The letters CFA beside the name of an
investment adviser or money manager are the hallmark of a true professional.
They stand for Chartered Financial Analyst, and the person who holds them has
earned the most prestigious title there is in the industry, bar none. Anyone
doing business with a CFA can rest assured that they are highly qualified and
skilled in all areas of finance and investments. Thatís because a person can
only attain the rank of CFA by passing three of the most difficult and exacting
tests in any industry in America, or in the entire world. To pass all three of
the CFA Exams means a financial professional is truly among the best and
brightest, the cream of the crop, when it comes to all things related to money.
The CFA exams require very advanced knowledge
of both macro and micro economic theory, portfolio management, all the hundreds
of different types of securities, debt instruments and other investment
vehicles, the skills to evaluate a clientís investment needs and goals and the
ability to recommend the best one for each situation, interest rates and the
huge role they play in financial planning, economic forecasting, a thorough
understanding of risk, the time value of money, and much, much more. Each CFA
exam is incredibly difficult-less than half of the people who take CFA Level 1
are able to pass it, and less than half of those who pass Level 1 of those are
able to go on to pass CFA Level 2. And only around two thirds of those who get
past CFA Level 2 are able to master CFA Level 3. The bar to becoming a CFA has
been set incredibly high, but as a result, investors can rest assured that they
and their money are well protected when they turn to a CFA.