My Pursuit of a CFA Charter
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I forgot about this blog. It really helped for Level I and I kind of used it for Level II. After taking two tests, I knew what to expect and how to study.

I did pass Level III. I passed all the tests in the minimum amount of time.

I was awarded Charter Number 104682 on September 15, 2008.

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Friday, August 31, 2007
  I passed level II

...But barely

I only had two item sets where I scored >70%; Financial Statement Analysis and Fixed Income Analysis. I also had one item set <=50%; Derivatives.

The next test is in June 2008. Level III is part essay. Fortunately, all the notes I took for level II were done by hand - good old pen and paper.

I plan on starting to study for the next exam in the middle of January to early February. I'll see you then!
Saturday, June 02, 2007
  Just finished the Level II exam
It has been a long time since I have posted. I have been studying like crazy. I took most of last week (every day except Tues) off of work and probably studied for about 60 hours.

I did most of the Schweser practice exams (I did all of book 6 but then got pissed off with the practice exam book).

The CFA Practice Exams seemed more like the real exam, unlike the CFA practice exams that I thought were a little over the top. The real exam seemed very simple, if you knew the subject. There was not major trickery or complicated scenarios.

Anyway, I left the Level II testing room with the same feelings that I had when I left Level I - about 50/50. Part of me thinks I past, and another thinks I fail. So I would not surprised if I failed and I will be very happy if I passed.

Unfortunately, I don't think I get the results until mid August - so I am not going to worry about it till then!

Darn, I hope I passed. If not, Kurt and Craig will be ready to take it with me next June!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
  I am done with another book
I just got done with book three after spending 4 hours last night and 4 hours this night reading/reviewing and taking notes. Ughh! It is amazing how much you can forget in about a month and a half (this is stuff I read in early March).

Well I am going to start reviewing book 4 tomorrow.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
  From 6-10pm tonight
I studied for 4 hours and completed my thorough review of book #2. I will probably be spending Tue-Wed covering book #3. During Thursday and Friday, I will do book #4. I will finish up with book five on Saturday - hopefully!
Monday, April 23, 2007
I studied for roughly 4 hours tonight. I am about 3/5 the way through with reviewing book #2. I am understand this stuff better and better each day!
  40 Days until test
I was sick for most of Saturday, but fortunately, I felt better on Sunday. I spent about 9 hours on Sunday reviewing a lot of material in Book 1 and Book 2 of the Schweser study notes. I plan on spending roughly 4 hours each weekday night this week reviewing and plenty of hours this coming Saturday. By next Sunday I will be ready to plow into practice exams.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
  Done with the readings!
I just finished the all the readings (I should have finished yesterday). Now, I am going to do a thorough review. I am going to read the wrap-ups for each section and do the sample questions. Hopefully this will only take a week. So, by SUNDAY April 28th I will be done with all readings and will have done a full review. I will then start on doing practice exams.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
  I am all caught up!
I just finished Futures Markets and Contracts and now I am right on schedule with my original study time line. Not bad!

I have to be done with all the remaining sections in 10 days. The exam is in about 53 days. Starting in about 11 days, I'll start doing practice exams.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
  Studied 2 hours today. 60 days until exam!
I finished Term Structure and Volatility of Interest Rates today. I studied from about 5:30pm till 7:30pm. Now, I am only 1 section behind my original schedule. That is nice! Reading this stuff is not too bad... the real studying will start after April 21st when I start taking the practice exams. Oh boy...
Sunday, April 01, 2007
  Lots of reading today!
I woke up at around 9:30am. Starting at 10:00am, I studied for 3 hours - then went to brunch with Alli. I talked to my mom for a while at around 3:00pm then went back to studying (say, around 3:45). It is 4:45 and I just finished Book 4 Asset Valuation and Equity. I am only a couple sections behind my original schedule!

I have some other work to take care of - but I think I will probably catch up to my OSched by next weekend.
Friday, March 30, 2007
  I have been studying!

I am about a week behind my original schedule. I just finished Discounted Dividend Valuation, which was due on 3/22/2007.

I adjusted my spreadsheet and included the remaining Tuesdays in my study schedule. I still plan on finishing all the readings by April 21st - I just have to read more per day.

Level two, in my opinion, is far more difficult than the first level. I am glad I am giving myself 6 weeks to do practice exams!
Sunday, March 18, 2007
I went to class yesterday. It was a long 10:00am - 5:00pm class. It was especially longer considering that it was also St. Patrick's day in the City. So at 1:30pm when we had our lunch break, every place was crowded. I ended up waiting to eat until I got home.

The class was great. It really cleared up some subjects for me and also helped me get more motivated.

I am a couple days behind schedule. I plan on studying most of the day today. Well, good luck to me!
Monday, March 12, 2007
  Quick today
I studied for about 1.5 hours today and finished the 2 sections I needed to complete. I am right on schedule - which means I get to take tomorrow off!
Sunday, March 11, 2007
  Lots of studying today
I was about three days behind schedule. I needed to read the following today:

The Analysis of Multinational Operations is one hell of a subject. I only read half of it! Tough stuff.

I decided to sign up for a class given by NYSSA. It is a 5-week Saturday class. The same instructor that taught my Level I class is teaching this class.

Suffice it to say that I am looking forward to when we cover Multinational Operations in class.

OK, I have 40 days until the readings have to be done and 83 until the exam.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
  45 and 88
Well, I studied tonight and finished the Pensions and Other Postretirement Benefits. What a nightmare! That is a helluva subject. Ugh.

Anyway, I am right on schedule. I have 45 more days to finish the readings and the test is in 88 days...
Friday, March 02, 2007
  Finished with book 2
I spent about 3 hours studying today. I was about 1 day behind schedule. I decided to finish off Book #2 by reading The Portfolio Management Process and the Investment Policy Statement. So now, for the first time in Level II, I am ahead of schedule by 1 day - which I plan on taking full advantage of tomorrow.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Last night I met a friend of mine at Panera and we went over about 4 sections and the end-of-section review questions. We studied from about 7:00pm till 8:30pm. It was good because the material we covered was stuff I read about a week or two ago - so it was a welcomed refresher.
Monday, February 26, 2007
  53 days and 96
I spent roughly 2.5hrs studying tonight... from 6 to 8:30pm. I studied on Saturday, but never got around to reading on Sunday, so I had a couple sections to catch up on today. I finished Corporate Restructuring so I am now right on schedule.

I have 53 days to finish the reading and there are 96 days until the exam.
Friday, February 23, 2007
  A little off track
Well, I got a little off track these last couple of days. I haven't been feeling well - in fact, I took today off of work. I fell behind schedule by about a day or two.

After spending the last million hours sleeping, I finally got bored enough to drag my ass out of bed and catch up with my readings. I just finished Cost of Capital and I am back on schedule.

Now, I am going back to snooze town for a while...
Saturday, February 17, 2007
  On track
When I calculate my reading schedule for the level II exam, I find that there are about 22 pages per day I need to read. Last year, the number of p/day wasn't much higher (26).

For this exam, the length of time I am spending on the reading seems much less than last year. For level one, I would study for 3-4 hours each session. This time, I am studying for about an hour. It is great!

A lot of the material (so far) builds on the info I learned for the last exam - so it is not completely foreign. Maybe that is why I am digesting this stuff easier.

