Explore Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) Course

What is CFA Course?

The CFA® Program is a globally-recognized graduate level curriculum that provides a strong foundation for real-world investment analysis and portfolio management skills combined with the practical knowledge that you will need in today’s investment industry. It also emphasizes on the highest ethical and professional standards that are required to be followed.

Each year thousands of candidates enroll in the CFA Program and appear for the exams at the test centers all over the world. Completing the CFA Program confirms mastery over the rigorous CFA curriculum as can be evinced by you clearing all the three levels of the exam - the main requirement for earning the CFA® charter.

Career Opportunities after the CFA Program

The Average Salary of a CFA Charterholder

Eligibility criteria

One has to meet at least one of the following requirements:

•    Have a bachelor's (or equivalent) degree
•    Be in the final year of your bachelor's degree program at the time of registration, or
•    Have four years of qualified, professional work experience, or
•    Have a combination of work and college experience that totals at least four years (Note: Summer, part-time, and internship positions do not qualify.)

How to Pursue the CFA Program?

•    Enroll with Proschool for the CFA training program
•    Enroll and Register with the CFA Institute USA for Level I Exam
      o    Exam Month June – Registration Deadline February – March
      o    Exam Month December – Registration Deadline August - September
•    Pass the examinations
•    You need to pass Level I, Level II and Level III exams sequentially.
•    Apply for Membership after clearing your Level III exam ( for membership along with CFA Level III you need to have at least four years of Professional Work Experience)

CFA Curriculum

•    Investment Tools
     o    Quantitative Methods
     o    Economics
     o    Financial Reporting and Analysis
     o    Corporate Finance
•    Ethical and Professional  standards
•    Portfolio Management
•    Equity
•    Fixed Income
•    Derivatives
•    Alternative Investment

CFA Exam Schedule & Fee

Pay as early as:15th Feb
Enrollment Fee (one-time)US$450
Exam Fee:US$930
Total Cost:US$1380

Note: A print version of the June 2017 curriculum may be purchased separately

CFA Institute does not endorse, promote, or warrant the accuracy or quality of the products or services offered by IMS Proschool. CFA Institute, CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

CFA Curriculum

Ethical and Professional StandardsCode of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct
Guidance for Standards I–VII
Introduction to the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS)
Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS)
Quantitative MethodsThe Time Value of Money
Discounted Cash Flow Applications
Statistical Concepts and Market Returns
Probability Concepts
Common Probability Distributions
Sampling and Estimation
Hypothesis Testing
Technical Analysis
EconomicsDemand and Supply Analysis: Introduction
Demand and Supply Analysis: Consumer Demand
Demand and Supply Analysis: The Firm
The Firm and Market Structures
Aggregate Output, Prices, and Economic Growth
Understanding Business Cycles
Monetary and Fiscal Policy
International Trade and Capital Flows
Currency Exchange Rates
Financial Reporting and AnalysisFinancial Statement Analysis: An Introduction
Financial Reporting Mechanics
Financial Reporting Standards
Understanding Income Statements
Understanding Balance Sheets
Understanding Cash Flow Statements
Financial Analysis Techniques
Long-lived Assets
Income Taxes
Non-current (Long-term) Liabilities
Financial Reporting Quality: Red Flags and Accounting Warning Signs
Accounting Shenanigans on the Cash Flow Statement
Financial Statement Analysis: Applications
Corporate FinanceCapital Budgeting
Cost of Capital
Measures of Leverage
Dividends and Share Repurchases: Basics
Working Capital Management
The Corporate Governance of Listed Companies: A Manual for Investors
Portfolio ManagementPortfolio Management: An Overview
Portfolio Risk and Return: Part I
Portfolio Risk and Return: Part II
Basics of Portfolio Planning and Construction
EquityMarket Organization and Structure
Security Market Indices
Market Efficiency
Overview of Equity Securities
Introduction to Industry and Company Analysis
Equity Valuation: Concepts and Basic Tools
Fixed IncomeFixed-Income Securities: Defining Elements
Fixed-Income Markets: Issuance, Trading, and Funding
Introduction to Fixed-Income Valuation
Understanding Fixed-Income Risk and Return
Fundamentals of Credit Analysis
DerivativesDerivative Markets and Instruments
Forward Markets and Contracts
Futures Markets and Contracts
Option Markets and Contracts
Swap Markets and Contracts
Risk Management Applications of Option Strategies
Alternative InvestmentsIntroduction to Alternative Investments

About IMS Proschool:

  1. IMS Proschool along with its Parent organization has trained more than 3 lakh candidates for different competitive exams and professional course such as the CFA Program, the CFP Certification, CIMA, CPA etc

  2. Proschool has trained more than 20,000 employees of different financial organizations on Financial Analysis, Wealth Management, Financial Planning, Equity Research, Management Accounting etc.

