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 Frequently Asked Questions

Investor FAQs

Who manages your financial assets? Do you trust them? When you work with a CFA Institute member you will feel confident that he or she adheres to standards for professional conduct and investment performance. Read these frequently asked questions to find out more.

1. What is the CFA Programme

The CFA Programme is a graduate-level, self-study curriculum and examination programme for investment specialists - especially securities analysts, money managers and investment advisors. Established in 1962, the CFA Programme sets the global standard for investment knowledge, standards and ethics. Clients, employers and colleagues know that a charterholder has mastered a rigorous curriculum covering a broad range of investment topics and is committed to the highest ethical standards in the profession. Earning the credential also serves as a "passport" to entry to or advancement within the profession or to work in other countries.

See for all information.

What is relevant work experience?

Answer: For Regular Membership, applicants are required to have 48 months of acceptable work experience. (Summer, part-time and internship positions do not qualify.)

Acceptable work experience includes activities that consist to a majority extent of evaluating or applying financial, economic, and/or statistical data as part of the investment decision-making process; or supervising, directly or indirectly, those who practice such activities; or teaching such activities. The investment decision-making process is the professional practice of financial analysis, investment management, security analysis, or similar activities.

Applicants are required to spend 50% or more of their time in these activities to accrue the required work experience for Regular Membership.

Example: Quantitative Investment or Risk Analyst — conduct quantitative research and/or performance attribution analysis to assist portfolio managers and traders with investment decisions and risk management. Supply portfolio managers with analytical tools needed for portfolio management.

Investment Strategist — apply investment knowledge to develop and analyse investment strategies designed to achieve investor goals as part of the overall investment process.

2. How do I register?

You need to register with CFA Institute directly on their website please note you cannot register via CFA Society South Africa.  Payment is usually made by credit card.  It is possible to pay by foreign bank draft – bank details below.  If paying by bank draft ensure a copy is faxed to CFA Institute along with your registration form:

CFA Institute
SunTrust Bank
919 E Main St
Richmond, VA 23219
ABA NO.: 061 000 104
ACCOUNT: 201580721

3. Who administers the CFA Programme?

The CFA Programme, its curriculum, exams, and grading, are administered by CFA Institute Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

4. Where is the CFA exam given?

Each June, thousands of CFA candidates travel to exam centers across the globe to take the CFA exam. In 2004, over 100,000 candidates took the exams at one of the 206 centers in 73 nations and territories. In the United States, the exam was given in 43 states, including Washington, D.C. The largest exam centers in 2004 were New York City (4,951 candidates), Hong Kong (3,718 candidates), and Toronto (4,216 candidates).

We have attempted to address all FAQ’s in the CFA introductory Presentation. The presentation is updated by CFA Society South Africa annually. Should any inconsistencies arise, the information on will prevail.

Frequently asked questions (specific to SA candidates):

 Where can I get the Schweser Study Guides?

See Candidate Material/Info on this site. Please note should you wish to purchase the Text Books or the CFA Curriculum material you would need to order this direct from

Where can I get information on registration, fees etc?

See and work through the site - go from HOME to CFA PROGRAMME and CFA EXAM.

As an MBA/ Honours - do I get exemptions?


How do I change my exam date?

Should you wish to make a change this must be made timely by emailing requesting such change. Please ensure you provide your candidate number.


Can I write part of the exam in South Africa and the rest in another country?


What are minimum tertiary requirements?

Bachelor’s degree (if in doubt they query with

What is the work experience requirement?

4 years in the Investment Decision Making Process (if in doubt they query with

Can I have a break between writing the 3 levels?


Can I become a member of the local society without becoming a member of CFA Institute?

No - Please refer CFA Membership Instructions, Sponsor Information and Forms

When and how can I become a member of the local society (CFA Society South Africa)?

After completion of level 1 and registration for level you can apply to CFA Institute as an Affiliate member. By completing CFA Institute application form and inserting the code JB under the local society section - forwarding this to CFA Institute who will bill you and confirm acceptance (can take up to 6 weeks) Please refer CFA Membership Instructions, Sponsor Information and Forms

What is a sponsor form?

You will need 2 CFA sponsors to become a member of US and SA Societies.  Please refer CFA Membership Instructions, Sponsor Information and Forms.

How would I then become a regular member?

If you are already an affiliate member, have completed and passed 3 levels and 48 months relevant work experience you would complete a STATUS CHANGE form (on the site) and submit to CFA Institute Please refer to CFA Membership Instructions, Sponsor Information and Forms.