Anyway, I am right on schedule - I just finished Foreign Exchange Parity Relations.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
  About 2 hrs.
I studied/read the balance of the Multiple Regression and Issues in Regression Analysis material. There are quite a few concepts that need to be remembered and understood.

The section is not due until 2/12. So tomorrow, I am going to do a quick review of the subject then do the the end-of-chapter questions. I may even open the actual textbooks for further details about some of the more advanced topics.

There are 68 days left of reading and 111 days until the test.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
  1st day done.
Well, I am done with the first day of studying for Level II. I finished Correlation and Regression and about 1/2 of Multiple Regression and Issues in Regression Analysis. Ahhh not too bad.
  Starting Level II
I have signed up to take the Level II test on June 2nd, 2007. I heard this test is the most dificult of them all! So, today I start studying. Like studying for the first test, I am going to stick to a strict schedule.

This time, I am going to allow myself six weeks of review. This means that I should be done with all the reading material by April 20th.

As of today, I have 69 until the readings must be completed and 112 days until the test. I am not taking a class and plan to use all Tuesdays and Fridays as vacation days. This means I have roughly 53 days to read and understand all the material. I am using the Schweser notes again. I need to cover about 1145 pages in the 53 days - which means I have to keep a pace of 22 pages per study day.

Here is my full schedule - wish me luck!

TitleTotal Pages   Due Date
Correlation and Regression182/10/2007
Multiple Regression and Issues in Regression Analysis452/12/2007
Economic Growth132/14/2007
Regulation and Antitrust Policy in a Globabilized Economy62/14/2007
The Economic Future of Asia52/14/2007
Foreign Exchange92/15/2007
Foreign Exchange Parity Relations212/17/2007
International Asset Pricing242/18/2007
Measuring Economic Activity52/18/2007
A Natural Experiment in Monetary Policy Covering Three Episodes of Growth and Decline in the Economy and the Stock Market42/18/2007
The Demographic Deficit: How Aging Will Reduce Global Wealth 52/19/2007
Capital Budeting382/21/2007
Cost of Capital142/22/2007
Corporate Governance142/24/2007
Capital Structure and Leverage162/24/2007
Dividends and Dividend Policy152/25/2007
Corporate Restructuring92/26/2007
The Capital Asset Pricing Model182/28/2007
Index Models112/28/2007
Arbitrage Pricing Theory and Multifactor Models of Risk and Return83/1/2007
The Theory of Active Portoflio Management73/1/2007
The Portoflio Management Process and the Investment Policy Statement113/3/2007
Analysis of Intercorporate Investments283/4/2007
Pensions and Other Postretirement Benefits313/5/2007
Mergers, Acquisitions, and Other Intercorporate Investments123/7/2007
Analysis of Multinational Operations353/8/2007
Seeking Sustainable Cash Flow93/10/2007
Is It Operating or Investing Cash Flow?103/10/2007
Is It Operating or Financing Cash Flow?103/11/2007
Nonrecurring Sources and Uses of Operating Cash Flow93/11/2007
Measuring Sustainable Operating Cash Flow83/11/2007
Using Operating Cash Flow to Detect Earnings Problems103/12/2007
Analyzing Operating Cash Flow93/12/2007
Analysis of Financial Stements: A Synthesis293/14/2007
A Note on Asset Valuation13/14/2007
The Equity Valuation Process93/14/2007
Equity: Markets and Insturments 163/15/2007
Swap Contracts, Convertible Securities, and Other Embedded Derivatives - Part I53/15/2007
Equity: Concepts and Techniques223/17/2007
Competitive Strategy: The Core Concepts133/18/2007
Industry Analysis93/18/2007
Valuation in Emerging Markets183/19/2007
Company Analysis and Stock Valuation83/19/2007
ROE Breakout: Rerating Catalyst53/19/2007
Discounted Dividend Valuation473/22/2007
Free Cash Flow Valuation413/24/2007
Market-Based Valuation: Price Multiples363/26/2007
Residual Income Valuation253/28/2007
Secuity Analysis Using Value-Based Metrics143/29/2007
General Principles of Credit Analysis233/31/2007
Term Structure and Volatility of Interest Rates214/1/2007
Valuing Bonds with Embedded Options304/2/2007
Mortgage-Backed Sector of the Bond Market254/4/2007
Asset-Backed Sector of the Bond Market204/5/2007
Valuing Mortgage-Backed and Asset-Backed Securities174/7/2007
Forward Markets and Contracts254/8/2007
Futures Markets and Contracts174/9/2007
Option Markets and Contracts334/11/2007
Swap Markets and Contracts254/14/2007
Interest Rate Derivative Instruments84/14/2007
Swap Contracts, Convertible Securities, and Other Embedded Derivatives - Part II64/14/2007
"Guidance" for Standards I-VII684/18/2007
CFA Institute Soft Dollar Standards64/19/2007
CFA Institue Research Objectivity Standards74/19/2007
The Glenarm Company, Glen A. Holden, Jr.24/19/2007
Preston Partners, Jules A. Huot24/19/2007
Super Selection, Paul F. Van Schyndel34/19/2007
Trade Allocation: Fair Dealing and Dislosure14/19/2007
Case Study: Changing Investment Objectives14/19/2007
Prudence in Perspective54/21/2007
  Results are in.
It has been a long time since I posted... I kinda needed a break from it all.

The test was given in two sessions. After the first session I was pretty confident that I tested well. After the second session, I was really bummed! It was very difficult. In fact, they asked some questions that I never even saw a hint of in the practice exams (and I probably did nearly 1,000 practice exam questions).

Alli met Kurt, Craig and me out for drinks. I wasn't very happy. I couldn't believe I studied all that time and now risk failing the test. I was disappointed in myself and pissed off at some of the questions they asked. I put my odds at about 40% passing and 60% failing.

Anyway, the results are finally in and... I Passed!

I found out by logging into the CFA Institute web site while I as at work. I felt so relieved and all the guys I work with congratulated me.

Here is the breakdown of my results (as reported by the CFA Institute).

TopicMax Pts<=50%51%-70%>70%
Alternative Assets12-*-
Equity Analysis24--*
Ethical & Professional Stnds.36--*
Financial Statement Analysis68--*
Fixed Income Analysis24--*
General Portfolio Management12--*
Quantitative Analysis28--*

They basically tell you if you passed or failed (they do not give you your overall score). It seems I could use some work on Alternative Assets and Economics. Fortunately, they were not big components of the test.
Friday, December 01, 2006
  < 1 day
Actually, the exam is in < 11 hours.

After 92 days of (well, except for most Fridays), I am done studying. I stuffed as much info into my head as possible. I just packed up my books and notes...

I give myself a 60-62% chance of passing the exam.

Craig's wife is going to drive us into the city tomorrow. They are picking me up at 7:45 am. The exam starts at 9:00am and the first half ends at noon. The second half goes from 2:00pm until 5:00pm. After the test, we all are going to hit the town and celebrate that this beast (at least I of III) is over.

I am going to bring my study material to the testing center and probably cram in a couple extra tidbits between noon and 2:00pm.

I woke up kinda early and went to breakfast with my practice exam notes. I wrote down all the subjects that I wanted to do a final review on today. Unfortunately, at around noon, I got a bad headache and started feeling like crap. I ended up reviewing the subjects in bed for the rest of the day.

