Word of wisdom2017-08-22T10:01:56+00:00

Word of wisdom

Word of wisdom

Wish to pass all CFA exams on your first try? Note these 3 pitfalls!

May 7th, 2018|

What's the big deal about passing all CFA exams on the first try? Being able to pass all CFA exams on your first attempt will make you stand out from other candidates statistically. Only 10% of total candidates can pass level one exam in 2015, level 2 exam in 2016 and level 3 exam in 2017 in their first attempts. Therefore passing all three levels of CFA exams at one go is a good filter for hiring managers. As someone who has passed all three levels at one sitting, and seeing where others have failed to do so, I’ve decided to pen down my experiences to share with young mentees. This is not meant to boost my ego, as certs and titles mean less to me now, as compared to work accomplishments and contributions to society. At this stage of my life, I pen down my experiences because I enjoy mentoring young people who are seeking guidance on front office roles in investments.   What are the odds of clearing all 3 exams in the shortest time? The passing rate for CFA Level 1 has improved over the years based on statistics released from CFA Institute. However, I have little doubt that the statistics for passing all three levels at one sitting (for each level) has changed little.  CFA Institute provides a detailed passing rate for each level and each year (Chart [...]

Trash Back Office Mindset for an Investment Job

April 28th, 2018|

Dreaming of an investment job? We see many candidates from back office looking to switch into front office investment jobs. Many of you must be thinking: easier said than done when you read the title. That’s understandable, considering that you’ve probably passed some CFA exams or graduated from a Masters in Finance. But yet, you did not land any front office investment job interview, especially if you rely on job portals such as eFinancialCareers.  The same thing happened to me in the past. I’ve tried sending my CV so many times but didn’t have much success. I see many others applying for front-office roles, but they too didn’t seem to make it. So are you going to let other people’s success or failure determine yours? If you choose to suspend your scepticism and read on, you will definitely gain some useful insights towards a gratifying career. This is because I will share with you how I and many others did land investment jobs. You see, I was one of you guys ten years ago. I managed to break into the investment industry after much trial-and-error because I believed it was possible. That was only the first step. The next few steps involve reflecting on your mindset and making the necessary shifts. First, let us explore why is it very hard for someone working in the back office to move to a [...]

Which has better payoff – CFA or FRM? Here is my experience

April 21st, 2018|

The Question - CFA and/or FRM? Many people ask me this question when they see both CFA charter and FRM certificate after my name. The questions typically revolve around whether they should take CFA exams or FRM exams. The whole purpose is to land them a job in the finance industry. Considerations of CFA vs FRM Some have monetary considerations while others have career considerations as to what area do they want to focus. But it is all about one thing - who do you want to become and do you want to achieve certain career goals? In fact, before I took both exams, I didn’t have a good idea either. I have tested the waters by myself. Now I'd like to share with you honestly what I have experienced and what I think. Take note that this experience is limited by my skill sets acquired in school, the early part of my career, and my connection. I will talk about these factors later. How did I start with CFA and FRM? Before we dig further, let me provide you with a summary of my background. I have been an equity research analyst for more than seven years.  My research reports are read by many famous funds that you probably have heard of. I studied electrical engineering for my bachelor degree and computer science for my master degree. I landed my first job in the [...]

From CFA exams to investment jobs – How?

April 14th, 2018|

How to find an investment job after your CFA exam? Are you one of the many students who take the CFA exams every year? Are you thinking about the career options or looking out for jobs after the CFA exams? Thanks to its wide-ranging curriculum, once you passed CFA exams, you will have a lot of career choices in the finance industry. But today we are only going to talk about investment related jobs (we use CFA jobs thereafter) If you are trying to make a career switch into the investment industry, your chances are higher after your CFA Level 2 exams. There is no doubt that CFA is the gold standard in the investment industry. Once you have tried to apply for investment roles after exams, you will find that it is so hard to even get interviews. What is missing here? The big picture of demand and supply of CFA Jobs These days, having a CFA accreditation is important, but it is not enough. Just need to google it. According to news reports, a record 189,000 people took the CFA exams in June last year (2017). Almost half of those hail from the Asia-Pacific region (Source: Bloomberg).  The passing rate for Level 1 was 47%, and that for Level 2 was 47% (Source: CFA Institute) – much better than a decade ago. (Level 1 passing rate was about 35% back [...]

Career Success in the New Work Environment for Investment Professionals

July 17th, 2016|

I had an interesting read about Career Success in the New Work Environment , available at the CFA Institute website, which focuses a lot on self awareness, awareness of the environment and career planning and navigation. The e-book also offers interviews with successful finance executives to understand their career decision making processes, as well as detailed scenarios of how different finance professionals carve out their careers amid achievements and disappointments in both their career and lives. Apparently, work-life balance is not a given, but a cause of sacrifice at times. It is an outcome based on the work culture of our employer and our personal decisions. Something we must be responsible for, the benefits and the costs. Though written mostly from a Western work ethic and culture, some points remain close to our hearts. The big fives of personality fits to the need to be pro-active in planning our careers or in allowing big events to steer us on a different path. If you are short on time for the 120 page content and the subsequent 100 pages of interview Q&A with top executives, the CFA website also offers link to key portions of the book where key actionables and tools allow you to start planning your career. A recommended read. EY

How to profile yourself on LinkedIn and get hired

May 1st, 2016|

"Resume: a Written Exaggeration of only the good things a person has done in the past; as well as a wish list of the qualities a person would like to have." - Bo Bennett And what about your CV that everyone can now read? On LinkedIn, what do you want employers and your peers to know about you? Advanced Writing Strategies for Your linkedin Profile (video: 50 min) https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/research/multimedia/2012/advanced-writing-strategies-for-your-linkedin-profile Resume replacing CV? Recorded in 2012 and revisited by the CFA magazine in 2016, Jared Redick predicted in his video clip that the growing influence of LinkedIn would overshadow our own CV. Indeed, now our LinkedIn profile reaches out to an audience so wide that we ourselves may not fully comprehend, opening ourselves to opportunities never open before. One day, I may be contacted by a hiring manager, the next a business partner. Jared’s detailed presentation gave his audience a deep insight into how we should present ourselves on LinkedIn, from the choice of photo to what exactly we should write to be concise yet impressive in each section of our LinkedIn profile. By getting your profile right, both offline and online, you are off to a great start in securing your next career move. Write to us if you have any comments on writing your LinkedIn profile or CV.

Career Management Tip: So much more than job searching

April 19th, 2016|

"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things work out." Art Linkletter Recently, I came across this short article, which advises that career management is not just about the job search that you do from time to time. It is a conscious effort that takes place all the time. You should be mindful and intentional about all aspects of your career, from delivering your best performance for your current clients and employer to thinking about job opportunities you might wish to pursue in the future. The short article also introduces a book on career management comprising the following elements: Building self-awareness Gaining environmental awareness Achieving a good fit between self and environment Planning ahead for your career For more details, you can read the article via the attached link. https://blogs.cfainstitute.org/investor/2014/10/30/career-management-so-much-more-than-job-searching/ If you feel that you need to enhance your career development, pls contact us.

Handy tools: Unofficial guide to banking

March 5th, 2016|

Saw these two free books online, which are useful for our students (url attached): Unoffical Guide To Banking: introduce various functions in the banking industry Jargon Buster: I would expect you to know at least 80-90% of all these terms if you already passed CFA Level 1 exam. Enjoy!