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An Overview of the Chartered Financial Analyst Exams

Brian D. Ladin

A graduate of Tulane University, Brian D. Ladin is the founder of Delos Investment Management and Delos Shipping, where he oversees capital investments in the international shipping industry. Brian D. Ladin previously served as an investment manager and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Administered by the CFA Institute, the Chartered Financial Analyst credential is acknowledged as a mark of deep knowledge and high ethical standards. With over 125,000 charterholders throughout the globe, the CFA designation prepares people for positions such as portfolio manager, corporate financial analyst, and other executive-level occupations. A self-study program that usually takes about four years to complete, CFA exams are divided into three levels of increasing scope and importance.
Comprising two three-hour multiple choice sessions, the Level I test is primarily weighted toward financial reporting and analysis and other investment tools. The Level II test covers valuing assets and is composed of two sessions of situational vignettes. Finally, the Level III test is made of two sets of essay questions, each of which may have up to eight parts. Building on the first two tests, the third exam is dedicated primarily to wealth planning and portfolio management.
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