What’s going on with the CFA designation?

BVR estimates that 7% of certified business appraisers also hold the challenging CFA designation.   The CFA is a price of entry to the world of portfolio analysis and investment management.   And it's growing everywhere.

First, over 100,000 candidates sat for exams around the world in 2010.  There were 20,000 CFA’s in the world, primarily in the US, in 1990.  Now there are just more than 100,000.  And, the focus has become more global; 16,000 of these are in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, for instance.

The CFA Institute is reengineering some of the emphasis while “trying to maintain the integrity of the certificate.”  One of the key initiatives is to tune the exam subject matter to “increase the focus on quality of earnings.”

For the last five years, pass rates are a little lower; 39% pass Level 1, and 55% pass the final level 3.   Age is slightly declining; the average age is 29.  This is trending down as more university-level programs come on-line.   The largest number of candidates now comes from Asia Pacific; 42% of candidates came from the far east last year, compared to 35% from North American.