The CFA Program is a graduate-level self-study program that combines a broad-based curriculum of investment principles with professional conduct requirements. No professional financial credential is as rigorously focused on investment knowledge as the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Only investment professionals who demonstrate ethical, professional, and educational excellence earn the CFA charter. Since the first CFA exam was given in 1963 through the December 2006 exam, the combined global pass rate for all three levels of the exams is 52 percent. Advisors with the CFA credential have:

  • Earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited university
  • Gained at least four years of work experience in an investment decision-making role; and
  • Passed three rigorous, 6-hour examinations that are taken in sequence over at least a two year period (successful CFA program candidates devote an average of at least 250 hours of independent study per exam)

All CFA examinations cover investment-related knowledge and understanding, such as:

  • Ethics and professional standards
  • Investment tools, including economics, financial statement analysis, and quantitative analysis
  • Asset valuation, including equity, fixed income, derivatives, and alternative investments; and
  • Portfolio management for both individuals and institutions