Why would Actuaries consider getting a CFA?


Coaching Actuaries is now offering Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam prep with Adapt through our new brand AdaptPrep CFA. This was a natural decision for us given the overlap of topics and the number of actuaries who take the CFA.

What is the CFA?

The CFA is a designation for investment professionals, particularly those involved in research and portfolio management. The CFA exam is focused on knowledge about accounting, economics, portfolio management, and security analysis with also a strong emphasis on ethics. CFA charterholders often work in investment firms, hedge funds, pension funds, insurance companies, or banks. For investment professionals, the CFA designation is debatably equal or more valuable as an MBA for financial professionals.

Becoming a CFA charterholder involves passing three exams (Level I, Level II, and Level III) and having four years of qualified experience. Level I is held twice a year (June and December) and Level II and III are held annually in June. Pass rates are around 45-50% for each exam, but only about 15% of people who start end up completing.

Why would an actuary take the CFA exam?

Is it just because Actuaries love taking tests? After going through the Actuarial exams, doing a CFA might look like an easy endeavor. But there are some good reasons:

  1. VEE Credit
    The most common answer we hear is that actuaries are taking the CFA exams to fill their VEE credits. A passing score on the CFA Level I counts for VEE Microeconomics and VEE Macroeconomics credit. A passing score on CFA Level II counts for VEE Applied Statistics credit. And a passing score on both CFA Level I and II counts for VEE Corporate Finance credit.
  2. Moving into an Investment/Finance Career
    Another common thing we hear from actuaries it that they’ve taken an interest in investments and finance. So after they’ve passed a few exams or gotten their ASA designation, they now want to pursue the CFA to take a step toward a career in investment or finance.
  3. Expand Opportunities in Current Career
    Some actuaries find themselves in unique actuarial roles, like in an investment management arm of an insurance company. These actuaries may end up benefiting from having a CFA in addition to their actuarial credentials.
  4. Going into Higher Education
    For those with a passion for teaching, gaining additional credentials is always helpful for a career in a college or university. Abraham Weishaus, author of popular ASM Manuals and instructor for our MFE, MLC, and C eCourses, is both an FSA and a CFA charterholder.
  5. Expanding Management or Executive Role Opportunities
    Actuaries with aspirations for management or executive roles often pursue an MBA. However, becoming a CFA charterholder may be an appropriate designation to open up new role opportunities depending on the type of actuarial background you have.

If you have any questions about the CFA or about our Passed Tense products, please e-mail support@adaptprep.com and we’d be happy to follow up with you!