1) Question: I have enrolled in to CFA program from ICFAI University in this month. I want to shift to Finance related area of work. Please guide me for the same and also for CFA preparation and career as finance professional.
Mentor Opinion: (By Gaurav Negi)
I do not know your present domain of work. However, as you said that you wish to shift to finance related area of work I think it is good decision to pursue a CFA. In addition to the course material provided by ICFAI University, I would recommend that you keep yourself updated on the current financial affairs by reading financial newspapers and magazines. This really helps. Find out from the alumni department on how they can help you in this regard.
2) Question: I completed CFA in 2010 and i am also pursuing ICWA. Is CFA and ICWA a good combo? I have 2 years of experience in reconciliation of Mutual Funds also. What value does MS-Finance holds in market to get a good job.
Mentor Opinion: (By Ashok Kumar)
CFA qualification has a good reputation and market acceptability, I think you are in the right industry at present, but try to be in fund management department, it will help you to apply your theoretical knowledge you have gained while pursuing your Ms-Finance. You can also consider joining FATP being organized by the alumni relations department. It will help you brush-up your skills and land you into a desirable job.
3) Question: What is the advantage of doing a CFA from ICFAI University over a CFA from the US?
Mentor Opinion: (By Ashwini Kumar)
CFA from ICFAI University is well recognized in the Industry and you can find CFAs working in various organizations in good position. Doing CFA from ICFAI University is cost effective and it’s totally relevant to our market needs. Operationally also, doing CFA from ICFAI University is more convenient. Syllabus of ICFAI University is very rigorous and after completing all the papers, students learn various aspects of finance in greater details with real life cases. I personally feel that, ICFAI University CFAs acquire high level of knowledge/analytical skills that leads to a successful career in Finance.
4) Question: Dear Sir, I have enrolled myself for the CFA program last year and found it very difficult and rigorous, therefore would like to seek your advice regarding the preparation strategy for exams.
Mentor Opinion: (By Abdemanaf Firoz Rangwala)
Your interest in CFA program and the resolve to complete the course is commendable. From my experience, the essence of CFA program is not only passing the groups but it attempts to provide an ingrained knowledge and aligns it to the practical world. Therefore, your focus should not be to pass the groups but built the conceptual understanding, this should be your pre-requisite in achieving your goal.
First, planning is the most important aspect in any part of work and life, preparing for CFA exams is not different. You need to figure out what are your strengths, in terms of your comfort level in a subject and then target to appear for that group. Organize a time table and allot time at each chapter level and follow it rigorously. Parallely, read financial newspapers (i.e. Business Standard), magazines from ICFAI University publications (i.e. THE ANALYST etc). Keep yourself abreast with the latest in the financial markets and try to relate to what you are studying.
Second, practice case studies, problems as stipulated in the Study guide diligently. Do not ignore the study guide at all. Figure out where do you err the most and try to master that area. I believe the ICFAI University also issues past papers with solutions, practice those. Once you have completed your lessons as mentioned in the study guide, try to complete model exam papers in the workbooks in an exam environment (answer questions and solve the problems without referring the text books, time the exams as per the stipulated period and try to complete the paper on time), this will help you to evaluate and know your grey areas.
Third, there is no substitute for hard work and to achieve your goals you may have to let go time with friends, entertainment, watching your favorite channels etc…remember, you are working towards your long term goal so do not lose your focus ever. So, let me wish you all the best and do update me on your progress.
5) Question: To succeed in CFA within one attempt, is it necessary to join training classes and if I am not able to join the classes then what should I do to crack the same. Please advice.
(Sagar Ishwar Belekar)
Mentor Opinion: (By Bhushan Sadanand Khairnar)
I didn't join classes, as my job never allowed that time slot. But i do understand from a few of my friends that the classes were helpful. However, just joining classes didn't ensure success for all. To pass - (as required in every exam) you need good study, preparation and practice.
Imp. Tip - I found past question papers to be very helpful. Practice a lot and solve these papers, if you can clear them, only then you can clear the exam, otherwise you cannot. Clearing all the exams in 1st attempt, could be too much to ask for, it’s not that easy. My experience - Along with job, i found it difficult to clear, only consistent hard work and practice made it possible.
6) Question: I am a professional who have worked in consulting, insurance co, presently working in operations with large mutual fund co. I have enrolled in to CFA program in 2008, does it make sense to pursue the course.