Program Structure

Our program has been designed and taught by IIM alumni and CFA charter holders. Primary features of our program:

  • Comprehensive CFA® course that includes effectively delivered study sessions and readings.
  • Efficient and Updated CFA study material with an 11th hour guide which is very useful for a quick revision.
  • Weekend / Weekday training programs that are geared towards the background of the students. (fresh graduates or students with work experience).
  • Lectures taught via the classroom or the live virtual medium to facilitate the student’s preparation to the highest possible degree.
  • Updated and Exam Relevant Question Bank that offers sufficient practice for the various topics.
All the students pursuing Level I CFA at Proschool will also get NSE Certified - Financial Services Foundation Certificate ( on the line of CFA Institute Claritas Certificate) free. More more information of FSF , visit: http://www.proschoolonline.com/cfa-level-1-foundation-training-course
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CFA Reviews

The classes in Proschool are conducted in a very student centric and interactive way. This has helped me in clearing the CFA Level I exam although I hail from an Engineering background. Thanks to all the faculty members.

Ganesh Deshmukh ( Student – PUMBA) 

Proschool helps in building strong foundation of knowledge. This gives a deep understanding of any topic taught in the class. The CFA Faculty members made me aware of many aspects of the Investment field. The exam preparation was made easy by the online resources and summaries of every chapter provided by Proschool.

Sahil  Dosani (Level 2 student) 

The most important part in competing for CFA exam is clarity of concepts. The faculty members at Proschool created such an interest about varied fields in equity and investment that I was way ahead than only classroom training. Their utmost attention to gaining updated knowledge along with classroom studies helped me in clearing as well as growing in this field.

Sanjay Pawar (Darashaw & Co )


A financial analyst researches macroeconomic and microeconomic conditions along with company fundamentals to make recommendations based on its business, sector and industry. They also often recommend a course of action, such as to buy or sell a company's stock based upon its overall current and predicted strength. An analyst must be aware of current developments in the sector in which he or she specializes as well as in preparing financial models to predict future economic conditions for any number of variables.

The CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst. The CFA designation is given to investment professionals who have successfully completed the requirements set by the globally recognized CFA Institute (formerly the Association for Investment Management and Research, or AIMR). CFA Institute continues to offer the CFA Program for the past six decades. The exam started in 1963 in USA and has become globally recognized with 130 local member societies spanning across several countries. By now more than 90,000 investment professionals hold the CFA charter. The CFA program leads the investment profession globally by setting the highest standards in ethics, education and professional excellence.
•    The CFA program focuses on investment knowledge. This helps the candidate to build a focused career in the investment domain either in research or in portfolio management.
•    As the program is done in a self study mode, candidates can focus on working full time while they progress through each level to earn the CFA charter.
•    The program is well-structured to move from a basic entry level to an advanced expert level. Hence it becomes easy for candidates from other disciplines to start in this program and make a switch to the investment profession from other disciplines while doing the CFA program
•    The CFA program has a six-decade history of maintaining a rigorous focus on globally relevant investment knowledge. This has created a good reputation for the program in the investment industry, amongst potential employers. It hence increases employability of all CFA charter holders significantly.
•    The curriculum focuses on the practical knowledge and current real-world skills necessary in the global investment management profession. These skills are immediately useful on the job.
•    Earning the CFA charter places the candidate in the company of more than 90,000 respected investment professionals. Access to their collective expertise, networks, and resources is an invaluable asset.

CFA charter-holders are sought-after by almost all financial institutions. The list below gives a break-up of where the CFA charter holders are employed:
•    Broker-Dealer/Investment Banks – 16%
•    Private Client Wealth Manager/Advisor – 11%
•    Banks – 7%
•    Hedge Funds/Funds of Hedge Funds – 6%
•    Insurance Companies – 4%
•    Pensions and Foundations – 2%
•    Other (Consultancy, Government/Regulators, Academia, Other) – 29%

Ref: http://www.cfainstitute.org

To acquire the CFA charter, candidates must meet the following three criteria:

•    Pass the three exams set by the CFA Institute
•    Have 4 years of “acceptable professional work experience”. This should necessarily be from the finance domain.
•    Join the CFA institute by committing to the CFA Institute’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

To be eligible to enter the CFA Program, you must:
•    Hold a U.S. bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree,
      -    or be in the final year of your bachelor’s degree program
      -    or have four years of qualified, professional work experience
      -    or a combination of work and college experience that totals at least four    years
•    Meet the professional conduct admission criteria (during the application  process, you will be asked to sign statements of Professional Conduct and  Candidate Responsibility)
•    Be prepared to take the exams in English
•    Have a valid international travel passport (required for enrolment and exam registration)

Graduates from any discipline are allowed to take the test. Four years of work experience is a mandatory requirement for getting the charter and not for appearing for the exams. i.e. without work experience a candidate can take the exams.

