Chartered F****in’ Analyst Probability Pep Talk

by Johnny Debacle

Sample Probability Question for the CFA Exam

The probability that the CFA alone lands you a better job is 1.6%. The probability you will use skills you learned from the CFA (which you did not already possess or use in your job) in your future work is 4.8%. The probability that you pass the CFA is 70%. Calculate the probability that your time on the CFA is well spent and you shouldn’t be drinking more and studying less.

A) 17.2%
B) 4.442%
C) 4.443%
D) I have made a total mistake in where my life is headed and I need to rethink everything. It’s not this problem that I find hard, it’s waking up in the morning, staring at spreadsheets all day and living in the suck. I don’t even know where I end and my job begins. It’s like my nightmare relationship with a woman, except all the humiliation and feeling of ineptitude is not offset by sexual favors. I am trading my soul and my youth for a financial merit badge and a few golden shekels.


Based on the formula P (A | C or B |C) = P (A | C) + P (B | C) – P (AB | C), the correct answer is closet to the mean of B) and C), so you should answer with a symbol which was half B and half C. If filling in a bubble, be sure to fill in a half circle in both the B and C bubble. D is true but not correct. As a CFA holder it is important to be able to discern between what is true and what is correct; the subtlety between the two is what will define your ability to thrive in your chosen profession. This is testable material so be prepared to face it on the CFA exam and in the exam of life.

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  1. poseidon
    October 24th, 2006 | 12:33 pm

    Level 1, December 2, San Diego, 39 days, ugh. One day I will figure out why I am doing this.

  2. October 24th, 2006 | 12:46 pm

    You are the God of the Sea, your CFA will not help you in Olympus.

  3. naturallight
    November 15th, 2006 | 1:43 pm

    Ha ha. I wouldn’t wish the CFA program on anyone. It’s brutal.

    naturallight, CFA