It is nearly 10:30pm. I am going to grab a beer and relax for about 1/2 hour, then hit the sack.

If you are interested, here (PDF file ©CFA Institute) is a list of everything I am responsible for on the exam.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
  < 2 days
I spend all day taking all (5 out of 5) the practice exams available online from the CFA Institute. I pass them all. In fact, I got >=75% on all of them. They are much more concise than the Schweser practice tests. I my confidence in passing the test was definitely boosted today.

So, I am done with all practice tests. Tomorrow, I am going to review the notes from the CFA and Schweser tests. Then I am going to review certain topics that I still don't fully understand.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
  < 3 days
Yesterday, we were not sure if our class was still in session. So we ended up not going into the city. I still have not checked to see if we did have class. I spent all last night reviewing and taking notes on the questions I had difficulty with during the last practice exam.

I woke up at 8:00am this morning and continued to review the last exam and then I spent some time reviewing my notes. After lunch I took the last practice test in the Schweser practice exam book. I got 88 out of 120 question correct. My highest score ever. That was nice.

I have spent the remainder of the day reviewing and taking notes concerning the questions I missed. I basically studied for about 11 hours today, and I don't think I can do another minute.

Tomorrow, I am going to print out my notes (all 35 pages) and spend some time reading them. Then I am going to take 1 or 2 of the CFA online exams. There are a total of 5 CFA online practice exams available for purchase. I am going to do them all before Saturday morning.

Fortunately, I was able to take the day off of work. In fact, I am also taking Thursday, Friday and Monday off. (I figure I would take Monday just to have one nice day without work OR studying - a little vacation).
Monday, November 27, 2006
  < 5 days
I took the morning session of test #3 in the practice exam book provided by Schewser. I did it in < 3hrs and got 77 out of 120. I can't make any headway in these things! I am stuck between high 60's and low 80's, and only the high end of my practice tests (+84) would pass the real exam. It is a little discouraging. I hope a practice tests are specifically designed to do this... (I was talking with Craig, and he too is struggling within the same result range).
Sunday, November 26, 2006
  < 6 days
I started studying at around 10:00am and ended at 7:30pm. I did have a couple breaks in between. I took the afternoon session of the 2nd test in the Schweser - I got 65 out of 120 questions correct. It was a difficult test in which the authors added what seemed like really niche questions (like about a term that was mentioned in < 1 paragraph in all the readings). Anyway, after I was finished with the test, I took a bunch of notes. I now have about 22 pages of notes covering the last 4 practice exams.

I normally don't study while I am at work - but I am going to bring in my notes tomorrow and glance at them every once in a while. :)

I have two more practice tests left in the Schweser book, and then I am going to take a couple tests directly from the CFA Institute web site.

BTW... I just ordered by backup calculator (yes, I did remember).
Saturday, November 25, 2006
  < 7 days
I woke up this morning at about 7:30. At 8:00 I started to review the last two tests that I took (practice exam 1 morning and afternoon sessions in the Schweser practice exam book). I reviewed until about 11:00am. I review by typing notes about the questions that I missed or that I didn't fully understand.

At 11:00am I printed out my notes and read them for about 30 minutes before I went to lunch at Robongi (great Japanese food). I took my notes with me.

I returned at about 12:30 and took a short nap until about 1:30pm, when I started my next practice exam (exam #2 morning session). I limited my time to < 3hrs. I answered 86 out of the 120 questions correctly.

From about 5:30 until 9:00 reviewed the test and took more notes.

Alli isn't feeling good today. I hope she isn't getting sick! I joked with her that I may have to get a hotel so I don't risk being sick for the exam. Actually, if she does get really sick I may have to reevaluate the status of that "joke."

I have to remember to order a backup calculator.
Friday, November 24, 2006
  I am tired
I started studying today at 3:00pm (the market closed at 1:00pm). I took another practice exam in < 3hrs. I got 71 out of 120 correct. I feel it was tougher than the test I took yesterday. From about 7:15pm till now (10:30pm) I have been reviewing the test and writing down the stuff I missed.

I am pretty beat. I still have about 30 questions I need to review (I review all the questions, not just the ones I missed). I think I will finish in the morning. If I go to bed soon, I will be able to wake up and start this whole mess over again - bright and early.
  8 days left and the first quickie test
Yesterday, starting at 1:00pm I took the first test in the practice exam book. I limited myself to 45 seconds per question - then with the remaining 1.5 hours, I went back an completed all the questions I skipped. It was tough - but I completed the test with 11 minutes to spare.

I got 78 questions correct out of 120 - which doesn't pass, but it is better than what I thought I would get. So, for the next 7-8 days, I will be taking the practice exams - limiting myself to < 3hrs per test. Hopefully I can get the scores >100.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
  83! damn
I ended up not studying last night. Morgan (my sister-in-law) came home to visit. Alli, Morgan and I went to dinner last night. There is something about a big Italian dinner and wine that makes me not want to study... Hmmmm.

I am going to be taking practice exams all day. I started @ 7:30am. It is now noon and I just finished the last of the tests in book 6. I got a damn 83 out 120 which gives me a 69%.

I am going to grab some lunch (Alli and Morgan are making T-Day dinner all day today), then take another one of the practice exams. This time, I am going to limit myself to 45 seconds per question, which will leave me 1.5hrs to review my answers and complete the test (for a total of 3 hrs).
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
  The library and a suspicious package
On Monday, I met Kurt at the library. I was there from 6:30 till about 9:00 doing practice exam questions. Of the roughly 50 questions I completed, I missed about 16. That would be roughly getting an 82 out of 120. Tonight, I am going to do a more questions and will put in some good hours on Thursday.

Yesterday, when leaving the office the PATH was taped off due to a suspicious package. Since the subway was basically closed, we decided that it would be too much of a pain in the ass to try to make it into the City - so we skipped class. We took the lightrail into Hoboken and had a couple beers. I ended up going to bed fairly early (about 9:30pm). I got some good sleep and will be cranking out the practice exams tonight.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
  < 2 weeks until the test
It has been a while since I posted. I was on vacation in San Diego from the 10th until early the 18th.

I didn't study much on Nov 7, 8, 9 (well actually on the 7th I did do several sample exam questions). Primarily I was working on some work related junk and also getting prepared for my trip.

I changed my strategy, for now, on taking the practice tests. Instead of blazing through the tests, I have been answering each question then looking up the answer to see if I got it correct. If I didn't, I would study the explanation and/or do some further investigating in the notes. Since a single practice test is supposed to take 3 hours, I would guess that it takes me about 5 hours to painstakingly go through all the questions.

Here is my current list of sources for practice exams:
So I am going to continue to go slowly through Book 6. Then I am going to do the quick testing (45 secs per question, then 1.5hrs to finish unanswered question, for a total of < 3hrs) for the remainder of the practice tests.

Ok, back to the vacation (which I had planned BEFORE deciding to take the CFA exam)... The flight left early on Nov 10. We were in the air for roughly 5 hours and I was able to study for about 3.5 hours. The return flight was quicker and I probably studied for a total of 3 hours.