The CFA program is split-up into 3 levels

•    Level I – Builds the knowledge and comprehension of fundamental investment tools and concepts. It essentially defines: “What is a good investment?”
•    Level II – Builds application and analysis focused on asset valuation. Hence it allows comparison between two assets i.e. it answers “Which is better, investment A or B?”
•    Level III – Synthesis and evaluation of client needs and portfolio management issues. The emphasis is now on portfolio construction and portfolio comparison i.e. “Which is better, portfolio A or B?”

Exam pattern for all the three exams is different.

•    Level – 1: Comprises 2 papers, with 120 multiple choice questions in each paper.
•    Level – 2: Comprises 2 papers, with 60 item set questions to be solved in each paper. The time for each paper is 3 hours. An item set question consists of a caselet on which 6 multiple choice questions are asked.
•    Level – 3: Comprises of 2 papers. The first paper consists of questions to which the candidate has to provide a constructed response (i.e. write an essay type answer). Candidate gets 3 hours to answer this paper. The second paper comprises 60 item set questions, to be done in 3 hours.
There is no negative marking in the CFA exam. The exam happens in a morning session, timings 9.00 AM to 12.00 AM and afternoon session, timings 2.00 PM to 5.00 PM.
•    Level 1 exam happen twice in a year. On the first Sunday of June and December.
•    Level 2 and 3 exams are held once in the year, on the first Sunday of June across the globe.

In India the June 2015 exam will be conducted in 7 cities: Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune.

Candidates who clear CFA exam (any level) are intimated about their results via an email. The email mentions the candidate result as a “Pass” or a “Fail”. A relative score of the candidate for each subject (in all 10 subjects), in each of the 3 result zones is shown, i.e.,
•    Score < 50%
•    Score Between 50% and 70%
•    Score > 70%
If the candidate is not able to clear the exam, then he is given information of the band in which his performance was. The band is from 1 to 10, with 1 showing least score and 10 showing the highest score, i.e. the difference between the candidate who has cleared and the candidate who has not cleared with a Band 10 is very low.

Following are the pass percentage of the previous CFA exams
June 2014 Exam Pass Rates
1.    Level I: 42%
2.    Level II: 46%
3.    Level III: 54%
December 2013 Exam Pass Rate: Level I: 43%
Candidate pays once for the enrollment and regular exam registration fees for each exam. Following are the fees for the June 2015 exam:
•    Program Enrollment Fees = $ 450
•    Exam Registration Fees = $ 825
•    Total Fees = $ 1275 (Approximately Rs. 76,500 (60 Rs./$ as exchange rate))
For the above fees, as a candidate you get to write the June 2015, CFA Level – 1 exam and you are also given 6 curriculum books (fees included in exam registration fees), to study for the exam. These books reach your place within 8 working days of enrollment with the CFA Institute.
As a candidate you can enroll for an exam any time. So once you have decided when to appear for the exam, you can register with the institute for that exam date

To get started with the CFA program, you need to register with the CFA Institute. Also, you can get in touch with Proschool for any other queries, related to the CFA program. Proschool has both classroom and online classes to enable you for a CFA® career. The course is designed to help you, understand and make business decisions related to the investment industry. Proschool will be training you for Level I of CFA® exam. This course is simple to understand with relevant industry examples and case studies with interactive explanations to help you succeed. Our study material and practical training is based on the CFA® curriculum. You can opt for a weekend, weekday or an online course module.

The focus area of CA is Auditing, Accountancy, and Taxation whereas the focus area of CFA® is Investment Banking, Equity Research, Investment Advisory Services, Portfolio Management, Wealth Management, etc.

CA is statutory qualification in India whereas CFA® is an international qualification recognized by any Investment company across the world.

You can start preparing for the CA right after the 12th standard whereas you can start pursuing the CFA® only after graduation.

CFA® passing rate is between 40% and 50% whereas the passing rate for CA is typically less than 10%

The CFA program is investment oriented. Doing CFA means getting into Investment Banking, Mutual Funds, Derivatives, Portfolio Management, Equity / Debt Research, Financial Services, Fund Management for large institutional investors, Banking Industry etc. It has more emphasis on the analysis and research side as compared to accounting.

In contrast, CIMA is an 'accounting qualification' for those working outside public accounting (i.e. audit) It is more about accounting and related issues within finance departments and companies.

CFA® is about financial analysis. It less oriented towards the technicality of accounting, and focuses more on its financial interpretation.

CFA® is more quantitative with respect to the treatment of its topic than CIMA is. CFA® will touch upon derivatives with some depth for instance, whereas CIMA mainly focuses on their accounting significance.

Both the qualifications are recognised across the world. The focus of the CFP curriculum is to make financial plans for an individual whereas the focus of the CFA curriculum is to plan investments for corporate, portfolios and/or institutional investors.

