On my previous two posts I did articles on How to be a Chartered Accountant Zimbabwe CA (Z), and How to be a Certified Public Accountant Zimbabwe CPA (Z). While these articles mainly looked at the financial and audit side of accounts, on this article I want to look at yet another specialisation that a person may pursue which is Investment and Finance.
The Chartered Financial Analyst CFA is arguably the most prestigious finance and investment qualification in the world. The program consists three levels of curriculum, each with its own exam. The curriculum contains studies in Ethical and Professional Standards, Quantitative Methods, Economics, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Corporate Finance, Equity Investments, Fixed Income, Derivatives, Alternative Investments, Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning. There are no exemptions offered in the curriculum.
Passing the exam for all three levels and completing work experience involved with the investment decision-making process or producing a work product that informs or adds value to that process during, or after participation in CFA Program are the preliminary requirements that one has to fulfil before applying to be a Charter Holder. In addition to the above, a candidate needs to submit two or three references commenting on their work experience in support of membership application.
A candidate may be admitted into this program in their final year of any bachelor’s program or equivalent or after completing the bachelor’s program. If one is in the final year of their bachelor’s program, they can be registered and start studying but they are only eligible for sitting for exams on completion of the bachelor’s program.
Alternatively, a person may also enter the program on the basis of having combination of four years (or 48 months) of full-time work experience and/or college/university education on the date of registering for the Level I exam. The work experience does not necessarily need to be investment related
Zimbabwe has a local body of members and Candidates of the CFA Institute; this board is called the Investment Professionals Association of Zimbabwe (IPAZ). IPAZ seeks not only to uphold the professional ethics and virtues associated with the CFA Charter, but also seek to promote best practice in the Zimbabwean investments profession as well as positively contribute to regulation and policy-making.
CFA Institute requires that every CFA Program candidate have a valid international travel passport. Those without a passport will not be able to register or sit for exams.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does the exam cost?
As of 2019, the CFA exam cost the following per level.
- Early registration fee: $700 USD
- Standard registration fee: $1,000 USD
- Late registration fee: $1,450 USD
According to Kaplan, as of 2019, depending on when you register, you can pay anywhere from $2,100 to $4350 USD total to take all three levels, assuming that you pass each exam the first time. Add the $450 USD enrolment fee, and the total CFA exam fees range from $2,540 to $5,040 USD.
What are the carrier opportunities after I qualify?
After qualification, one can be employed in various high paying jobs such as Investment Analysts, Fund managers, Research Analysts, Credit Analysts, Portfolio Managers, Accountants, Risk analysts and Consultants.