- You are responsible for choosing the resources you will study from. There are various resources, the best of them are the institute’s books. However, we don’t prefer them for taking too much time as they go very deep in details. As an alternative, you can use Schweser books as they are very summarized. You can also have a look on Wiley’s, but Schweser is always the best choice.
- You must also study Ethics from the institute’s books as they are the best resources, for covering many examples and the idea as a whole.
- On another hand, you can either study on your own or take a course, as you have to study 5 books in each level divided into 10 subjects such as Financial derivatives and alternative investment, and some others that may seem difficult to understand by yourself.
- The institute gives you some important online question, which you will get when your register for the exam. Such questions are more advanced than the actual exam, however it makes you aware of its style.
- Moreover, the institute provides mock exams; try to solve them as they are very important. While revising for the exam, use Schweser.
Best ways to study
There are some tips you should know before starting to study:
- Choosing the material
- Videos explaining the subjects, and we provide you with videos of some of these subjects on our YouTube Channel and here is the link:
You can also watch Irfanullah’s videos on IFT Channel
You will need a calculator. If you can’t afford it, use any calculator application from Google Play. However, you must get one for the exam and practice on it.
You must have a translation application for difficult terms that might face you and to know their correct pronunciation. We recommend “Youglish” website and “U Dictionary” application
You will need a notebook to write your notes while studying to make it easy to revise for the exam.
Create your own timetable for studying
How to study?
- First of all, it’s not difficult to put a plan, it’s all about how to apply it in order to be ready for the exam.
- To create your timetable, you should be aware when, how and the quantity of your understanding till the exam. It usually takes 8-12 months to study and revise for the exam.
- Arrange the subjects according to their difficulty. We, in Finance Coach, arrange them according to our point of view, starting with the easiest to encourage you to keep on studying. We arrange them as follows:
- Corporate Finance
- Financial reporting
- Quantitative methods
- Equity investment
- Fixed income
- Derivative investment
- Alternative investments
Create a medium-term monthly plan and an easy-term weekly plan. For instance, if you start with Corporate Finance, set a goal to finish it in about 3 weeks. The weekly plan is to study 1-2 readings, and each one usually takes 3 days, and solve their questions. If you want to join our studying plan, we have a group for self-study for CFA Level 1, in collaboration with Finance Coach instructors who will guide you. In addition, studying with other students will encourage you. Here’s the group link:
- Before studying the reading, you should check the learning outcome statement to identify what does the institute need you to understand.
- Watch our videos or Irfanullah’s videos and study the reading.
- While studying, read the examples of the institute’s book “Blue Box”. If you find any difficulty understanding any point, get back to the book or to us. You can also search on Investopedia website, for it explains the information in a simple way.
- After studying each chapter, you must answer the questions followed by the reading of Schweser. Always check your percentage score; if you got 15/20, your percentage is 75%. Getting more than 70% means you understand properly what are you required to do. Try to practice on getting higher scores in order to be able to face the pressure of the exam and its duration and keep a stopwatch with you. If you got lower scores in some subjects, don’t panic. You will improve yourself when you practice more.
- You should test yourself on each subject to be able to identify your understanding rate. The new subject you study, the more you will forget the old one. However, it’s totally normal and to solve this problem read the summary of each reading.
- Practicing is extremely important. Always learn from your mistakes and identify the reason of the correct answers.
At the end of each week, write your achievements and mark it as “Done” to encourage yourself to achieve more.
- Always remember that “God will not allow to be lost the reward of any who did well in deeds” – Inna la nudeeAAu ajra man ahsana AAamalan .
- The program is difficult, however, always tell yourself that as long as there are others who succeeded, it is not impossible to do it.
- Revise continuously and remember the information. This will help you challenge your fear.
- While practicing for the first time, you may get low scores. It’s okay, next time you will do better.
- While studying for the first time, you will find difficulty understanding many terms and you will need to translate them. No worries, you will pass this by time.
- Don’t register for the exam unless you have studied more than one subject, to be able to identify the time needed to study the rest of them.
Always give yourself a break. It will refresh your mind and your interest. Always create your timetable and make sure it is applicable in order not to let yourself down by creating a very difficult plan. The real challenge is how to proceed and never lose hope.