During the vacation, I would wake up pretty early (becuase I am used to the east coast time). So for the 7 mornings I was there, I studied during about 4 of them - waking up at about 7:00-8:00am and doing practice questions till about 10:30-11:00am.

Alli and I got home at around 2:00am Saturday night and went to bed at 3:30am. I didn't wake up till about noon yesterday. I was pretty beat so I didn't study - we just watched TV and movies. Today, was my first real full day back from San Diego. I started to practice tests at about 11:30 and ended at 6:30pm for a total 7 hours.

I assume that Kurt, Craig and I will be going to the library tomorrow - but I don't know for sure. I havn't talked to them for over a week.

BTW, my scores on the tests are now in the high eighties (then again, I am taking my time answering the questions). I feel that I starting to really understand most of this stuff.
Monday, November 06, 2006
  Better with a 77
I stayed at home today and took a practice exam. Kurt and Craig went to the library because they wanted to study/review more. I am finished will the standard reviewing and all I want to do now is take practice exams.

Today, I got 77/120, which is obviously better than yesterday! I limited myself to 45 seconds per question (which is 1/2 the time scheduled for the test). I use the remaining 90 minutes to finish all the longer questions. I ended up finishing the whole test in about 2.5 hours.

I have been going over my incorrect answers for the last hour or so. I got done with about 62 of the 120 questions.

Tomorrow I have my class, but on Wednesday, I am going to finish reviewing this last test then start another.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
  26 days until the exam & 45/120
I have been reviewing for the last several days. I finally finished this evening. As I have been reviewing, I have been speaking the text of the material into my computer and then saving the mp3 files and adding them to iTunes. As you can see, I did quite an extensive review. The total recording time equals 16.7 hours!

I can now transfer all my voice notes to my iPod for further review if necessary. Basically, over the last 7 or so days, I reread nearly ALL of the material. It was good to refresh myself on all the older subjects.

Did it help? I am not sure!!! Tonight Kurt, Craig and I went to the library @ 1:00pm and did our first practice exam. We limited the time to each question to only 45 seconds. There were 120 questions on the practice exam and I only got 45 correct. Ughh! I have to admit I skipped many questions because of the time constraint. Some of the ethics questions were so long that it took 45 seconds just to read them! The practice exam was supposed to take 3 hours and we did it in 1.5. The little timer program that I profiled in my last post worked perfectly (maybe too perfectly). We dreaded hearing the beeps.

Anyway, we are going to go to the library tomorrow to do another practice exam. We will be doing practice tests from now until December 2nd. I think tomorrow we are going to set the timer at 1 minute per question. Hopefully, after many tests, I can get my # correct above 100/120 - and get the timer down to 45 seconds. The deal will be to run through the test at 45 seconds per question then take the remaining 1.5 hours to finish any questions we skipped. Again, I hope I can eventually get 100+ on these exams.

Yesterday, we all went to our FSA class that ran from 9:00am until 5:00pm. It was really good. It was basically a rehash of 3 to 4 of the Tuesday classes we took. It focused on nothing but Financial Statement Analysis, which is the largest component of the exam. In fact, when I did the 1st exam today, my best area was FSA.

Ok, I am tired... I am going to relax and focus on getting my score for tomorrow's practice exam in the 60's.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
  The timer
I didn't study or review this evening. I worked on some code for a new program called the CFA Practice Exam Timer. Recall that my teacher said that we should limit ourselves to 45 seconds per question on the practice tests so we become accustom to the time requirements of the exam. So, I asked a buddy of mine to write a small little program that will help enforce this rule. He was able to generate the thing in about 30 mins!

The application is very simple, it takes two inputs: how many seconds per question and how many questions. When the user clicks on Start, the program will *klank* at the end each question's time interval. At the end of the total allotted time period, the program lets out a nice *buzz*.

My friend Shanker wrote the program. Unfortunately, the *beep* he had written didn't work on my computer for some reason - so I tweaked around with the code a bit (to make the *klank* and *buzz*). I haven't looked at Java for several months, so I had to resort to a couple of my books.

Anyway, this little application will work nicely to help us stay on target with our test taking skills.
Monday, October 30, 2006
  32 days and a dentist
I left work early today to go to the dentist. I was out of the dentist office by 2:30pm. I started reviewing book 4 @ around 4:30pm or so.

I just stopped, about 4 hours later. I leave about 70 pages in book 4 that still need to be reviewed.

I am kinda tired. I have been reading and studying for a while. I think I am going to kick back and relax for a the rest of the night. I have class tomorrow, which means I have to leave Alli alone on her favorite holiday (well, for most of the night, until about 9:30pm). Boy, it is going to be a long day tomorrow...
Sunday, October 29, 2006
  ahhh an extra hour
It was nice to wake up then realize that the clocks turned back last night. I had totally forgotten. I woke up at around 7am and did some work until about 8:30am. I started reviewing the FSA stuff @ around 9am. I finished all of book 3 and started reviewing book 4. It is great to be able to review all this stuff so quickly. I spent about 7 hours studying today.

I was reminded by Kurt (who just called me) that we have the FSA class next Saturday (all day! 9am-5pm). So I am going to finish this whole review process by next Saturday at the latest - then start taking the practice exams starting on Sunday the 5th of November.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
  34 days left until test
I spent about 6 hours reviewing the material today. I would have done more, but I got a headache and ended up taking a mid-day nap.

I reviewed all of book 2 and about a 3rd of book 3. I actually read a bunch of the reviews into mp3 files so I can listen later via my iPod. I figure that it will take about 3-4 days to do a full review.

I am taking Thursday and Friday off of work next week. So I will spend tomorrow, Mon, Wed, Thurs, and Friday to finish up a thorough review of the material. Then next Saturday (a week from today) I will start taking sample tests. I may be able to cut this timeline short and could possibly start taking sample exams as early as next Thursday or Friday... we will see. I definitely want spends some time doing a massive, condensed review.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
  Done with all the readings
With 4 days, 23hours and 9 minutes to spare, I am finally done with all the readings. I have read the entire curriculum for the December 2006 CFA exam.

I started reading at 6:00pm this evening and finished at 10:21pm. What at pain! But I wanted to be able to relax tomorrow. I studied at home tonight because Kurt didn't want to go to the library. I don't think I could have finished everything if I actually did go to the library.

I am going to do a full review of all the material on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Then I have class on Tuesday the 31st.

On November 1st, I am going to start taking be taking practice exams - which I will do until a couple minutes before the test.

I am tired and I need a shower...
Sunday, October 22, 2006
  A long Sunday
Last Thursday I ended up having to get my hair cut at 7:30pm. Last time this happened, it didn't really affect anything - but this time, Kurt also had a dentist appointment. We decided that we would not meet at the library.

I tried to study a little before the hair appointment, but I just couldn't get motivated. I decided to bring my book and read as I got snipped (as I did last time).

I think there was a fan on in the salon because my hair was flying all over the place. It was piling up in my book - so alas, I decided just to kick back, drink some tea, and relax as Jackie cut my dwindling locks.

I got home at around 8:30 and tried to study a little more, but unfortunately, I remembered that the Mets and Cardinals were playing game 7 of the NLCS - so I got distracted for the rest of the night.

So officially, I really didn't study on Thursday. Oh, and Friday was my day off, so I didn't study on that day either.

