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Monday, March 22, 2010

Chartered Financial Analyst


The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a career of rather recent origin and recognition, and multiple career opportunities are available to the CFAs. At present over 150 CFAs are working in several banks, financial institutions and corporate sector. Inthese fields, the CFAs occupy the key position with lucrative salary and perks like Appraisal Executives, Fund Managers, Investment Managers, Financial Analysts, Manager Hire Purchase, Manager Portfolio Management, Financial Constultants, Investment Advisors etc, Plethora of mutual Funds and hire purchase companies during the recent years have increased the employment opportunities for CFAs manifold.

The Programme of Chartered Financial Analysts conducted by the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI) is meant for two category of students i.e. the executives desirous of updating their professional skills in financial analysis and the fresh graduates who are interested to pursue a professional career in Corporate Finance, Financial Service and Investment Management.
The Institute
The Institute (ICFAI) was established in the year 1985 as a non-profit educational society to train a cadre of finance professionals and to build financial skills of managers and administrators. Among other Programmes like Diploma in Basic Finance (DBF) and Merchant Banking and Financial Services (MBFS) the Institute also runs the prestigious CFA Programme, on competion of which the students are awarded the degree of CFA.

Various Government departments seek expert opinion of the Institute on several financial matters of national interest. Currently, there are over 18000 students enrolled with the Institute for the CFA Programme. It is recognized as a post-graduate programme and various Government Departments, Public Sector Undertakings and the financial institutions like RBI, UTI, IDBI, ICICI, IFCI etc., reimburse the fee of Programme incurred by their staff pursuing this Programme.
The Programme
It is essentially a self-study programme and the Institute supplies study material to the enrolled students. The CFA Programme strives to build a cadre of financial analysts to meet the challenges of modern day business dynamics and to meet the need of financial functionaries at higher level in the corporate sector. A unique professional programme, it is aimed at providing deep insight and undertstanding in three core areas like corporate finance, investment management and financial services. This programme, however, does not lay much emphasis on the areas like book-keeping, auditing and taxation which are adequately covered by the traditional programmes like CA, ICWA, FICWA etc. Instead, it is designed for the future needs of the corporate sector, the investment industry and the financial sector.
Eligibility and Admission
Any graduate in any discipline from a recognized university is eligible to seek admission to the Programme which is made on the basis of an admission test. The students appearing in the final year examination of graduation are also eligible. However, MBAs, Post Graduate Diploma Holders in Management, CAs, CWAs, CSs, CAIIBs, First class graduates/post-graduates and senior executives with ten years of service in the public sector or the private sector may seek exemption from the admission test.

The admission test aims at testing the aptitude of the candidates for professional studies in financial analysis. Hence the test places emphasis on the test of quantitative reasoning. The admission test is held four times in a year i.e. in the months of January, April, July and October at 24 centres spread all overthe country. A particular centre may, however, not operate if a minimum prescribed candidate do not opt for that centre.
Enrolment
The candidates who are successful in the admission test and those who are exempted from passing the admission test are enrolled for the Programme. A student is allowed a maximum period of three years to complete the preliminary level of the programme and a maximum period of seven years to complete the entire programme.
Programme Levels
The CFA Programme is divided into three levels i.e. preliminary level, inter level and the final level. The examinations for preliminary level are held four times in a year in the months of Jnauary,April, July and October whereas the same for inter and final level are held twice in a year in the months of January and July. The students are required to pass three levels in proper sequence. The three levels are: (a) Preliminary level; (b) Inter level; and (c) Final level.
Coaching Facilities
The Programme is primarily designed as a distance learning course. The Institute provides high quality text books, solution manuals, assignments, select readings and model question papers to supplement self study by the students. In addition the Institute organises week-end workshops at Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Hyderabad and Bangalore. These workshops are designed to assist the students to have better understanding of the basic concepts and problems.
Completion
On successful competion of the Programme the candidates are awarded the degree and designation of Chartered Financial Analysts. ICFAI being closely associated with such institutes all over the world including the USA, Japan, Norway, France, Singapore etc, the successful candidates may seek careers not only in India but also abroad.
Other Details
The Institute advertises the Programme from time to time in leading national newspapers for the information of interested candidates. However, further details like fees, syllabi procedures etc, are available in the prospectus which may be obtained by sending a demand draft of Rs 150 in favour of the "ICFAI" from The Admissions Officer (CFA), The Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India, Road No. 3 Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034.

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