What is a CFA?
A CFA is a chartered financial analyst, the holder of a qualification issued by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute, previously the Association for Investment Management and Research. The institute sees the CFA as the gold-standard qualification for those working in the financial services industry.
Where have you heard about CFAs?
As an investor, you may well have been given investment literature in which one or more of the authors have the initials CFA after their name. Financial media occasionally browse the range of credentials available to financial practitioners and seek to rank them.
What you need to know about CFAs.
The definition of 'analyst' used by the CFA institute is rather broader than the usual use of the term. It takes in not just macro-economic analysis, scrutiny of companies' performances and prospects and advice on trading strategies but also the requirement for a detail knowledge of accounting, money management and ethics in financial services.
The institute has offices in the US, Britain and Hong Kong and successful candidates will have to pass three 6-hour exams. According to the institute's website, it mission is to set standards for the investment profession globally.
Find out more about CFAs.
CFAs are a special group within the wider analyst community, about which you can learn more from our definition of analysts.