On Saturday, I had to decided between catching up on some work related stuff, or study. I said to myself, "Eh.. Make it a nice three-day vacation from studying. Come on! You're not a machine!".

So I didn't study on Saturday.

I woke up this morning determined to kick some ass. I started studying at 9:15am and finished at 4:00pm. I even turned off my computer monitors so the temptation of the Internet and email were diminished. I didn't look at the reading schedule - instead, I just read. Of course, I ended up screwed around for about 1:15 during the day (temptation was diminished, not removed), so I put in a SOLID 5.5 hours of studying.

I got finished with The Supply of and Demand for Productive Resources, which is all the material up to and including 10/28/2006. This puts me four full days ahead of schedule. It also only leaves two more days of reading!


I have to do 31 employee peer reviews by Friday the 27th! This is going to take a lot of time. So here is my plan:
  1. Do some of the reviews tonight.
  2. I have a Dentist appointment tomorrow at 1:30pm. After the Dentist I am going to go home and work on reviews.
  3. I then have class on Tuesday night. I am going to try to do some reviews during the day.
  4. I plan on finishing the peer reviews by the time I go to bed on Wed.
  5. Study on Thursday
  6. Study on Friday and finish the readings!

The only problem is that I think the reviews may take longer... I may have to forego studying until next Saturday - which blows.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
  13 and 44
Only 13 days left to finish reading all the material. I met Kurt @ the library at around 6:30pm. I started the economics book today and it was fairly easy for me to understand. I actually was able to finish a couple extra sections. I got done with Money and the Banking System and I am 3.66 days ahead of schedule.

I think I will be able to quickly get through this last book. I am going to shoot for finishing the readings on October 26th - but I not guaranteeing it :)
Monday, October 16, 2006
  4+ hours
I got a lot of "other" work done by not studying on Sunday. So I am officially 3 days ahead of schedule.

I showed up at the library @ 6:00 and Kurt was already there. In order to stay on my current pace, I had to study all the 10/21/2006 material, which happened to be the last three sections of book 5.

Kurt left at around 9:00pm and I ended up staying until about 10:15. I figured that I should finish all the required studying since we have class tomorrow - and I would rather not have to look at book 5 again for a while. So, my total study time was 4.25 hours...
Saturday, October 14, 2006
  17 and 48
I use a VPN to connect to my company's intranet. It gives me access to my desktop at work, along with the entire network. I was planning on doing some coding on my work server today, but when I logged in I couldn't connect to my server or workstation. This meant that the network guys were playing around with their systems. This was @ about 9:30 this morning. I decided I should study and then take tomorrow off to complete my other work.

I started studying this morning at around 10:00am and finished at 6:00pm - but I didn't work on this stuff for the full 8 hours. I would goof around on the Internet, or eat, or hang with Alli for a while. Total study time was roughly 5 hours.

I also studied last night - I figure I put in about 2.5 hours.

I am currently 4 days ahead of schedule. I have completed everything through the 10/19/2006 due date (I just finished Futures Markets and Contracts).

BTW, I was able to log into my work network at around 1:00pm, but I decided that I would rather take all of Sunday off...

I figure that I should be done with all the readings by 9:30pm on October 31st. Also, the test is on December 2nd, beginning at 8:00am. As of RIGHT NOW I have 17 Days, 3 Hours, 5 Minutes to complete the readings and 48 Days, 13 Hours, 35 Minutes until the test.

Yes, yes, that is very nerdy - but it is all on my Google homepage. They let me customize the content by adding little gadgets (in fact, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I even wrote my own called the Random CFA Key Concept gadget). Anyway, I have a gadget on the my homepage that is counting down the time I have left until each event.

Alright, Alli and I are going to go for a walk around Hoboken, have some dinner, then relax for the rest of the night. My studies will resume on Monday.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
I didn't feel like studying today. In fact, both Kurt and I agreed not to go to the library this evening. Craig couldn't make it either because of a dinner he had to attend.

Anyway, I studied at home. I got through with Introduction to the Valuation of Debt Securities and tomorrow I will read the next section so I don't have to mess around with this stuff on Saturday.

Reading this material for hours a day, nearly every day can be quite exhausting. Fortunately, I really don't have to study more than 2-2.5 hrs a day to stay on schedule. Of course, I want to be far ahead of my schedule in case of any unforeseen happenings...
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
  Rainy day workout
We setup up our home gym a couple days ago. When I came home from work today, I jumped on the machine for about an hour. Then, by the time I showered and ate, it was 6:30pm. I didn't get to the library until about 6:45.

I only needed to study one section today (to stay 2 days ahead of schedule). So I finished Overview of Bond Sectors and Instruments. I need to either study double time tomorrow or study on Friday so I can take Saturday off to do my other work.

I was highly tempted to not go to the library tonight and just study from home. It was raining and I had to trudge a couple blocks in that mess. I didn't have an umbrella, so I just put on an old waterproof snowboarding jacket. The jacket got soaked but I stayed pretty dry.

We will be studying for the level II exam in the middle of winter. I may reevaluate my commitment to the library in times of blizzards.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
  21 and 53
Tonight's class was really good and we left about 10 minutes early to beat the crowd. I was tired during the entire class - sometimes it is tough working all day and then going to a three hour class in the city.

Screw sometimes - always.

Yesterday, all three of us met at the library @ 6:00 and ended up staying there till about 9:15. I am still only 2 days ahead of schedule. In order to take off Saturday, I need to do some extra studying over the next couple days.

ohhh. I am tired. It was a long class...
Sunday, October 08, 2006
  Back to the books
I took yesterday off and did some coding that I needed to get done for work. I was able to complete a major project that I thought would take several days (integrating my market scanner report into the descriptive stats report). Now, the traders that use the service will get one all-inclusive report, instead of three separate reports. I coded the stuff for about 7 hours yesterday. I was done by 5:00pm and then relaxed with my wife and watched TV.

I still have a major project at work (transcript pusher) that I need to complete, but I have to maintain my studies. I am now 2 days ahead of schedule. I figure that during the week I can get that up to 3 then take off next Saturday to finish the transcript pusher.

I studied for about 4 hours today and got finished with everything through An Introduction to Asset Pricing Models, which is the last section in book 4 of the Schweser notes. Tomorrow I start on book 5 titled Debt Investments and Derivative Investments.

Since it is only about 1:30pm, I am going to work on the transcript project for a couple of hours then relax for the remainder of my weekend.
Friday, October 06, 2006
  25 and 57
I met Kurt at the library tonight. It was the first time either of us had been on campus during a Friday night. We discovered that the library closes @ 9:00pm. I completed a total of about 2.5hrs of studying. I got through The Asset Allocation Decision and I am officially 3 days ahead of schedule.

I am not going to study tomorrow. I have a lot of programming projects that have been neglected. I figure I should work on them before it is too late.

Dinner last night was awesome. We actually went back to Del Posto (2nd time in 1 month!). All three of us had the tasting menu. We ended up dining from 6:00pm to nearly 10:00pm. They had to roll us out the doors.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
  The loner at Panera
The class last night was very good. The instructor covered a couple subject in really good detail. It helped me clear up a few outstanding "issues." He also reviewed the points he made at the end of last week's class, which I wanted to review, but I had already packed up all my stuff.

