The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter is a globally respected, graduate-level investment
credential established in 1962 and awarded by CFA Institute — the largest global association of
There are currently more than 138,000 CFA charterholders working in 134 countries. To earn the CFA
charter, candidates must: 1) pass three sequential, six-hour examinations; 2) have at least four years of
qualified professional investment experience; 3) join CFA Institute as members; and 4) commit to abide
by, and annually reaffirm, their adherence to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of
High Ethical Standards The CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, enforced
through an active professional conduct program, require CFA charterholders to:
• Place their clients’ interests ahead of their own
• Maintain independence and objectivity
• Act with integrity
• Maintain and improve their professional competence
• Disclose conflicts of interest and legal matters
Passing the three CFA exams is a difficult feat that requires extensive study (successful candidates report
spending an average of 300 hours of study per level). Earning the CFA charter demonstrates mastery of
many of the advanced skills needed for investment analysis and decision making in today’s quickly
evolving global financial industry. As a result, employers and clients are increasingly seeking CFA
charterholders—often making the charter a prerequisite for employment.
Additionally, regulatory bodies in over 30 countries and territories recognize the CFA charter as a proxy
for meeting certain licensing requirements, and more than 125 colleges and universities around the
world have incorporated a majority of the CFA Program curriculum into their own finance courses.
Comprehensive and Current Knowledge
The CFA Program curriculum provides a comprehensive framework of knowledge for investment
decision making and is firmly grounded in the knowledge and skills used every day in the investment
profession. The three levels of the CFA Program test a proficiency with a wide range of fundamental and
advanced investment topics, including ethical and professional standards, fixed-income and equity
analysis, alternative and derivative investments, economics, financial reporting standards, portfolio
management, and wealth planning.
The CFA Program curriculum is updated every year by experts from around the world to ensure that
candidates learn the most relevant and practical new tools, ideas, and investment and wealth
management skills to reflect the dynamic and complex nature of the profession. To learn more about
the CFA charter, visit www.cfainstitute.org.