CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst is one of the most sought after certifications for developing a niche in the field of finance. It is great for people already in the financial industry to upskill themselves or a fresher looking to make their way into the robust world of finance. It is a Global certification carried out and administered by the CFA Institute as a distance learning course. The fact that it is internationally accepted makes it different and more appealing from other financial courses with a lot more exposure and learning.

Let’s get more deeper into it…

CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst: An Overview

Chartered Financial Analyst is a professional certification affiliated with the CFA Institute to provide comprehensive learning in various fields of finance ranging from portfolio management to equity analysis and different financial products. It is a rather tedious course that requires sincere hard work and persistence. The examination takes place twice annually and the aspirants can choose whichever slot suits them.

It is divided into 3 levels that one needs to qualify to complete this certification. Each level has a set curriculum that goes from beginner to intermediate and advanced as the levels increase. The study material is provided as a soft copy (online) comprising of lessons, and video lectures.

Starting from 2020 the CFA exam is switching its mode from a paper-based to a computer-based format only.

For CFA Level I, there used to be 120 questions in each morning and afternoon slot i.e. 240 total questions in total. But, now the same has been reduced to 180 questions i.e. each session of 90 questions of 2 hours 15 minutes each. Thus, justifying the rather tedious part! 

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However, it surely has its pros like objective MCQ type questions are asked and no negative marking is done. So you can attempt all questions without the fear of losing marks on even the right answers! Another good thing about this entire process is the flexibility one gets while preparing and appearing for it. You can choose your slot to appear, you are free to prepare in your way through online material and even choose the center closest to you for giving the examination.

The Charter makes your CV stand out thus exposing you to a whole set of better job opportunities!

While on the subject of the pros of this charter and why it is worth taking it up, let’s look into the scope it has in different countries. As a whole, there are around 90,000 CFA professionals working in ove3 130 countries around the Globe. However, in this article, we cover India, the US, and Canada- the hotspots.

CFA Scope: India

India is one of the fastest-growing countries in terms of people investing their money in the stock market. According to reports, only 12 million out of 1.2 billion people of this country are familiar with the Equity market and investments. While 12 million in itself a huge number, the potential of expansion is also plenty!

Investment giants and conglomerates are expected to increase by 33.3% in the next decade. A CFA professional after the much-needed experience can see themselves working for one of these conglomerates or financial intermediaries.

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CFA Scope in India: Career Options

After completing CFA, you can be employed on various job roles listed below:

  • Equity Analyst
  • Equity Research Associate
  • Finance Manager
  • Chartered Financial Analyst
  • Research Analyst
  • Credit Analyst
  • Senior Financial Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Investment Banker
  • Portfolio Manager
  • Personal Financial Advisor
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CFA Salary in India: Average Numbers 

The average salary of a CFA professional ranges from Rs.1.8 lacs to 20 lacs per annum depending upon individual exposure and skill set. For a more detailed view of the same, we have curated a list of some of the top CFA recruiters in India with the salary package they offer:

Salary Package (Avg)
TATA capital 15-22 lacs p.a.
Deloitte 14-30 lacs p.a.
Aditya SunLife 13-25 lacs p.a.
SBI Bank 15-25 lacs p.a.
Reliance Industries 24-45 lacs p.a.
Bharti Airtel 12-22 lacs p.a.
ICICI Bank 12-27 lacs p.a.
Hindustan Unilever 15-36 lacs p.a.
ITC 15-25 lacs p.a.

CFA Salary USA: Scope

According to the recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a Chartered Financial Analyst in the USA is $83,000. The demand for such personnel is high in the United States due to the presence of leading financial conglomerates that the fact that the US stock markets affect the world economy like nothing else does.

As far as Job roles are concerned, 22% of the Charter holders work as portfolio managers, 16% are research analysts and 7% are chief executives of multinational companies. The remaining and majority 55% fall in the others category justifying just how diverse the job roles can be, after completing this certification.

A list of Top companies that hire CFA holders in the US are stated below:

  • JP Morgan Chase
  • UBS
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • RBC
  • HSBC
  • Wells Fargo
  • City Group
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Price Water House Coopers
  • Ernst and Young
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CFA in Canada: Scope & Salary

Skilled professionals are in ever-demand in the Canadian markets. A  typical Financial and investment analyst earns around CA $50,000-$70,000 annually. It may also reach around CA $92,000 or beyond in some regions. To be a Chartered Financial Analyst in Canada, one must have a bachelor’s degree in commerce, business, or related field, and on-the-job training experience. A certification of CMI (Canadian Investment Manager) certified by Canadian Securities Institute further leverages your chances for a CFA job in Canada.

CFA Salary Canada

Below listed are region-wise hourly wages in different Canadian regions for CFAs:

Region Hourly rate
Alberta CA $ 44.86
Ontario CA $38.46
British Columbia CA $33.52
Quebec CA $32.00
New Brunswick CA $31.19
Manitoba CA $30
Nova Scotia CA $26.99

CFA India, Canada or USA: The Bottom Line

No matter where you go, a CFA charter can help you land a respectable job in the finance sector. With this certification, the employers not only know that you have advanced knowledge of the domain, but also the fact that you are able to deal with complex situations, are hardworking, and can be relied upon! And, these are the true characteristics of a qualified and efficient finance professional.

All the major countries respect and demand this charter in their potential candidates” CVs. Although some subsequent courses come in handy depending upon different countries. It would be right to say, a CFA certification distinguishes you from others in the vast ocean of job seekers.

What are your thoughts? Do you still have doubts about CFA as a career? Feel free to drop a comment below and we’ll try and help you out!