I ended up going to Panera alone tonight and was able to get through Introduction to Price Multiples, so now I am about 2.5 days ahead of schedule.

I also got a call from Craig, who has been MIA. He has been staying on schedule, but spent the last week studying at work. I'll see him next Monday at the library.

I studied from about 6:15 till 9:00 (but was interrupted for about 30 minutes by a call from my good friend RP). So, I would say I only really studied for about 2hrs. Now I am pretty tired - but unfortunately I still have a bunch of other work to do tonight.

Oh, I am going to switch my day off from Friday to tomorrow. My brother-in-law has been in town for a couple days and we are going to take him out to dinner tomorrow night. With work and studying, I haven't been able to spend much time with him, and he heads home on Friday.
Monday, October 02, 2006
  29 and 61
Ok, I met Kurt at the library at around 6:15 (Craig hasn't been around for a while, I don't know what is up with him). We stayed until 9:45. I finished two sections:
  1. An Introduction to Security Valuation
  2. Stock Market Analysis and Industry Analysis
The Security Valuation section was a pain in the ass. There were about 27 questions at the end that were nothing but long calculations. Arg.

I just got home and generated a new schedule for Kurt. Instead of rushing right now to catch up, the new schedule will distribute the remaining sections evenly over the next 29 day.

Anyway, it was a good study session - and tomorrow is our class. Uhh this is all going by so quickly.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
  Enter October
I only needed to study for about 2.5 hrs today. I got done with: I was thinking about continuing to study for and get another day ahead of schedule, but there are too many other thing of to do. Hell, I have a couple extra Sunday hours that can be used to catch up with other projects... like watching football.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
  31 days to finish the readings and 63 till the test
I figured I would expand the title of this post to remind us of what the condensed titles mean (normally would have been 31/63).


I studied for roughly 7.5 hours. I started @ 10am then stopped at 1pm. Then started back up at near 3pm then went till 8:40pm - but during that last span, I was distracted a several of times.

I got finished with everything up to and including Dividend Policy. This puts me two days ahead of schedule!

I am pretty beat, so Alli and I are going to go out for some a late dinner. I will then come home, go to bed, and then start it all again in the morn.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
I went to the libarary @ 6:00 and Kurt called at around 6:30 saying that he wouldn't be able to make it, on account of a root canal that he just had. I stuck around till 7:00pm and then made my way down to Panera.

I bought a medium drink and bowl of soup and then plunked down for about 2.5 hrs. I finished the following readings:Pretty sweet... and tomorrow is my day off.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
  34 and 66
Last night we went to our class. The class is on the 2nd floor and the only way to get to the lobby is to take the elevator. Well, the problem is that there are 200 students that have to cram into the elevators (and no, we can't use the stairs because opening the door triggers an alarm). So, a good strategy is to be the first dude out.

I packed my stuff up about 5 minutes before the class ended. Of course, in those last minutes, the teacher covered a subject (construction in progress) in which I didn't understand 100% and could have used the extra help. Argg. On the bright side - Kurt and I jammed out of there quickly and didn't get stuck with the rest of the herd.

Tonight, we studied in the library for about 3 hrs. I finished the 3rd book by completing the Leases and Off-Balance-Sheet Debt section. It was a difficult subject for me. I am glad it is over (for now).
Monday, September 25, 2006
  half and half
I met Kurt at the Library @ around 6:00pm. We studied until about 8 and then he had to leave. He was pretty sick (has been for the last three week with some cold he can't kick; everyone has been battling it).

I came home and read for another 2hrs until 10pm. I finished two more sections: Analysis of Income Taxes and Analysis of Financing Liabilities. Both were a little more difficult than I wanted to them to be...
Sunday, September 24, 2006
  1 day ahead
I studied, off and on, from about 9:00am till about 5 minutes ago (2:25pm). I got done with BOTH parts of Analysis of Long-Lived Assets. This puts me ahead of schedule by 1 day (I am finished with the 9/25 material). I would say that the TOTAL study time was roughly 4 hrs.

I have accrued 1 study vacation day (you see, I am starting to talk like a damn accountant). I am going to throw it in my back pocket and hold it for later.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
I studied for about 5 to 5.5 hrs today. I woke up a little late (around 10:00pm) after staying up late on my day off.

I just finished Analysis of Inventories, so I am a little ahead of schedule. The inventories stuff seemed pretty easy after you get a couple of the main FIFO and LIFO concepts.

Well, it is nearly 8:00pm and I am going to relax until I start studying tomorrow morning.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
  Piece of Cake
I went to the library a little early tonight because I had to get my hair cut at 7:30. I left the library at 7:15 and got back at 8:15. Not to shabby! In fact, I took my notes with me and studied as I got chopped.

I was worried about the Analysis of Financial Statements section. It turned out to be fairly easy. I read the section and completed all the concept checking questions.

We only have 40 more days to finish all the readings. The test is in 72 days.

Fortunately tomorrow is my day off - and I am right on schedule.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
  Cash flow and 41
I was a little ahead of schedule tonight. I had already read the Analysis of Cash Flows. It turns out that reading and fully understanding are two different thingies...

I spent about 2.5 hours tonight going over the end-of-chapter Cash Flow questions. What a pain! I was surprised at how little I had retained from the readings. Anyway, I think I've got it now.

I started Analysis of Financial Statements. My only comment is, "CRAP!" There are a ton of ratios I need to learn, and it is due tomorrow. I may have to use some extra Saturday time to cover this stuff.

So, for now, I am about 1 hour of reading ahead of schedule, but I assume I will be falling behind due to the Analysis of Financial Statements. Fortunately, the class next Tuesday will cover this AND I am taking a 9-5 Saturday class on the subject in October.

I have 41 days left before all the readings need to be completed. *Gulp*
  Class and Schedule
Our second class was last night. The instructor taught most of the Quant stuff. It was a good review.

It's kinda like taking a large class in college. There are 200 students and no class time for a bunch of questions. Fortunately, the guy will personally answer any question sent to him via email (he will actually call you back).

Anyway, I have to go to the library in about 30 mins, so I figure I would post my newest schedule (excluding Tuesdays and Fridays). I created this in excel, and it is a pain-in-the-ass to convert to HTML.
I first have to copy it to MS Word then save as filtered HTML. Next, I have to open it in notepad to remove all the crap the MSFT adds to the code. Then I run it through TIDY HTML to properly format. Finally, I have to copy the code back to MS Word and remove all the newlines (cuz this blog automatically adds <br> in place of \n).

Again, a real pain-in-the-ass. So enjoy!

