Archive for the 'CFA Exam' Category

CFA Results: GOOD FOR YOU

Actually based on the numbers, probably not so good for you as more than 50% failed Level I, II and III. But think of it this way — you fit in. You finally fit in! More people are like you, a pathetic failure, than are not like you. Bright side! Don’t think about how many hours you poured down the drain, hours wasted with nothing to show for it other than the empty husks of relationships left that decayed and unspent nights of your twenties that you will never be able to reclaim. Especially don’t think about the stress that has subtly (but surely) caused your hairline to recede a few millimeters. Rogaine won’t work for that, so don’t bother.

June 2009 Pass Rate
Level I Pass Rate: 46%
Level II Pass Rate: 41%
Level III Pass Rate: 49%

Comments are open for anyone proud to have passed, humiliated to have failed, humiliated to have passed or proud to have failed.


It’s Been Four Days and What Have You Learnt About the CFA

The recovery period for an anal fissure is roughly the same duration as the recovery period for taking the CFA Exam (any level). And I do mean roughly. I expect those of you who took one of the three levels are still relearning what certain sensations feel like. The taste of food, the liquid frothy texture of beer, the loving embrace of a stripper and the sisyphean rock that is your employment (keep pushing, you’re almost there, no really, keep going). These sensations are all new again, and you are well on your way to readjustment into life.

For those 65% of you who failed Level I last weekend, I futurely feel sorry for how much of your life you poured down this horrible Chartered drain. For those 50% of you who failed Level II, I used a time machine to send you well-wishing telegrams exhorting you to “Keep your chin up and next time, don’t be such a tard.” And for those 30-50% of you who neglected to pass Level III, I took a worm hole, dropped into your apartment and left a lifesize model of a failure of the last mile — when your opponent is weak, it’s incumbent upon you to go for the throat. CFAs have to be earnt. Then they have to be acknowledged to have minimal value in the real world and to have been a horrible call on the part of the newly minted CFAer.


CFA Exam: 54% and 47% of You Please Don’t Give Up

Even though you probably should. I commend you for trying, and we all know that an A for effort is worth $0, so don’t spend that all in one place.

For the rest of you, congratulations, I hope you know that passing a CFA Level II or III exam might possibly have been a good call. It also might possibly turn out to have been an awful call. Consider this: I wonder how much the 40 year old version of you will pay to be able to spend 150 hours in your mid-twenties again. You can buy that with all the extra money you make from being a CFA right? But it was all worth it, definitely worth it. Keep telling yourself that.


65% of You Failed Level I of the CFA

But the glass is 35% full, as that is how many passed Level I of the CFA’s Guarantee of Future Investment Performance Exam. Now I know that 65% of you are dejected and feel beaten down by life, by the capricious nature of your cruel Chartered master and by the implied future whips of the 35% of your cohort who did pass Level I and will likely be your bosses very soon. But do not look so glum! You managed to crash the CFA site server and ensure that many people who passed will have their glory delayed. If you can’t win, make life worse for those who did! Also, drink heavily.


Chartered F****in’ Analyst: Knowledge is a Problem

Direct quote from a CFA study guide book:

The primary factor leading to overconfidence in professionals is knowledge (education or experience) which leads them to think they know more than they think they do[.]

Those italics are from the book, not from us.

Take Away for the CFA Candidate: In order to get a CFA, one must keep in mind that knowledge, specifically derived from education or experience, is bad.

Recommendation: Short me, dude, short me right in the face.


Congrats to 40%, 40% and 50% of Respective CFA Level Takers

You did not fail, and get to subject yourself to even more hell starting in April. You are closer to the shiny merit badge of financial glory, the CFA designation.

To those of you who did fail, the world needs stock brokers too.


WTF is a Gilt Strip? Congrats on taking the CFA Exam Level X

To all those who have been released from the bonds of merit badge exam taking, most of you only temporarily, I salute you. Know that the knowledge which you learned, from Durbin-Watson test statistics to swaptions to neoclassical growth theory, will never in your life ever again be useful to you nor advance you on your quest to spread your seed (or eggs) as wide and far as you can. Welcome, to the day after yesterday, which is one day closer to the day when you can declare “I can and will guarantee superior future returns because I, am a CFA Charterholder.”


The CFA 2006 Annual Report is Pretty Poopy

The CFA Institute releases an annual report each year documenting their results and accomplishments.

You would think that an organization whose sole raison d’etre is to certify industry standards both in analysis and presentation would be especially attuned to how they present their annual report and the relevance of the content inside. But then, thinking is not the basis for attaining your CFA (rote memorization is).

Every single one of the CFA Institute’s charts starts on the left with the most recent financial year and ends with the earliest financial year, the opposite of what any reader would expect.

We read left to right. So do most human beings. Almost every chart in the history of mankind goes left to right, starting with the earliest date on the left ending with the latest date on the right. Then why is it that most companies persist in the illogical layout of putting their most recent financial year on the far left? And why does the CFA use that standard when they exist only to improve financial standards? What exactly are they paying their president $900,000 to do?

Why does the annual report show pictures of charterholders describing what their CFA means to them while doing something entirely unrelated to finance, like playing a guitar or gripping their Nikon camera? Is this a Lifetime channel brochure or some shit? I thought the whole point of becoming a CFA charterholder was to make more bank? Why not show CFA charterholders making it rain at Scores? Isn’t that why we fight?

If a professional financial analyst was reading through the annual report of a company, and were treated to a picture of the CEO playing the drums and the CFO wearing a captain’s hat on on his schooner, what conclusion should they draw from that about the quality of the company’s management? Is that a firm in which to invest? I’m sure there is some LoS which covered that.

