Singapore (1,577), South Africa (1,327), and United Arab Emirates (1,207).