TitleTotal PagesDue Date
Framework for Financial Statement Analysis89/17/2006
Long-Term Assets89/17/2006
Accounting Income and Assets: The Accrual Concept299/17/2006
The Statement of Cash Flows89/18/2006
Analysis of Cash Flows269/20/2006
Future FASB Changes and the Analytical Challeges of GAAP39/20/2006
Analysis of Financial Statements299/21/2006
Dilutive Securities and Earnings per Share209/23/2006
Financial Shenanigans69/23/2006
Analysis of Inventories259/24/2006
Analysis of Long-Lived Assets: Part I - The CapitalizationDecision139/24/2006
Analysis of Long-Lived Assets: Part II - Analysis ofDepreciation and Impairment209/25/2006
Analysis of Income Taxes169/27/2006
Analysis of Financing Liabilities149/27/2006
Leases and Off-Balance-Sheet Debt209/28/2006
An Overview of Financial Management39/28/2006
The Cost of Capital139/30/2006
The Basics of Capital Budgeting139/30/2006
Cash Flow Estimation and Other Topics in Capital Budgeting1710/1/2006
Risk Analysis and the Optimal Capital Budget710/1/2006
Capital Structure and Leverage1710/2/2006
Dividend Policy1110/2/2006
Organization and Functioning of Securities Markets1210/4/2006
Security-Market Indicator Series1010/4/2006
Efficient Capital Markets1110/4/2006
An Introduction to Security Valuation2110/5/2006
Stock Market Analysis and Industry Analysis810/5/2006
Equity: Concepts and Techniques510/7/2006
Company Analysis and Stock Valuation510/7/2006
Technical Analysis1110/7/2006
Introduction to Price Multiples1010/8/2006
Alternative Investments2010/8/2006
The Investment Settings810/9/2006
The Asset Allocation Decision510/9/2006
An Introduction to Portfolio Management2010/11/2006
An Introduction to Asset Pricing Models1610/11/2006
Features of Debt Securities1210/12/2006
Risks Associated with Investing in Bonds1810/12/2006
Overview of Bond Sectors and Instruments1810/14/2006
Understanding Yield Spreads1410/15/2006
Introduction to the Valuation of Debt Securities1210/15/2006
Yield Measures, Spot Rates, and Forward Rates2410/16/2006
Introduction to the Measurement of Interest Rate Risk1910/18/2006
Derivative Markets and Instruments410/18/2006
Forward Markets and Contracts1010/18/2006
Futures Markets and Contracts1110/19/2006
Option Markets and Contracts2210/21/2006
Swap Markets and Contracts1110/21/2006
Risk Management and Applications of Option Strategies1010/21/2006
Economics: Macroeconomic Analysis The Basics2010/22/2006
Economic Fluctuations, Unemployment, and Inflation610/22/2006
Fiscal Policy1110/23/2006
Money and the Banking System510/23/2006
Modern  Macroeconomics: Monetary Policy710/23/2006
Stabilization Policy, Output, and Employment2410/25/2006
Demand and Consumer Choice1710/26/2006
Costs and the Supply of Goods910/26/2006
Price Takers and the Competitive Process1010/28/2006
Price-Searchers Markets with Low Entry Barriers610/28/2006
Price-Searchers Markets with High Entry Barriers1010/28/2006
The Supply of and Demand for Productive Resources610/28/2006
The Financial Environment: Markets, Institutions, and InterestRates910/29/2006
Gaining from International Trade1010/29/2006
Foreign Exchange1810/30/2006
Foreign Exchange Parity Relations810/30/2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
The 44 day schedule that I posted it not realistic. Why? Because I am taking classes on Tuesday nights and taking Fridays off.

I readjusted the schedule and removed ALL Tuesdays and Fridays. I will post it when I find some time (hopefully tomorrow).

The gist of it all is that my 44 days shrink to 33 days. And instead of only having to digest 19 pages of notes a day, I have to consume 26 - nearly a 37% increase.

This timeline is better; if I fall behind then I can use my vacation Fridays to catch up - instead of cramming the schedule in hopes of taking a day off.
  43 to read and 75 till test
I studied for about 4 hours tonight. I finished the Accrual Concepts and took the end-of-chapter quizzes. I also finished The Statement of Cash Flows and took the quizzes.

I also read about 75% of Analysis of Cash Flows, which isn't due until the 20th.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
  Sunday is Done
I studied quite a bit today (but did take a little nap between 3:30pm and 4:30pm). I finished:I am going to relax for the balance of my Sunday.
  44 Day Schedule
I started studying this morning @ around 8:30. I got through Financial Statement Analysis: The Basics. About an hour ago, I started to work on a full schedule for the remaining material I need to read. So, here it is.

*** This doesn't take into account that I take Friday's off. If I am going to take a day off, I am responsible for having that material read BEFORE I take the day off.

Each section in the Schweser Notes must be done by the due date:

Title Due Date
Framework for Financial Statement Analysis 9/17/2006
Long-Term Assets 9/17/2006
Accounting Income and Assets: The Accrual Concept 9/18/2006
The Statement of Cash Flows 9/18/2006
Analysis of Cash Flows 9/20/2006
Future FASB Changes and the Analytical Challeges of GAAP 9/20/2006
Analysis of Financial Statements 9/21/2006
Dilutive Securities and Earnings per Share 9/22/2006
Financial Shenanigans 9/23/2006
Analysis of Inventories 9/24/2006
Analysis of Long-Lived Assets: Part I - The Capitalization Decision 9/25/2006
Analysis of Long-Lived Assets: Part II - Analysis of Depreciation and Impairment 9/26/2006
Analysis of Income Taxes 9/27/2006
Analysis of Financing Liabilities 9/27/2006
Leases and Off-Balance-Sheet Debt 9/28/2006
An Overview of Financial Management 9/29/2006
The Cost of Capital 9/29/2006
The Basics of Capital Budgeting 9/30/2006
Cash Flow Estimation and Other Topics in Capital Budgeting 10/1/2006
Risk Analysis and the Optimal Capital Budget 10/1/2006
Capital Structure and Leverage 10/2/2006
Dividend Policy 10/3/2006
Organization and Functioning of Securities Markets 10/3/2006
Security-Market Indicator Series 10/4/2006
Efficient Capital Markets 10/4/2006
An Introduction to Security Valuation 10/6/2006
Stock Market Analysis and Industry Analysis 10/6/2006
Equity: Concepts and Techniques 10/6/2006
Company Analysis and Stock Valuation 10/6/2006
Technical Analysis 10/7/2006
Introduction to Price Multiples 10/8/2006
Alternative Investments 10/9/2006
The Investment Settings 10/9/2006
The Asset Allocation Decision 10/9/2006
An Introduction to Portfolio Management 10/10/2006
An Introduction to Asset Pricing Models 10/11/2006
Features of Debt Securities 10/12/2006
Risks Associated with Investing in Bonds 10/13/2006
Overview of Bond Sectors and Instruments 10/14/2006
Understanding Yield Spreads 10/14/2006
Introduction to the Valuation of Debt Securities 10/15/2006
Yield Measures, Spot Rates, and Forward Rates 10/16/2006
Introduction to the Measurement of Interest Rate Risk 10/17/2006
Derivative Markets and Instruments 10/18/2006
Forward Markets and Contracts 10/18/2006
Futures Markets and Contracts 10/19/2006
Option Markets and Contracts 10/20/2006
Swap Markets and Contracts 10/20/2006
Risk Management and Applications of Option Strategies 10/21/2006
Economics: Macroeconomic Analysis The Basics 10/22/2006
Economic Fluctuations, Unemployment, and Inflation 10/22/2006
Fiscal Policy 10/23/2006
Money and the Banking System 10/23/2006
Modern Macroeconomics: Monetary Policy 10/24/2006
Stabilization Policy, Output, and Employment 10/25/2006
Demand and Consumer Choice 10/26/2006
Costs and the Supply of Goods 10/26/2006
Price Takers and the Competitive Process 10/27/2006
Price-Searchers Markets with Low Entry Barriers 10/27/2006
Price-Searchers Markets with High Entry Barriers 10/28/2006
The Supply of and Demand for Productive Resources 10/28/2006
The Financial Environment: Markets, Institutions, and Interest Rates 10/28/2006
Gaining from International Trade 10/29/2006
Foreign Exchange 10/30/2006
Foreign Exchange Parity Relations 10/30/2006
  Not a dazzling start to the week.
I ended up staying up late on Friday, and didn't wake up until about 10:30am on Saturday.

