Despite the global economic downturn, a record number - 128,600 individuals from 154 countries - of serious investment professionals have enrolled for the June 2009 CFA exams, according to the CFA Institute. The top five test center cities included New York (8,336 candidates), London (8,098 candidates), Hong Kong (7,746 candidates); Mumbai (7,586 candidates), and Shanghai (6,271 candidates).
"During this time of great uncertainty in financial markets, it is critical that the global investment profession upholds what all CFA charterholders hold true: ethics, rigor, tenacity, and analytics," said John Rogers, president and CEO of CFA Institute, in a May 12 release. "Market turbulence, low investor confidence, and regulatory reforms present CFA Institute and its current and aspiring CFA charterholders with the opportunity to lead the profession and to put investors' interests first. In this regard, CFA Institute continues to be actively engaged in regulatory reform efforts, investor protection, and advancing ethics training for the financial services industry."CFA Institute recommends that to be successful, a candidate should study in excess of 750-900 hours for the three examination levels. On average, successful candidates take four years to complete the self-study program and examinations to earn the CFA charter. Level I of the CFA examination is administered twice per year, in June and December, and Levels II and III are administered just once per year, in June.
In addition to passing the exams, candidates must also have at least four years of work experience in the investment profession and must commit to abide by the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, a commitment they must reaffirm each year to maintain the charter.