Sunday, June 5, 2011

Horray! Finished the exam, or got finished?

I am so glad it is over. It was a hell of a day today not because the exam itself was a killer but it was a freak weather this morning! When I got up early in the morning, the rain just became stronger and stronger. I was worried that there will be no cab to take to Expo Hall 5. When my friend and I who shared the cab arrived at the destination, the cab queue to enter the cab area was soooo looongggg. At the end, we decided to alight in middle of the road. I felt like as if the rain could just blow me away to the Neverland.

What I saw at the destination was quite chaotic. Due to the heavy rain, everybody was crowding anywhere there was a shelter. So it was very difficult to ascertain what was happening. After analyzing the situation, I figured the direction I should go. I took my writing tools and placed my bag at the assigned place. Than later on I saw someone slipped and felt due to the slippery floor. Opps, I guess that fall must had caused 10% marks from being deducted due to temporary volatility to the brain!
In the hall that I was seated, it consists of L1, L2 and L3 candidates. So they have to read two sets of instructions because L1 and L2 are multiple choices while L3 are written essay questions. So the overall length of time for instruction listening was multiplied by a factor of 2!

Unfortunately, many candidates were late probability because of the rain. They were not allowed into the hall at around 8:45am as the question papers were being distributed during that time. They were only allowed in after the exam started. So sad for them as they wasted at least 3-5 minutes trying to figure out what to do with the question paper and not to mention to panic and shock of being bar from entering into the hall for 15 minutes (8:45am to 9am). This means they lost 3-5 minutes worth of points!

Lunch time was equally chaotic. I had a hard time retrieving my personal belonging from the designated place because of the huge crowd of candidates trying to do the same thing.

I had to queue at the food court to buy my lunch. Moreover, the rain had not stopped. By the way, I saw a mother screaming at the crowd of CFA candidates because she was being overwhelmed by large crowd of candidates coming out of the exam hall for lunch break. She was with a baby on a stroller. Well, mother like her was there to visit Motherhood exhibition to buy cheap cheap stuff for baby et al.
I did not have time to drink water nor go to the wash room. So I reentered into the exam hall at around 1:20pm so that I can visit the wash room and drink water from the water disperser after I checked-in. For the afternoon session, I completed answering all questions half an hour earlier. I managed to check through half of the questions. This was in contrasts to the morning paper which I hardly managed to complete answering although I think I managed to answer all questions which I know but only leaving out questions I do not know.

When I left the exam hall after the completion of exam, I got struck again but this time right at the exit of the hall! The crowd appeared to refuse to move. I discovered that most candidates placed their personal belongings right in front of the exam hall’s entrance. Maybe they thought the crowd during lunch break that was trying to retrieve their personal belongings at the designated place was just too overwhelming. So now everybody placed their belongings at another place. Boy were they wrong! I guess they must had fell into the Gamber’s Fallancy or perhaps Recallability bias. It turns out that the designated place had hardly anybody! I walked freely to the designated place and took my belongings and went back home.
I think I should be able to pass the Level 3 exam despite continuous recollection of wrong answers I gave due to pressure! Oh yes, my right hand had a cram during the afternoon paper. Thank goodness it recovered quickly! I think I was too tense and it was also quite cold.

The following is a song of celebration:

This is it. 5 June 2011 9am.

When this post goes up automatically at 9am Singapore time, I’ll be in Expo Hall 5 looking at the AM section of the paper. What will I see? IPS? Portfolio Management? Cash and Carry Arbitrage? Perhaps some Behavior Finance thrown in.

This is the last installment of the three parts exam for the CFA Program. It has been a crazy three years of so much sacrifice. When I first started L1, the economy was in deep sh*t and the US almost went belly up. So I thought the recession is going to last for at least three years. That was why I sign up for this three years exam. Little do I know that the economy picked up so fast. I do not know how much money I lost due to the opportunity cost in not meeting clients during this bull run. Moreover, I spent so much time studying that I must admit I feel guilty spending less time with kids and my wife. Now, the latest I read is that the US debt is exploding and may even default. Does it mean that we are going into Financial Crisis II? Looks like business cycle is getting really short these days although the curriculum say it is more than 1 decade!

The huge amount of brain power to be put into the CFA Program is not everyone’s cup of tea. To make it worst, I’ve to study and work at the same time. Most people who takes the CFA Program are working personnel because one of the requirement is the necessity to have a Degree. This means, candidates are likely working. That what makes the examination so difficult as there is so little time to study. The Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) is so huge and vast in materials that it is almost impossible to remember it,

The Level 3 exam is quite different from the first two. In Level 1, the scope is wide and the killer is the Financial Statement Analysis. In Level 2, the scope is deep and the killer is derivative. In Level 3… I don’t know what to say! The AM section of the paper is a written exam. It will be a totally new experience. Overall, Level 3 appears to be mainly qualitative which makes it very tough for people like me who cannot remember facts because I am better in formulae. Still, I think Level 3 is easier compared with the first two. However, I read in the forum of this person who studied 300 hours and did all the EOCs etc, but he still failed his Level 3. Thus, Overconfidence can be detrimental. Perhaps it is better to be adopt the Prudence otherwise I may Regret later. I am crazy reciting all these L3 stuff!

All the best everybody for the exam. I don’t wish to see anyone of you and myself in the same hall again next year. May we never ever meet again in the exam hall after today. Let’s meet up for a drink partying for the passing of the L3 exam. I look forward seeing all of you obtaining your CFA Chartered Holder designation. All the best and may this music from Rocky inspire you:

Saturday, June 4, 2011

144,900 Candidates Register for June 2011 CFA Exams, largest from Asia

144,900 Candidates Register for June 2011 CFA Exams for which 42% comes from Asia.

Source: 144,900 Candidates Register for June 2011 CFA Exams

Countdown: One more day!

One more day before the storm!
Do I follow where she goes?
At the barricades of freedom.
Shall I join my brothers there?
When our ranks begin to form,
Do I stay, and do I dare?
Will you take your place with me?
The time is now.
The day is here.

....Tomorrow we'll discover
What our God in Heaven has in store!
One more dawn
One more day
One day more!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Countdown: Four Days

It's the final countdown
We're leaving together
The final countdown
We'll all miss her so
It's the final countdown to the CFA Level 3 Examination!