What is the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation?

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter is a globally respected, graduate-level investment credential established in 1962 and awarded by CFA Institute — the largest global association of investment professionals.

To earn the CFA charter, candidates must: 1) pass three sequential, six-hour examinations; 2) have at least four years of qualified professional investment experience; 3) join CFA Institute as members; and 4) commit to abide by, and annually reaffirm, their adherence to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

High Ethical Standards

The CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, enforced through an active professional conduct program, require charter holders to:

  • Place their clients’ interests ahead of their own
  • Maintain independence and objectivity
  • Act with integrity
  • Maintain and improve their professional competence
  • Disclose conflicts of interest and legal matters

Comprehensive and Current Knowledge

The CFA Program curriculum provides a comprehensive framework of knowledge for investment decision making and is firmly grounded in the knowledge and skills used every day in the investment profession. The three levels of the program test a proficiency with a wide range of fundamental and advanced investment topics, including ethical and professional standards, fixed-income and equity analysis, alternative and derivative investments, economics, financial reporting standards, portfolio management, and wealth planning. Earning the CFA charter demonstrates mastery of many of the advanced skills needed for investment analysis and decision making in today’s quickly evolving global financial industry.

The CFA Program curriculum is updated every year by experts from around the world to ensure that candidates learn the most relevant and practical new tools, ideas, and investment and wealth management skills to reflect the dynamic and complex nature of the profession.

To learn more about the CFA charter and the benefits of working with a Charterholder, visit the CFA Institute’s Investor Education Site.