Chartered Financial Analyst
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a professional designation given by the CFA Institute that measures a financial analyst's competence and integrity. Candidates for the CFA title must pass three levels of exams covering areas such as accounting, economics, ethics, money management and security analysis.
To become a CFA charterholder, you must have a minimum of three years of investment/financial experience. Those enrolling in the program must hold a bachelor's degree.
To pass the exams, one must have a comprehensive understanding of accounting, economics, and portfolio management, as well as successful demonstration of a high level of proficiency in the valuation and analysis of both equity and fixed-income securities.
The expansion of up to about a million people having taken the test by 2008, was believed to partly reflect that lure of significant money in the area of finance and (at least until the credit crisis). But it is also taken as showing the growing appeal of the CFA brand outside its American birthplace: more than two-fifths of 2008 candidates come from Asia, where job ads in the South China Morning Post now often say "CFA-required."