Sunday, June 5, 2011

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:

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