Financial analyst exam enrollment increases worldwide

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Despite volatility in the financial markets, 139,900 candidates from 160 countries have enrolled to take the chartered financial analyst exam this month.

This is an increase of 9 percent over last year.

Exam candidates from Asia Pacific comprise 40 percent of the total, followed by 37 percent from the Americas, and 23 percent from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“Investors need trustworthy professionals to manage their wealth – this is the most important lesson the world has learned in the global financial crisis. We are delighted that a significant number of individuals from across the world continue to be committed to pursuing the CFA designation, which has ethics, rigor, tenacity, and analytics at its core,” said John Rogers, CEO of CFA Institute.

A self-study program, the CFA program is considered by many to be the most rigorous credentialing program in the investment industry.

The CFA exam is a three-level exam covering topics including Ethical and Professional Standards, Quantitative Methods, Economics, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Corporate Finance, Investment Tools, Asset Classes, and Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning.

When surveyed, candidates indicate they spend an average of about 300 hours preparing for each exam.

On average, successful candidates take four years to complete the self-study program and examinations to earn the CFA charter.

CFA Institute administers the CFA curriculum and exam programs worldwide, and also publishes research, conducts professional development programs, and sets voluntary, ethics-based professional and performance-reporting standards for the investment industry.

For more information, visit the CFA website.