Recommendation: Don’t worry candidates and charterholders, you are spending your time wisely, trust us. Once you get your CFA, you will be strumming your guitar and taking pictures all day long.


Drinking Game for CFA Exam Prep Classes

Note this games requires a flask filled with booze, a CFA prep class and an inner sense of self-destruction.

  • 1 drink for every chick who eats something she brought.
  • 2 drinks if chick-who-easts-something-she-brought does so from a tupperware container.
  • 1 drink everytime you think that spending 2-3 hours of a New York night in a classroom is not a good use of your highly scarce free time.
  • 1 drink for every corny joke and/or pun by the instructor.
  • 1 drink for every gunner who asks a question.
  • 2 drinks if someone with a russian or asian accent asks a questions which is entirely incomprehensible and which the instructor has to dance around, answering by not really answering.
  • 1 drink everytime the minute hand of your watch hits 6.
  • 1 drink everytime you can see 10 people or more concurrently using their Blackberries.
  • 2 drinks anytime you get solicited to join a study group / have a drink / celebrate the exam with strangers from the class.
  • 1 drink everytime you spot someone in jeans.
  • 1 drink everytime the instructor gets mad for questions related to the exam.

This should making studying for the CFA something you no longer have to worry about. When I play this game, I generally black out within an hour sometimes less.

More from Our Mock CFA Exam Prep


Congratulations to the 39% Who Successfully Did Not Fail the Level I CFA Exam

Results are available now for all December 2006 Level I takers. I did not not pass. If you passed, congratulations, we are now 1/3rd of the way towards being able to guarantee investment results to clients based on being a C.F.A..


Congratulations on Passing Taking the CFA Level I Exam

Saturday was the day of days, the culmination of hundreds of hours of learning esoteric, mostly useless crap that you will now ignore for the rest of your professional careers. The Level I CFA Exam took place around the world.

To 50% of you: consider another career path! You failed to obtain Part I of your financial merit badge triforce. But thanks for making my life easier, stock brokers.

To the girl with the lucky Hello Kitty pencil case: You were so unnerved at not being able to bring your case into the exam that you probably failed, thank you for being a moron and helping the curve.

To the 20% of you who were women: Enjoy a career of persistent ingrained sexual harassment and marginalization at the hands of men who have been taught by experience and by their mothers to never trust anything which bleeds once per month or anyone who doesn’t drink and have sex with chicks. Perhaps look for related sexual harassment arbitrage opportunities.

To all those who took the CFA: Congratulations on taking the C.F.A. and guaranteeing a career of superior investment performance!

This post was calculated in accordance with the Global Investment Performance Standards


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

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.

Explanation:

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.


Chartered F***in’ Analyst on the Time Value of Money

Time Value of Money Sample CFA Exam Question

Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, is deciding how much to tip at his local Benihana. He comes to the conclusion that the fried rice was so delicious and the onion ring volcano flamethrower so impressive, that he is going to tip with a large interest bearing note. The note will have a future value (FV) pf $9,107,369. The rate of interest on it is 9%, and it compounds monthly until it comes to term 6 years in the future. What is the present value (PV) of the interest bearing note? Bonus what does the number spell out on your calculator when your calculator is vertically inverted?.

A) $5,318,007
B) $5,318,009
C) $5,318,008
D) ¥256

Explanation:

The correct answer is C. The questions gives us this informtion

FV = 9107369; I/Y = 9/ 12 = .75; N = 6 12 = 72.

Using your non-HP12C but still CFA approved calculator you should utilize these key strokes to achieve success:

-9107369 [FV] [Enter] .75 [I/Y] [Enter] 72 [N] [Enter] [CPT] [PV]

*Bonus Answer is contained within the comments.


HP-12C, I Wanted to Love You

HP-12C. I wanted to liked you. I wanted to love you.

I grew up seeing you in the hands of rich elite men of finance, men so powerful they could choose any model to calculate bond payments or whatever it is exactly people use financial calculators for these days. And yet they all chose you. Your gilded metallic head and your firm tightly constructed box conveyed elegance. You were refined yet sleek enough to look good in your leather case. I wanted to be a man so I could press your buttons and create binary reactions in your core logic.

But then that day came, when I pressed your buttons for the first time, receiving tactile feedback on the tips of my fingers as your LCD lit up with numbers. The experience was entirely incomprehensible. I knew the first time would be different, that it would take getting some used to before it felt natural, but I never knew it would be so complicated, so radically different from my intuition and a complete departure from every single calculator I had used up to that point. I cannot calculate interest payments on you, I can’t even add 2 + 2 on you. I gazed at you for 15 minutes in my CFA Prep Class, the impenetrable enigma of your buttons glaring back at me and I couldn’t make anything happen. I could not get it, or you, done.

My cohort is the first to be digital natives, so the problem doesn’t lie with my tech literacy. Manual? In these times, if you can’t be picked up and understood, then you are a relic. Usability, intuitive design, all that junk are Now.

You, like many childhood fantasies, are a busted balloon, timeless in my youth, somehow extremely dated in my manhood. No one calculates like you do, you are backwards and twisted, hewn by men who used punch cards to learn computing. I am not even sure what purpose a calculator really servers in a world of ubiquitous computing power. But I do know my CFA Exam mandated model, will not be you, but instead be the TI BA II Plus.

As the fire dims in the old men of finance, as they retire to super-yachts and cheating on their mistresses with their mistresses, so too will you dim further, HP-12C, your place obsolete, your model changed for the new or the different and your glory a distant memory of a time past.


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