Is Technology Eating Our Lunch?

Take-away from Kuala Lumpur CFA Career Day

This was the topic presented by  Th’ng Beng Hooi, who is the Managing Director at AB Maximus. He presented in the CFA Career day on August 4th, 2018, about the fast pace of technology in recent years and the impact on the career in finance.

From the simple calculator in the 1960s to the Bloomberg terminals in the 1980s, technology has made finance simpler and faster. Today, we have cloud computing and iPhone X to help us with investment-related work.

Timely Questions

During the CFA career fair, many students came to ask us whether topics such as cryptocurrencies, digital analytics, and artificial intelligence will be covered in the curriculum.

These are excellent questions, said Mr Th’ng, because exploring these topics will help one to appreciate the AI and Blockchain content in the 2019 CFA curriculum.

Updated Curriculum

Unlike typical modules found in Bachelor of Finance, the CFA curriculum is developed based on industry practitioners, who are currently working in the investment industry.

The CFA Institute takes inputs from investment professionals, regulators, university faculty and member associations before they formulate global practices and content for the CFA syllabus. With a holistic body of investment knowledge, they are always in touch with the latest investment and regulatory trends.

With this vigilance, you can be pretty assured that CFA can help you prepare for changes brought about by technology and regulations. Successful graduates should be able to find niches in the new landscape and adapt accordingly.

Top rated industry trends

In 2017, the CFA Institute surveyed its members and asked them to rate the impact of current industry trends that will impact the investment management practice over the next three years. The results are ranked as below:

  1. The impact of regulation on investment decision making
  2. The role of “Big Data” in financial analysis
  3. Low or negative interest rates
  4. Pension funding shortfall on capital markets
  5. The use of Robo-Advisors in private wealth management
  6. Increased global demand for alternative investments
  7. Risk-factor asset allocation approaches
  8. The importance of investment managers possessing Fintech skills
  9. The importance of investment managers possessing soft skills
  10. Smart Beta Investment Strategies

Continuous Adaptation 

Dr. Mohamad Eskandar, Deputy Dean INCEIF, who was speaking during the career trends segment, also talks about his evolving role as a lecturer of finance.

In today’s digital age where students can watch Youtube videos or look up Wikipedia for definitions, Dr. Eskandar said that he had to come up with creative ways to keep students engaged.


Coining the term ‘edutainment’, he half-jokingly said that students may fall asleep if he does not present it in an engaging manner.

In a similar way, CFA candidates and graduates should adopt the positive mindset of Dr. Eskandar, in order to embrace the changes brought on by technology.

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