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Where does CFA stand compared with MBA

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 29-06-2013, 01:51 PM
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Hi all, glad to share here. I'm a 2nd upper local uni grad, working in a fund right now. I haven't been able to pass CFA level 2 due to lack of sufficient preparation but have seen several private uni grads from poly who are charterholders. Here are my 2 opinions:

1. If someone asks me CFA or local uni MBA? I would say if you can afford it, do the MBA, even though it's not world class MBA. Reason is simple. The CFA has 3 levels and if you're smart and very hardworking and motivated despite your work schedule, it'll take you 3 years or so to pass all. I would say such person is 5-10% out of the entire population. The average person, assuming he clears 3 levels eventually, probably would take 4-5 years. On the other hand, if you do, say a SMU or NUS MBA full time or part time, it'll take you only 1-2 years to achieve it. And I have seen many such grads working in MA programs and private banking. The opportunity cost of time is shorter, and i'd think getting a job with the MBA is easier than a CFA level 1 or 2 pass.

2. The CFA is the gold standard for research and fund management and is very well regarded. However, as my colleagues who are charterholders say in a straight face "It's the basic". CFA gives you all the fundamental knowledge of finance but to excel at your job, it takes experience to be great at what you do. For eg. CFA doesn't teach you the difference and the relationship between CNY, CNH and CNY NDF and futures.

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Old 29-06-2013, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Hi all, glad to share here. I'm a 2nd upper local uni grad, working in a fund right now. I haven't been able to pass CFA level 2 due to lack of sufficient preparation but have seen several private uni grads from poly who are charterholders. Here are my 2 opinions:

1. If someone asks me CFA or local uni MBA? I would say if you can afford it, do the MBA, even though it's not world class MBA. Reason is simple. The CFA has 3 levels and if you're smart and very hardworking and motivated despite your work schedule, it'll take you 3 years or so to pass all. I would say such person is 5-10% out of the entire population. The average person, assuming he clears 3 levels eventually, probably would take 4-5 years. On the other hand, if you do, say a SMU or NUS MBA full time or part time, it'll take you only 1-2 years to achieve it. And I have seen many such grads working in MA programs and private banking. The opportunity cost of time is shorter, and i'd think getting a job with the MBA is easier than a CFA level 1 or 2 pass.

2. The CFA is the gold standard for research and fund management and is very well regarded. However, as my colleagues who are charterholders say in a straight face "It's the basic". CFA gives you all the fundamental knowledge of finance but to excel at your job, it takes experience to be great at what you do. For eg. CFA doesn't teach you the difference and the relationship between CNY, CNH and CNY NDF and futures.
Are you working in fund support or the actual investment team? Does your recommendation apply for both groups?

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Old 30-06-2013, 11:15 AM
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I'm in the investment team. What i mean is if someone is just average, it'll probably be a better bet to do a local MBA IF he has money and assuming he can't get into a world class MBA prog.. rather than struggling to pass and give up his social life for 4-6 years to pass the CFA.

Having said that, like many others have said before, nothing's for sure. Getting a local MBA or CFA doesn't guarantee career success or a front office position, BUT it does elevate one's chances. There are many different routes and it depends on individuals and a bit of luck.

Backoffice or support doesn't require CFA or MBA but it's always good to upgrade oneself. Again, it's up to the individual.

Cheers

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Old 30-06-2013, 11:21 AM
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awesome, thanks for the advice.
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