Is the CFA Right for You? – Pros & Cons of Taking the CFA® Exam

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Is the CFA Right for You? – Pros & Cons of Taking the CFA® Exam

Should I consider taking the CFA®? Is this program right for me? Will it open doors to new opportunities?

These are questions prospective candidates ask themselves every day. If you are interested in finance and investment markets, the CFA® Exam is something you should really look into. It’s a prestigious program with global recognition that gives employers at top financial firms the impression that you’re committed to the field and dedicated to your personal and professional growth.

What is the CFA®?

The CFA® designation is the most prestigious in the investment management world. The designation is given to those who have completed the CFA® Program as well as met the work experience requirements.

The CFA® Program is a three-part exam that tests candidates’ knowledge of investment management, portfolio management, and ethical standards.

Why is the CFA® Important?

Completing the CFA® Program qualifies candidates to become CFA® Charterholders and opens doors for prestigious career opportunities in executive positions in portfolio management, risk management, wealth management, financial planning, and more.

Is the CFA® Right for You?

While the benefits of enrolling in the CFA® Program are plenty, such an esteemed certification requires rigorous dedication and over 300 hours of preparation for each level.

Pros of Taking the CFA® Exam

Globally Recognized Professional Financial Qualification

No other designation in the finance profession carries the same weight and importance as the CFA®. If you plan to invest professionally, become a research analyst, portfolio manager, or asset manager, the CFA® designation will provide the most value for your career path.

Gain a valuable credential like the CFA® designation to share on your resume. Completing the CFA® Program will expose you to better networking opportunities, attractive job offers, and much higher salaries. Some typical jobs for CFA® Charterholders include:

  • Portfolio Manager
  • Risk Manager
  • Credit Analyst
  • Risk Analyst
  • Research Analyst
  • Corporate Financial Analyst
  • Chief Investment Officer
  • Wealth Manager
  • Financial Planner

Strong Level of Commitment

The CFA® is a prestigious program with global recognition. It gives employers at top financial firms the impression that you’re committed to the field and dedicated to your personal and professional growth. Given that it requires many hours of rigorous study and dedication, it is testament to your ability to excel in whatever field you set your mind to.


Studying for the CFA® Exam can be done part-time, while you work, or study. The CFA® isn’t a designation that requires you to put your life on hold. In fact, a majority of candidates register for the CFA® Exam and enroll in prep programs while in their last year of university or while working a full-time job.

While the CFA® Exam requires around 300 hours of dedicated study time per level, and becoming a certified CFA® Charterholders requires you to pass all three levels of the exam, the study hours can be manageable part-time.

Cons of Taking the CFA® Exam

Major Time Investment

In order to become a certified CFA® Charterholders, you have to put in the hours. Preparing for the CFA® Exam Level 1 alone requires around 300 hours of study time, not to mention the discipline and commitment that are imperative during these long hours.

Cost of Registration & Preparation Programs

While it may be more cost-effective than an MBA, enrollment, books, preparation courses, study notes, and exam fees for the CFA® Exam can cost you around $3,000-$6,000, depending on when you enroll and how you choose to study.

No Guarantee

The CFA® program is very competitive and comes with many challenges. However, even if you’ve put in the hours, there’s not only no guarantee that you’ll become a certified CFA® Charterholder, but there’s also no guarantee that you’ll pass all three levels of the exam. Note that although some employers may value candidates that have passed at least one level, you must pass all three levels of the exam to complete the CFA® program.

Introducing CogniVisio

At CogniVisio, we turned the study and preparation process for the CFA® exam into a smooth and enjoyable learning experience. Our digital video solutions transform the long texts into visuals and animations that facilitate focused learning and help candidates visualize, process, and retain information.

The videos thoroughly cover all 10 topics of the CFA® exam Level I. Each video is short and dedicated to a single concept. Yet, the 3,000+ minutes of instruction offer comprehensive coverage of every concept in sufficient detail.

The material is presented in a way that facilitates studying during breaks, on the go, and anytime or anywhere, saving you time and offering you all the flexibility you need to work or complete a degree in parallel.

The videos, multiple examples, and hundreds of practice questions, were created by a qualified team of CFA® Charterholders and finance professionals.

Check out our available courses for the CFA® Exam Level 1.

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