(MENAFN Editorial) CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials, reports that 43 percent of the 45,693 candidates that took the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level I exam in December 2013 have passed and taken the first step to joining the next generation of highly educated and ethical investment professionals. In June and December of 2013 a total number of 93,195 candidates sat for Level I of the CFA Program, a globally recognized, graduate level curriculum that links theory and practice with real-world investment analysis, and emphasizes the highest ethical and professional standards.
The results come at a time when investment professionals worldwide report greater optimism over economic prospects for the coming year, but do not express confidence that the integrity of capital markets is improving, according to the CFA Institute 2014 Global Market Sentiment Survey (GMSS). The dedication shown by investment professionals taking the CFA Program demonstrates a strong desire to build a more trustworthy industry and develop a culture where ethical practice is just as important as investment performance.
"The financial community is dealing with a crisis of investor trust, and industry education at all levels is a critical part of rebuilding that trust," said John Rogers, CFA, president and CEO of CFA Institute. "The next generation of investment professionals is instrumental in shaping the future of finance, and each one of these successful candidates has the opportunity to build the kind of industry culture that puts investors first and better serves society."
To earn the CFA designation, candidates must pass all three levels of exam (successful candidates often report dedicating in excess of 300 hours of study per level); meet the work experience requirements of four years in the investment industry; sign a commitment to abide by the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct; apply to a CFA Institute society; and become a member of CFA Institute.
The CFA Program curriculum is firmly grounded in the knowledge and skills required every day in the investment profession and covers ethical and professional standards, securities analysis and valuation, international financial statement analysis, quantitative methods, economics, corporate finance, portfolio management, and performance measurement. Level I exams are offered in both June and December and Levels II and III are offered only in June. It takes most candidates more than three years to complete the CFA Program, and requires dedication and determination.
The December 2013 Level I exam was administered in 93 test centers in 70 cities across 39 countries worldwide. Examples of countries and territories with the largest number of candidates that took the Level I CFA exam last December are the United States (10,317), Mainland China (7,823), India (4,179), Canada (3,554), the United Kingdom (3,136), Hong Kong (1,992), Singapore (1,529), South Africa (1,058), and United Arab Emirates (1,030).