CFA charter holders work in financial areas that deal with institutional investments where as CFP charter holder is involved in advising individual investors, typically with smaller investment portfolios.

Recognition: As an analyst with a CFA designation, you would intensively analyze individual companies and industries.

Area:  CFA is oriented towards financial research and analysis whereas the CFP looks at investment planning for individuals.

Duration: CFA® takes at least 2 years to complete, while the CFP can be completed within a year.

Profile: After the CFA you can make a career in Portfolio Management, Investment Research, Advisory Services, or Investment Banking while after the CFP you can make a career in the field of financial planning,

Eligibility: You can start pursuing the CFP after the 12th while you can sit for the CFA level 1 only after graduation or during the final year of your graduation.
Expenditure: Total expenditure of the CFP along with tuition fee is INR 50,000 to INR60000, CFA expenditure is between INR2 lakh to INR 2.2lakh.
Commitment: Compared to CFP, the CFA exam is tough and requires more time commitment.

Average salary just after completing the CFP is in the range of INR 2 lakh to INR 4 lakh on the other hand after CFA it is in the range of INR 3 lakh to INR 5 lakh.

Exams: To get the CFA designation, you must take three exams, each one in a separate year. The exams cover Finance, Accounting, Economics, Investments, and Ethics. There is also a work experience requirement. Check this website for more details. (www.cfainstitute.org)

Work Experience: In both CFP & CFA®, you need to meet certain education and work experience requirements. You need to have 4 years of relevant work experience for the CFA® and 3 years of relevant work experience for the CFP Certification.

While CFA® gives strong theoretical knowledge about Investments, and how investment decisions are made, Financial Modeling is all about the practical aspects that culminate in investment decisions. Financial Analysts work with Excel sheets and use their extensive knowledge to forecast valuations for companies, markets, industries, etc.
Without an MBA degree from a reputed B School, it is tough for engineers to get into finance, but with the CFA®, it is possible because the CFA® is focused on Investments.

If you're an engineer who wants to make a career shift to a financial field then the top priority should be a CFA®.

The engineering background gives him/her quantitative problem solving skills. Along with this if she/he has a CFA® she/he  is a perfect match for the investment industry. A typical job offered to an engineer with a CFA charter is sales or a trading job.

If you're good at numbers and have an interest in finance, you should do the CFA®. Financial engineering/quantitative finance is a field where they like to hire engineers.

1.    CFA® is cheaper compared to an MBA, it costs about US$3000 (Rs 2 lac to 2.2 lac) for the three levels, an MBA costs around 5 lacs and more.
2.    You do not have to take time off to do the CFA program; it is a self-study program, where as the MBA is a fulltime program
3.    With an MBA it is more about the Management and it covers broader subjects ranging from HR, Marketing, Finance, Operations, Strategy, International Business, e - commerce etc.
4.    The CFA program provides charter holders with specialized skills, such as Investment Analysis, Portfolio Strategy and Asset Allocation. The MBA program covers many things by just scratching the surface, while the CFA program covers one thing with a lot of depth.

The CFA charter is respected as a standard of professional credentials within the global investment community. CFA is an internationally recognized designation. The exam started in 1963 in USA and has become globally recognized in 176 countries. The CFA program leads the investment profession globally by setting the highest standards in ethics, education and professional excellence.

Chartered Financial Analysts work for investment banks, mutual fund firms, hedge funds, brokerage houses, boutique money managers, etc.

Employers across the globe know the value of the CFA charter and recognize the CFA® charter as the standard of professional excellence. Therefore, CFA® gives you the edge and the advantage in the global employment market.  If you're interested in portfolio management, investment research, advisory services, or investment banking, then CFA® is an option that you must consider.

CFA® teaches you about valuations, investment banking etc. In Financial Modeling, you will learn how to use your conceptual understanding in the practical world of finance where you prepare financial models of a company to know its valuation.

CFA® is a well-renowned international qualification in the field of Investments. CFA® is an indispensable qualification for professionals who are looking for a long-term career in Investments. CFA® will prepare you conceptually for subjects such as Financial Reporting Analysis, Fixed Income, Economics etc.  In Financial Modeling you will learn how to use the concepts of Financial Statement Analysis, Economics in practice. In Financial Modeling you do all the calculations on excel whereas in the  CFA® you will solve all the calculations on the Financial Calculator. It will teach you to perform company valuations and make you job ready from day 1. Many students do Financial Modeling first before pursuing CFA®, because it will help them prepare the foundation for CFA® at the same time it can help them get a job in Equity Research, Financial KPOs, etc.
Disclaimer : CFA Institute does not endorse, promote, or warrant the accuracy or quality of the products or services offered by IMS Proschool Pvt Ltd. CFA Institute, CFA®, and Chartered Financial Analyst® are trademarks owned by CFA Institute. 
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