Calling all finance aspirants, are you struggling with finding the right path for your career? If you’re on the fence, here is some information that will help you tip over in the right direction. Investment banking is one of the hottest jobs in the finance industry today. There is an immense potential for growth and incredible global opportunities in this field. It’s also one of the best paying jobs around, with lucrative starting salaries that only go higher with experience. 

If you are thinking, “Sounds good! Where do I sign up?” Hold on. It’s not that simple. Many commerce graduates and finance students have had the exact same light bulb moment. There are a lot of potential applicants vying for a limited number of job positions. To get ahead, you need a game plan.

The Chartered Financial Analyst program gives you an edge. It helps you develop and evolve as a valuable asset in the world of investment advisory services. It is a globally renowned certification for investment-related careers, with an intensive and comprehensive syllabus across three levels. The CFA can be a launchpad for a finance-based profession, or can even enhance your existing career.

At the end of the course, you will be on track to become a smart, insightful banking professional. You develop a keen understanding of the stock market. You increase your chances of getting hired in a prestigious firm. Your earning potential will escalate and you will be miles ahead of your peers in the industry. Don’t just take our word for it, keep scrolling down to find out more. 

The benefits of the CFA course 

Investment banking is a complex financial field that offers a variety of services to individuals and companies. Although for both, the agenda is the same: to increase wealth and develop assets. Whether it is through propriety trading, portfolio management, raising capital, mergers or financial consulting. 

It can get complicated. You need to have your finger on the pulse of the financial markets. You have to be equipped to deal with the fluctuations and sudden shifts that happen within the uncertain, erratic landscape of the investment industry. You also need to keep a cool, balanced head under pressure. 

The CFA course helps you prepare for this challenging yet rewarding financial sector. They offer intensive training, experienced faculty and an advanced teaching module so you develop a deep understanding of the financial industry. Once you complete the three mandatory levels within the program, you become a charter holder. 

Job profiles for the certified investment banker

After you have received your certification, you can work with an investment services company in many roles. Here are a few of the many respected designations within this field.

  • Equity research analyst

An equity research analyst helps their clients to make sound investments by providing insights and a detailed analysis of the stock market.

  • Wealth manager

This profile requires you to work closely with your clients. You have to assess their income, expenses, insurance plans and financial goals to determine the best investment strategies to increase their personal wealth while managing any sudden lifestyle changes. 

  • Portfolio manager

You will have to use your expertise in the stock market to make sound decisions about your client’s investment portfolio. It is your responsibility to figure out when to invest, what stocks to buy and when to sell. 

  • Fund manager

You will use your proficiency and experience to manage the portfolio of several clients in a mutual funds company.

  • Risk manager 

You will be required to analyse different financial threats and predict any problems that may occur. You also need to develop a risk management plan to overcome the issues.

The CFA course details

1. The eligibility criteria 

Bachelor’s degree 

You will need a university degree or equivalent from any stream to apply for the certificate. 

The final year of graduation 

You can be a final year student with less than 11 months till graduation. 

Work experience 

You are eligible to apply if you have accumulated over 4,000 hours of professional experience. You should clock those work hours within a duration of three years before you register for the level 1 exam. 

2. The CFA exam structure 

  • The course contains ten subjects divided across three sections: CFA Level 1, 2 and 3 
  • All three levels will have computer-based exams (CBEs)
  • Levels 1 and 2 exams will have multiple choice questions only
  • Level 3 exams will have multiple-choice as well as essay-type questions

3. The CFA curriculum 

The syllabus covers the following topics:

1. Investment tools

  • Quantitative methods
  • Economics
  • Corporate finance
  • Financial reporting and analysis

2. Ethical and professional standards

3. Asset classes

  • Equity Investment
  • Fixed Income
  • Derivatives
  • Alternative Investments

4. Portfolio management and wealth planning

How the CFA qualification will help boost your finance career

#1 Fast track your career 

The CFA course is recognised by advisory financial services, global investment banks and investment firms as an intelligent, well-designed program. This is why certified applicants have a better chance of getting hired. You’re also likely to climb up the corporate ladder quicker with a certification than without one.

#2 Teaches you detailed industry knowledge 

The program gives you the coaching, training and preparation so when you join a company you don’t need on-the-job training.

#3 Globally recognised in major countries

The charter is highly acknowledged in over 165 countries. Once you complete your program, the certificate can come in handy if you want to work abroad. It boosts your chances of landing a high-end job in investment services in prominent countries such as the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UAE.

#4 Helps you get a bigger salary package 

During your interview rounds, you can negotiate a higher salary. Since your qualification is globally recognised and valued by many companies, you may end up receiving a higher remuneration than non-charter holders.

#5 It is a part-time course, so won’t interrupt your life 

You already have a job in finance, but you are looking for a career upgrade? The CFA certification course is perfect. It will give you the professional boost you need. You don’t have to stop working to study for the certification. You’ll be able to balance between your job and preparing for the exams, and you won’t have to sacrifice too much of your time. Once you are done, you get to take your career in a new direction. 

In conclusion 

Investment bankers with a CFA certification are financial rock stars. They are thoroughly trained to analyse the commercial markets, evaluate the economic risks and create value. They can tap into their expertise and capabilities to successfully manage and expand their clients’ investment portfolios and funds. With a little careful planning, that can be you. If you are interested in being a part of the financial services industry, take your career to the next level with the CFA program. It will lend substantial credibility to your resume. It will even make you eligible for higher-level positions a lot quicker. After that, you could go on to enjoy a rich, fulfilling career filled with immense opportunities. So are you ready to invest in yourself? 

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