A look at the CFA Charter:

Obed Arthur

Obed Arthur becomes the newest CFA Charter-holder

While there are many professional bodies offering charters to their members, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter stands tall and is regarded as the Gold Standard in finance, according to the Financial Times.

The CFA designation is awarded by the CFA Institute located in Charlottesville Virginia, USA. It has a mission to lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society. It is arguably the most difficult professional exams on the planet.

Obed passed all 3 levels on 1st attempt, which is exceptional as only less than 11% of global candidates manage to pull that feat. He also scored above 70% in all ten (10)-subject areas in level 1 and scored in the 90th percentile of global candidates in level 2 under the new results presentation format by the Institute.

The program has a very high dropout rate; nearly 9 out of 10 people who begin quit along the way. This tendency to drop out is backed by statistics: exam data from CFA Institute shows that over the past five decades, more than 1.3 million candidates have sat for the Level I exam, with just over 200,000 candidates ultimately going on to pass the Level III exam, representing a weighted average completion rate of 16%. In the last 10 years, the completion rate was even lower, at 13%.

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The dropout rate is the highest for candidates that fail to pass Level II, whereas the program success rate increases significantly once a candidate gets to Level III.

The level 1 of the CFA exams is taken 2 twice a year in June and December while levels 2 & 3 are taken once a year in the month of June. The content of the curriculum is voluminous and that contributes to its difficulty. If you are 30yrs or above with many responsibilities, then pursuing the charter will be a daunting task because of the time needed to study.

On average, passing students spend about 300hrs of study time for each level. Currently there are about 55 resident CFA charter holders in Ghana.

This meets the minimum number of 50 needed to form a society in Ghana. Hence, the board of governors of CFA institute recently approved the application for the formation of a CFA Society in Ghana.

With the formation of a local CFA society, it is expected there will be more advocacy for ethical decision making to be rewarded in the financial industry. This will help strengthen Ghana’s financial industry as ethical decision-making is emphasized to engender trust and confidence in the industry.

Obed is an alumni of Presec Legon with a pure Science background and an alumni of University of Ghana. Speaking with Obed, he indicated the choice to pursue the CFA Charter was a desire to a lifetime commitment to the highest form of ethical standards and professional development in finance as the Ethics component and standards of the CFA program is one of the best.

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Many financial regulatory bodies around the world are adopting CFA Institute’s ethics and standards to shape regulations.

Obed started his financial career with Republic Investments (formerly HFC Investments) and is currently with deals advisory, KPMG. His expertise lies in Mergers & Acquisitions, Valuation, project appraisal, Economic analysis among others. Aside career, he is an avid body builder and a volunteer at Play and Learn Foundation, a foundation dedicated to providing education through sports to children of school going age.

The launch of CFA society Ghana is scheduled for 31st October with its maiden charter holders awards ceremony. With a local and active local CFA society, we expect an improvement in the professional ethics of Ghana’s investment industry.

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