Learning how to invest can be frustrating because you never know what information to trust. In this video, I’m revealing the top training source used by stock market analysts and industry professionals, the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
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I’ve got a dual purpose for this video. First to help you become a better investor by sharing what is easily the gold standard in investment education. Spend just a couple hours a day and I guarantee you will learn how to invest like the pros within 30 days.
I’ve highlighted in the video the most important chapters to study. Not all of it is required reading for beginner investors but there is some excellent information here. I’ve got degrees in finance and a masters’ in business and none of it compares to what you’ll find in the CFA curriculum.
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I also wanted to help the CFA candidates out there pass the exams. I took the exams in 2009-2011 and the CFA is no joke! It’s three six-hour tests, given once a year and each test is based on more than 1,000 pages of study material. All you can use in the test is a calculator and pencil…no notes, no books, nothing!
Note to CFA Candidates, How to Study for and Pass the CFA Exams
Passing the exams is no joke and you need to FULLY commit to putting everything on hold to study. How did I pass in three years [and honestly why I knew I’d pass every exam]? I over-studied to a level of insanity!
What does that mean? While most candidates wait until January to crack open their books, I bought or borrowed the previous years’ books and started studying in October before my books arrived. The curriculum doesn’t change that much from year-to-year so you can get a head-start with older editions.
I read through the curriculum and did end-of-chapter problems until December when third-party study programs started coming out. I bought the review notes and books [and videos for level 1 and 2] from a third-party provider. Then I would do a topic a week, first re-reading the CFA curriculum, then reading study notes and watching videos then doing all the end-of-chapter questions and any practice questions from the study provider.
That would take me to around end-March and I would go back through each chapter in the study notes, watch videos and do practice tests again. Do not avoid practice problems and tests! You can’t rely simply on passive learning of reading or watching videos. You need that active learning component of working problems.
They say that a person needs to see something about seven times to remember it and if you’re keeping track; between reading the curriculum multiple times, reading study guides, watching videos and doing practice problems, I would always try working through the material about seven times. The average candidates spend on each test is about 300 hours…I estimated I spent around 450 hours on each test.
I know it seems like overkill; a lot of time and money spent but think about two things. First, if you have to repeat any exam it’s going to cost you a year, hundreds of hours in additional studying and a lot of money. Also though, you’re not just studying for the exams but to be a better investment professional. The time you spend and knowledge you gain here in the CFA program will serve you very well throughout your career.
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Joseph Hogue, CFA spent nearly a decade as an investment analyst for institutional firms and banks. He now helps people understand their financial lives through debt payoff strategies, investing and ways to save more money. He has appeared on Bloomberg and on sites like CNBC and Morningstar. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a veteran of the Marine Corps.
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