An investor who entrusts his capital to a portfolio manager or investment adviser wants to be sure that his financial adviser acts according to the highest ethical standards and upholds integrity. The demand for qualified financial experts who have a very good knowledge about investing and financial analysis and who always put the interests of the investors in the focus is rising – both among investors and among employers from the financial services industry.
More and more portfolio managers and investment advisers seek the CFA program, which is administered by the CFA Institute. The interest in this program has been continually increasing on a worldwide basis during the last years. The number of charterholders increased in the last 10 years alone from 20.000 to almost 80.000 nowadays. In Germany, around 1.000 financial experts are charterholders. The curriculum of the CFA is tailored to practical expertise. The contents are regularly updated to reflect the complex and changing nature of the global investment industry. The exam is known to be one of the most difficult programs in the industry. When investment professionals have voluntarily subjected themselves to the profession’s most rigorous examination process, and succeeded, that obviously sends an important message to employers. On an average, candidates need four years to complete the exam. As a prerequisite to earn the CFA, the candidate needs to have an academic degree, a minimum of 3 years (from 2007 onward: 4 years) of professional experience and he must abide by the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. The charterholder can be revoked of the title when misbehaving. With regard to the December 2006 exam, around 40.000 candidates enrolled for the exam on December 2nd and 3rd worldwide. 670 of these are from Germany.