The CFA society Nigeria is one of the member societies of the Certified Financial Analysts. CFA Institute is a global, non-profit professional organization that provides investment professionals with finance education. They aim to promote standards in ethics, education, and professional excellence in the investment industry worldwide.
Their formation took place in 1947 and their offices are located in New York City and Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, as well as in London, Hong Kong, and Mumbai.
CFA Society Nigeria was approved in 2012 as the 137th Society of CFA Institute and they are also one of the five societies in Africa. The society currently has 369 members and 165 candidate members.
The mission of the affiliate of the CFA Institute is to promote the highest standards of investment practice in Nigeria and also provide a vibrant community for the interaction and professional development of their members. Their website is cfasocietyng.org.
The Certified Financial Analyst society in Nigeria continually engages with all stakeholders in the Nigerian investment industry, including industry regulators, to ensure that globally adhered standards are instituted to promote ethics and professionalism in our investment industry.
All CFAs have to meet rigorous examination and work experience requirements before they can add the letters to their name.
Where Can A CFA Qualification Take Me?
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification is a highly regarded qualification for professionals in the investment management industry in Nigeria and globally.
If you are currently an undergraduate or a graduate in banking and finance or you are thinking of a career in investment management, then the CFA is a qualification that’s definitely worth researching.
If you are having a tough time deciding if this certification is for you, then try researching what the investment management world is all about in Nigeria and beyond. You could also speak to your employer if you are currently working or a career adviser at your university to get expert advice to help in your decision-making process.
There are many recognised professional qualifications in Nigeria like the ICAN, ACCA, ICPAN, CIPM, ANAN etc, so you need to know which area you will like to specialise in career-wise to choose the one that best suits your aspirations. For example, if you are in the accounts industry and you want a globally recognised certification, then ACCA will be highly advised for you because it will help you in the broader business, accounting and financial world.
An MBA degree is one qualification that really complements the CFA qualification especially for employees who want to move up to the highest in the finance, investment and business corporate ladder.
The CFA qualification is an added career advantage for those who would want to work in finance and investment research, equity, investment management with the roles like the roles of portfolio and wealth managers, investment and research analysts, professionals involved in the investment decision-making process in an organization.
This qualification is a specialised type and not just anyone can decide to have its certification.
It is important to know from the onset that passing the CFA examination can be time-consuming, difficult to obtain and with pass rates often being lower than other qualifications, such as the ACCA. However, successfully passing it provides tremendous benefits, but only within certain industries and businesses. If you put in the right commitment, time, and mindset you will pass the exams which will, in turn, be a boost to your career.
What Kind Of Roles/Positions Does CFAs Fill?
The CFAs are usually found in the banking, investment and financial industries. However, it is to be noted that are not limited to these industries and they usually fill positions like some of the listed ones below:
- Research analyst;
- Financial analyst;
- Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
- Senior Financial Analyst.
- Investments Analyst
- Investment Associate.
- Senior Associate - Investment Banking.
- Research Analyst, Financial.
- Portfolio manager;
- Risk manager.
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What Are The CFA Exams Like?
The examination comprises of three separate levels and candidates must pass the Level I exam before moving on to Level II, and Level III candidates must have passed both Level I and Level II before completing Level III.
The curriculum is organised into 10 general which includes ethical and professional standards, quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, equity investments, fixed-income investments, derivatives, alternative investments, and portfolio management and wealth planning.
The Examination for each level differs and can be seen and explained below:
This level 240 multiple-choice questions. The curriculum emphasises tools and inputs, introduction to asset valuation, financial reporting and analysis, and portfolio management techniques. There are 2 sessions on the exam day; the morning and afternoon session. The duration for each session is 3 hours. The exam is 6 hours in total.
The curriculum emphasizes asset valuation which includes applications of the tools and inputs (including economics, financial reporting and analysis, and quantitative methods) in asset valuation. It is 120 multiple choice questions which comprise “20 item set questions”. There are 2 sessions on the exam day; the morning and afternoon session. The duration for each session is 3 hours. The exam is 6 hours in total.
The curriculum emphasizes portfolio management and includes descriptions of strategies for applying the tools, inputs, and asset valuation models in managing equity, fixed income, and derivative investments for individuals and institutions. The exam for the final Level of the CFA qualification comprises a constructive response, essay-type questions. The duration of the exam is 6 hours and its divided into morning and afternoon session.
It is important to note that the multiple-choice questions involve no negative marking and as such, it is advisable to answer every question. It can be really difficult to pass each level of the CFA qualification. However, having passed just Level I is usually regarded as quite an achievement.
The main obstacle that candidates who fail face are the time requirements needed to successfully study for the CFA (which run into the hundreds of hours) and also the funding requirements needed to pay for exam entry.
You may find that your employer, or a potential employer, is willing to pay for your CFA exams, but it is worth confirming with them before undertaking the qualification.
Level 1 is written in both June and December, while Levels 2 and 3 are written in June only.
Eligibility And How To Earn The Charter
- Become a CFA candidate and enrol in the CFA Program. To do so, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Have a bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree,
- Be in the final year of a bachelor’s degree program,
- Have four years of professional work experience, or
- Have a combination of professional work and university experience that totals at least four years.
- be prepared to take the exams in English.
- have a valid international passport
- meet the professional conduct admission criteria.
- Pass the Level I Exam (June or December).
- Pass the Level II Exam (June).
- Pass the Level III Exam (June).
- Have four years of professional work experience in the investment decision-making process (accrued before, during, or after participation in the CFA Program).
- Join CFA Institute as a regular member.
Test Centres, Registration, Membership and Examination fee
Initially, the nearest country Nigerians could write the examination was Ghana. However, there are now centres in Lagos and Abuja. Information about centres, new policy, courses, program, news or any exam-related question can be gotten from the CFA website.
The cost of enrolling and registering for the CFA level 1-3 examination is about ₦500,000 -1,000,000. The initial registration and exam fees vary. You can find the exact details on the CFA website. There are no exemptions for the CFA exam.
The CFA membership year in Nigeria runs from 1 July to 30 June annually and their fee is paid annually. Charter-Pending Members pays NGN50,000 while Candidate Members pay NGN25,000
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Boost Your Career With The CFA
If you’re thinking about working within the investment management industry, then the CFA is certainly a qualification that’s worth researching. It is presently the most sought after finance certification in the world and is one of the most respected designations in finance.
As with any qualification, if you can speak to someone that has already completed the CFA and ask them to provide their thoughts and experiences of going through the qualification, then that can be a real help when it comes to giving you relevant and useful information that you can use to decide whether or not the CFA is right for you.
The one sure thing about this certification is that you become a hot cake in the labour market. It is worth every cost you will spend, sacrifices, stress you will have to go through. There a few people worldwide who successfully pass and complete the levels for the certification which in turn increases their earning power.
You can also work globally with this certification as it is globally recognised which will, in turn, improve your market value as a professional thus increasing your visibility with recruiters. It definitely ensures faster career progression, especially in the finance and investment sector.
If you feel that you may need some training in your knowledge of maths, economics, or accounting to prepare you for the CFA, then it may be worthwhile hiring a tutor from Superprof Nigeria, one of the best online tutoring platforms.
You can contact any tutor on the site to help you in any given subject or any related courses to the exam you are prepping for.