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Who is a CFA Charterholder?

A Chartered Financial Analyst is one of the relatively few candidates to successfully complete the three year self-study program, sanctioned by three exacting six hour exams. This person has earned an undergraduate and often a graduate degree in a variety of fields. To achieve the charter, he or she also needs a minimum of four years of relevant professional experience and as importantly, must abide by the strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct of CFA Institute.

Moreover, he or she… 

Breadth and depth of knowledge

  • Has acquired solid theoretical and practical knowledge in: risk management, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, fixed income, equity investment, derivatives, alternative investments, quantitative methods, economics, corporate governance, portfolio management, wealth planning, and performance measurement
  • Invests in continuing education and has access to a wealth of cutting edge intellectual resources to stay abreast of the latest developments in finance
  • Global perspective, Canadian smarts
  • Maintains a global perspective, but knows the unique characteristics of the Canadian marketplace as many have worked in various cities across the country and abroad
  • Belongs to a large global organization, CFA Institute, with members in more than 147 countries and is a leading voice in policy debates on market integrity
  • As a member of a local CFA society, benefits from a tight network of finance professionals

A well rounded professional

  • Has developed a rigorous analytical mind that leads to thoughtful and careful decisions for the benefit of his or her clients
  • As an experienced professional, has gained precious personal and managerial skills
  • May fill a wide range of positions, from junior analyst to chief executive, in boutiques and large financial institutions


Source: CFA Societies Canada

“CFA is the global benchmark for investment professionals...CFA is not just an academic qualification; it’s heavily wedded to practitioners, who give us their input on what skills they want candidates to have coming into the workforce...CFA is the gold standard of the investment profession."

- Financial Times, 06/14/2020

“The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification is roughly equivalent to a specialized postgraduate finance degree, including a mixture of economics, ethics, law, and accountancy. It is much liked by employers in financial services. Whereas there are tens of thousands of finance degrees available around the world, ranging from the excellent to the worthless, there is only one CFA, managed and examined by an American association of financial professionals, the CFA Institute."

- The Economist, 2/26/2005

"Among the countless finance degrees around the world, the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification has become the gold standard. Its reputation has been helped by exponential growth in the past decade and the high regard in which it is held by employers. It has about 100,000 members worldwide, and in 2010 double that number registered to take its exams. The CFA designation has been recognised in the UK as being equivalent to a master’s-level degree."

"Stealthily, the CFA designation became a gold standard for the globally expanding financial services industry. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Barclays were among the employers with the largest numbers of CFA charter holders."

- Financial Times Magazine, 8/13/2010

CFA Institute

CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, promotes the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence in the investment management industry.  Every day 149,000 CFA® charterholders in 165 countries and regions show their investors, their firms, and society that they measure up to the highest standards of ethics and professional conduct.

CFA Institute believes that the purpose of finance is to lay the foundation for the ultimate benefit of society. It isn’t enough to talk about a better world for investors — we need to take actual steps to build it.

To learn more, please visit the CFA Institute website.