Mentor Opinion: (By Prasenjit Roy)
The way forward for you is to concentrate on completing the CFA course. Do not allow the state of confusion of not pursuing the course to prevail in your mind. CFA is more worthy than you are thinking of it. It will help you to enrich knowledge on holistic basis besides improving your confidence. You will be able to perceive its worth once you complete the entire course. So, look forward and go ahead immediately.
7) Question: Is ICFAI University free from USA litigation's. Can I do CFA from USA
University without going outside?
ICFAI University is not a party to litigation in USA. As on date ICFAI University Tripura offers CFA program in India. ICFAI University Tripura is a Statutory University recognized by UGC. We do not know if CFA is being offered as a degree/diploma by any University in USA.
8) Question: I am an Engineer. Completed my BE in 2001. I worked in Wipro as a VLSI design engineer for the next two years (2002-2004). Then I quit the job for family reasons. Then I started doing MS Finance. Got my CFA in 2008. Wanted to complete the full MS Finance but am finding it insurmountable. I have not pursued a career in Finance yet. Now i want to go for it. I am confused. Please Advice.
Mentor Opinion: (By Abhijit Dutta)
Since you have already completed your CFA, I believe you have considerable weightage in your resume which, in turn will earn you a fair amount of market acceptability in your chosen field. Going forward you can think of attending the FATP program conducted by Cygnus to sharpen your skills and knowledge in the domain. Try to strengthen your fundamentals in your chosen fields through self study and group discussions with your peers, attend the seminars conducted on your favorite topics by the institute, as often as possible.
Regarding, getting an initial break in your chosen field, I would suggest you to be in close touch with the placement cell working with the council, try to keep a close watch in the advertisements posted in the dailies and the jobsites, regularly follow the placement notices coming into our mails from the council placement cell. Furtherance to the said , I believe , given your background in software development, I don’t think I need to iterate the fact that you stand as an extremely good candidate to get into the role of a business analyst or domain/functional consultants in the software industry. So please don’t ignore that area.
Dear friend, adding to the above, I would like to further suggest, kindly don’t consider something as insurmountable, possibly it will require some extra effort and time on your part to get through. Why not invest that little extra time and effort on that (of course, paying due attention and respect to the family responsibilities), when you have already surmounted so much?
9) Question: I have joined CFA Course during the year 2009 in ICFAI University, Tripura, but during the year 2010 the program is not shown and a new program reflecting MIFA. My query is why the ICFAI University, CFA is so contradictory.
We wish to clarify that you are enrolled in the year 2009 into the MFA program leading to award of Master of Financial Analysis (MFA) degree and CFA designation.
As the program name MFA is considered reserved for Master of Fine Arts, the University subsequently decided to change the name to Master of Investment and Financial Analysis (MIFA) while all the other details as per prospectus remaining unchanged.
10) Question: Dear Sir, I have cleared first five groups of CFA. Will you please suggest me in which sectors should i seek job opportunities and what kind of job profile demands CFA most?
Mentor Opinion: (By Bhushan Sadanand Khairnar)
We receive mails from firstname.lastname@example.org about job openings for CFA.I think is could be a good starting point. When i scan through the past mails i see a lot of mails from Financial Services, Banks and even internal finance dept of various manufacturing companies or companies from every other sector though most of them ask for experience but its good to give you an idea.
I see people working in the IT / ITES sector as well as Business Analyst / Functional experts. For fresher’s i can see opportunities in Equity / Fixed Income research, some of the KPO's and the likes of outsourcing.
11) Question: Sir, I am currently in Group B please advise me the main areas of focus in the CFA course and the prospects of the course in the Indian banking industry.
Mentor Opinion: (By Raghuram Manchi)
CFA of ICFAI University is well recognized in Banking Industry as a professional qualification. The CFA course helps the student, while working in Bank, in the areas of Credit Appraisal, Project Finance, and Credit monitoring and so on. Most of the bigger banks have Mutual Fund Subsidiaries and Insurance subsidiaries/JVs in which the requirement of CFA is very much necessary, as CFA course gives a thorough grounding in Equity Analysis and Stock Markets. There are also huge Treasury Departments in Banks which deal with investments in Government Bonds, Approved securities, and Company Bonds/debentures etc. The professional competence which a CFA course gives has no parallel.
As regards preparation for the CFA course, in my opinion, the foremost requirement is conceptual clarity in any topic. The formulae, derivations etc help, but a student can not expect to pass CFA without the concepts being clear. This requires regular reading and repeated practice of problems. Last minute preparations never help. One must plan and work as per a schedule.