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CFA exam to include fintech topics

Big data, artificial intelligence and robo-advisory are themes that are expected to be added to the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam.

The move aims to address industry changes, as investment professionals increasingly need to analyse large amounts of data, according to a Bloomberg report, quoting Steve Horan, CFA institute’s managing director of credentialing.

“We’ve always had a very big emphasis on statistical analysis, econometrics and data analysis in the program, and from what the industry is telling us folks still need this,” Horan said in the report.

“But there are different analytical methods to use big data because big data is unstructured data that is used in entirely different ways.”

The CFA exam does not require the candidates to know the coding process, he noted, but to understand how these data technologies work and affect the investment portfolio.

The new questions will be included in the CFA exams starting 2019, according to a Reuters report. The CFA Institute was not immediately available for comment.  

The next round of CFA exams will take place in June, with about 190,000 canadidates sitting for the three-level tests.

The 10-year average pass rates (2007-2016) for Level I, II and III exams are 40%, 43% and 51% respectively. There have been an increasing number of canadidates from Asia-Pacific, in particular China, as reported earlier.

After passing the three levels, a CFA candidate, in order to earn the CFA charter, also needs to meet other requirements, including four years of experience in the investment industry.

The current CFA program covers topics from securities analysis and valuation, international financial statement analysis, quantitative methods, economics, corporate finance, portfolio management, wealth management and portfolio analysis, as well as ethical and professional standards. 

Part of the Mark Allen Group.