CFA Level 1 courses
The Chartered Financial Analyst Program is not only a professional certificate. It will help you through your career path. It also helps to establish an integrated society that speaks a common language of finance, investment, opportunities and risks. It builds a society that tries to create a better investment climate by spreading thoughts and raising awareness of finance and investment. Here are the 10 subjects of level 1:
The first subject on your journey to the program. It represents 15% of the 2020 exam. The objective of this subject is being able to understand the financial statements properly and work on financial analysis, to reach an investment decision whether to buy shares, grants, loans or make deals with the company
In this subject, we will speak about understanding and preparing financial statements and understanding how accounting has a significant impact on investment decisions. In financial statements you will also know the income list, the methods of recognition of revenue, the financial center list, stock assessment, the impact of taxes on financial results, and some financial ratios that will help you understand accounting and its relationship to investment, as well as the most important list in the investment world, the list of cash flows.
We will study FRA using IFRS standards, which are close to the Egyptian accounting standards, except only 4 criteria. We will also know the differences between them and the American accounting standards GAAP
Represents 10% of the exam
The whole world of investment is based on this subject. You will learn why the company can take a decision on an investment in a project, rather than the other one even though both of them are profitable.
You will learn about more than one topic, such as capital balance and how to evaluate projects, whether the introduction of a new product, more exposure, or new machinery.
You will learn about NPV and IRR, and see what problems you can encounter and the capital cost of WACC, which is the most important figure in the investment world after Zero. In addition to management methods of traded assets and other topics in such subject.
Represents 11% of the exam
This subject discusses one of the most controversial financial assets, which include many risks. We will identify them and learn more about the asset, starting with its stock exchanges, how to valuate bonds, go in depth in some calculations to understand the world of bonds.
Represents 11% of the exam
The second part of the old financial assets, old ones with bonds.
You will understand the meaning of stock exchange and what does it mean that this index rose by a billion.
You will learn more about equity investment in stocks, in addition to the different valuation methods, the DCF “Discounted cash flow” is the most well-known of them, which is related to the cash flow list, which we mentioned before that it is one of the most important financial statements in the investment world
Represents 6% of the exam
Financial derivatives are one of the most dangerous financial assets ever, like the catastrophe that swept the world in 2008.
Financial derivatives are financial instruments whose value is derived from the performance of a real or financial asset, or basic contracts for investment instruments
Financial derivatives are used for many purposes, including: managing risk, hedging against risks and arbitrage between markets and for purely speculative purposes.
For purchasing these financial instruments, leverage is used, which allows the purchase of derivatives at a price that exceeds available assets for investment.
It represents 6% of the exam
Alternative investments discusses various financial assets from traditional assets, and the world of real estate and commodities, such as oil and gold, and others.
One of the most important advantages of alternative investments that help investors, especially the wealthy, ensure that these investments exist in their portfolios as the returns of alternative investments are not affected by the performance of other financial investments or get affected by simple ratios and sometimes, they reverse. So, these investments add a kind of balance to the achieved returns and make the total return of the portfolio more stable. Moreover, some alternative investments achieve a return that exceeds the returns of traditional investments such as private equity and hedge fund.
Represents 10% of the exam
In Statistics field, you will find any experienced financial manager saying that a person may lie but numbers will never. In other words, this subject makes numbers speak themselves.
This subject is tough but you still can understand it properly, and you will know the value of the statistics because you will study it differently. All the main points tackled will have resources from the practical reality of the investment field, such as Time value of money as well as probability, natural distribution and other matters that are essential to the world of finance and business
You will study the meaning of macroeconomics and microeconomics. You will understand what is happening in the country from economic reforms, and whether they are right or wrong.
You will understand what is the national product, with its details, why does the interest rate goes up and down, and on what basis.
You will take a quick look at some economic concepts and principles, such as: supply and demand, international trade, the flow of capitals and policies that countries make in the form of monetary and financial policy, and the impact of interest and inflation on production and macroeconomic numbers.
Represents 6% of the exam
One of the most important subjects of the program. It is interested in the operations of managing all the assets that we mentioned above, and you will learn about some principles, such as revenue and risk, and how to use the financial tools and assets in your portfolio management operations, maximize the return and reduce the risks related to the investment portfolio. You will also learn what is systematic risk and know some strong and important terms such as diversification Beta, for such terms summarizes the whole subjects.
Represents 15% of the exam
There is no science without professional ethics
It is a very important subject, in regards to the program. You must study it from the institute’s books and we will be exposed to some professional standards that the institute has set to preserve the reputation and integrity of the investment world.
The Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts, every year, makes an amendment to the study curriculum in order to keep pace with the changes taking place in the investment world
Sometimes the changes are slight, like adding or removing some points, and sometimes there are great changes.