Chartered Financial Analyst
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a professional designation offered by the CFA Institute to financial analysts. It is a valuable profession that certifies that the person who has it is having an in-depth knowledge of security types and investment. It also includes a thorough knowledge in quantitative methodologies for analyzing securities that is assessing their value and identifying their underlying risks.
One must complete a series of three examinations in order to become a CFA charter holder. It is also important for the individual to possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and 48 months of qualified, professional work experience.
The institute that offers Chartered Financial Analyst, the CFA Institute was formerly known as AIMR (Association for Investment Management and Resources) and came into existence after the merger of Financial Analysis Federation (FAF) and the Institute of Chartered Financial Analyst (ICFA).
The CFA program which began in the United States has become increasingly popular internationally as many have opted to become a CFA charter holder across Europe, Asia and Australia.
By the year 2003, almost half of the candidates of the Chartered Financial Analyst program were based in the United States and Canada, with most of the other candidates based in Asia or Europe. India and China have shown the highest growth with an increase of 25% to 26% respectively in the total number of chartered holders in the year 2005-2006.
The number of CFA charter holders has seen an explosive growth, from 15,000 in 1987 to 59,750 in 2002 to nearly 100,000 in 2007.
The reason behind such a steep rise in the number of CFA charter holders has been the demand by the major employers to fill senior positions in Security Research and Investment Management.