CFA stands for "Chartered Financial Analyst". It is the strictest and highest-level in the global investment industry. It sets the norm and standards for the global investment industry in terms of moral ethics, professional standards, knowledge systems, and other aspects. Since the establishment of CFA examination courses in 1963, CFA examinations have been reputed as the "No.1 Finance Examination" in the international financial industry.

The CFA Institute, founded in 1947, is the institute that holds CFA examinations and confers CFA titles. Every year, around the world, the CFA Institute holds certification examinations. The goal of the CFA Institute is "to lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society." The CFA Institute is headquartered in Charlottesville in Virginia, U.S.A. It currently has about 100,000 members in more than 180 countries and regions and has 136 member associations in 57 countries and regions.

In December 2008, the CFA Society China was set up in mainland China. Through more than 10 years of development, it now has local financial analyst associations in many Chinese cities and has set up examination sites in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Nanjing, and Chengdu. According to incomplete statistics, in the next decade, China will need 150,000 specialized financial professionals every year. There are currently about 140,000 CFAs in the world and about 5,000 CFAs in China despite the fact that CFAs are in desperate need.

The UK Securities and Investment Institute (SII) grants SII membership (MSI) to CFA certificate holders and those who meet certain experience requirements can become senior members (FSI). The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regards CFA qualifications as equivalent to the legal qualifications of Series 7 of the General Securities Representative Examination. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) only requires CFA certificate holders to take part in the Accredited in Business Valuation. All this shows that CFA certification is widely recognized in the world, and CFA certificate holders have a clear competitive edge in the global job market.


Introduction to CFA Examinations

1. Level I: this level focuses on investment evaluation and management tools, including introductions to asset evaluation and investment portfolio management skills. The exam form is Multiple Choice. There are 2 papers, each with 120 questions, totaling 240 questions. College students can take the Level I exam only in the fourth academic year.

2. Level II: this level focuses on asset evaluation and investment tool application (including economics, financial statement analysis, and quantitative analysis methods. The exam form is Multiple Choice of case study. There are 2 papers, each with 60 questions, totaling 120 questions.

3. Level III: this level focuses on investment portfolio management, including strategies for using investment tools, and the asset evaluation mode for individual-managed or institution-managed equity securities products, fixed-income securities, financial derivatives, and other investment products. The exam form consists of thesis writing (50%) and case analysis (50%).

*Ethics and professional moral standards are emphasized in the courses of all three levels of CFA examinations.

How to Apply for a CFA Certificate?

1. Application conditions: pass the three levels of CFA examinations in sequence and have four years of experience in investment work

2. Application procedure: log in to the official website of the CFA Institute, fill in the required information, pay the membership fee, and the CFA Institute will send you a certificate conferment email.