The chartered financial analyst is a professional title that is extended to any financial analyst who has completed the study and examinations necessary to attain the status. It is possible to begin the application process for this status while finishing up a degree program, after completing the program, or after acquiring a minimum of four years experience in a qualified work position. Gaining recognition as a chartered financial analyst requires a great deal of effort and dedication, which goes a long way toward making the designation as a CFA very desirable.
Chartered financial analysts must be willing to abide by a comprehensive code of ethics that is designed to exceed the usual and standard requirements of law, as well as undergo a rigid examination process. Before accreditation is granted, the applicant will undergo a series of three separate examinations. The successful completion of each preceding exam is necessary before it is possible to proceed with the next exam in the series.
The CFA Institute of the USA, which sets the standards for the qualifications for applicants and the structure of the examinations oversee this process. While originally designed as an organization for domestic accounting professionals only, the Institute has expanded to include a number of international members as well. However, the CFA institute is not the only organization that offers certification for a chartered financial analyst. The ICFAI, located in India, also offers a program with similar standards and requirements.
CFAs are well versed in a number of different aspects of economics. It is not unusual for a chartered financial analyst to specialize in such high level professions as corporate investment management, investment banking, or as private consultants for investors who require specialized attention in the management of an investment portfolio. The prestige that comes with a designation of chartered financial analyst can open a number of doors to career options and choices, as well as help build a reputation within the chosen career in a short period of time.