With all the studying, I have fallen behind on some work and chores. I had to do two weeks worth of IBD analysis and then write a letter to the CFA institute. Before I knew it, it was almost 3:00pm.

Alli and I are building a home gym. Yesterday, we installed the air conditioner and also (with help from Todd), moved the treadmill into the workout room.

... now it was about 7:00pm.

I finally ended up hitting the books for about 2 hours. I am completely done with the first three study sessions and this morning, I am about to start the financial statement analysis (FSA) junk.

Oh, from about 10:00pm - 11:30pm I created a CFA Random Concept Google Gadget. It is pretty cool. Every time I go to my Google homepage, I get a random CFA study concept. I really can't post the URL because the material is © Schweser.
Friday, September 15, 2006
  End of the Week
Thursday is our official end of the week - and Friday is our only day off. Last night we all met at the Library and from about 6:00 - 9:30. We then went to Sullivans for a couple drinks to celebrate 1 more finished week.

I am about 1.5 hrs behind schedule. I still need to read 2 pages on linear regression and then do the study questions. No big deal.

I am done with study session 3 of 18; only 15 more (ohhhhhhh).

Alli and I are going to a nice dinner tonight for my weekend, then I will be back hitting the books bright and early tomorrow morning.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
  80 and 48!
So, there are 80 days left until the test, but our finish reading the material deadline is at the end of October, which is in 48 days.

We all met in the library tonight. I was a little late and didn't show up till 6:30. I put in a good 3.5 hrs. I didn't bring my laptop or backpack. Just the notes, a highligher, a pen and my calculator.

I was able to read and absorb the information pretty quickly on an introductory level, meaning taking the end-of-chapter test was a little more difficult. I am not trying to master the information, as I was doing before our 1st class. I am trying to simply understand or be aware of it - then jump to the next subject.

Again, I figure that I will do over 100 hours of practice testing during November, which will fine tune the knowledge.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
  CFA prep
Tonight was our first class @ the nyssa. It was good. The teacher really gets straight to the point.

We have to reevaluate our study strategy. We figured that we should be done with the reading material by mid November, and the instructor says that he HIGHLY recommends that we get finished by October 31. All of Nov should be reserved for practice tests. According to this schedule we lose 2 weeks. This means and complete change in our study timeline.

Eh... You gotta do what you gotta do...
Monday, September 11, 2006
  82 and counting
I met Kurt at the library tonight @ around 6:15pm. The room we normally use was taken so we found a new one - a far superior room! It has AC and better chairs. I was actually able to study more comfortably.

I left @ 9:30; I put a little bit more than 3hrs of studying.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
  83 days
I am still sick but not as bad as yesterday. I started studying @ around 10:30am and just stopped. It is 5:15pm. That is about 6 hrs 45 mins - but not all studying. My mom called and we ended up talking for, I would guess, about 1 hour and 15 mins. So, I am officially totaling my study time @ 5.5 hrs.

I wish it wasn't so late. All I can think about is that I have only about 5 hours left of my weekend - and I feel like crap.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
  84 days left .. and I am sick
I woke up today with a bad cold. It felt like someone filled me with snot then whacked me a couple million times on my head. Ohhhhh

I woke up @ around 8:30 and got some OJ, Red Bull, and water. I also drank a vitamin C drink. I tried to study but looking at my computer screen, in a daze, until about 10:30. I went back to bed until around 12:30.

I ended up being able to study for about 6.5 hrs - about 12:45 - 7:15.

Uh. I hope I feel a little better tomorrow.
  Yesterday: 1st day off
Mike, Vanessa, Alli and I went to Mario Batali's Del Posto Ristorante. It was a pretty fancy place and we racked up quite a bill. Vanessa is 9 months pregnant. If fact, last night was her due date. No baby, but she was having periodic contractions.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
  86 days till the test
I had a dentist appointment today @ 5:30. I studied from about 7:30pm till 10:00pm. I am much, much more productive when I study at home.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
  87 to go
We spent about 4 hrs in the library today. I am not much of a fan. It seems stuffy and I can't get the damn Internet. It seems to be taking me longer to study each subject.

I am going to study @ home tomorrow.
  With 88 days left...
Last night was our first group study session. We bought guest passes (which I assume is pretty rare, becuase nobody really knew much about them) to the Stevens Institute Libarary.

It is pretty nice. The library is a little old, but they don't mind if you bring in food or drinks.

On the second floor we found a nice "quite" room. There was 1 big table that Kurt, Craig and I used. We were able to spread out pretty comfortably.

My only issue is that I couldn't connect via my laptop to the internet. Hopefully, when we actually get our guest pass, this will change.

So... from now until the bell, during each weekday (except Friday), we will be in the libarary from 6:00pm 10:00pm.
Monday, September 04, 2006
  89 Days Left: Ohhh Probability
I studied from 11:00am till about 6:00pm. I did the stat concepts and probability. I need to spend some more time on the probability section. I have Schaum's Outlines for Probability - so I will take it to work tomorrow.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the first day Kurt, Craig and I study together. The plan is to:

  1. Study for about 2 hrs @ work after hours (4:15/30 - 6:15/30)
  2. Come home and then workout a bit until around 8pm
  3. Hit the library until until around 10pm

We will see...
Sunday, September 03, 2006
  90 Day Left: 11 Hours today
Long day. I studied all day from 9am till 8pm. I am a master of Time Value of Money, Discount Cash Flow Applications and my TI calculator. I basically read the Quant book AND the notes to really make sure I thoroughly understand this info.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
  91 Days: What a way to spend my Labor Day weekend!
I start studying at around 10:00am and studied until about 4:00pm. I then read a little bit more. I am total done for the day (it is about 5:45pm). I am completely done with Study Session 1, which includes all the ethics, GIPS and Corporate Governance. I took all the Flashback and Concept Checker questions. I updated all my notes on Writely. Tomorrow I start on the quant stuff.
Friday, September 01, 2006
  92 Days Left
I just spend 4.5 hours studying out of the Schweser Notes. I am pretty much a master of the CFA Code of Ethics and the Standards of Professional Conduct. Tomorrow I will wake up and take the comprehension tests then start on the next section.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
  Starting Today: 93 days left
So today is my first REAL day of studying for the CFA. I have about 93 days until the test. To cram in all in, I will need to average about 4hrs a day.

I bought the books about 6 months ago and actually read some of the quant stuff. I have had so much on my plate lately (CFA, CMT, prop strategies, java, etc.) that I was jumping back and forth between each subject.

Kurt IMed me a couple days ago. A spur-of-the-mement decision by both us - and 20 minutes later we had forked over $2000+ to take the test and buy classes.

Kurt, Craig and I have decided to take the December 02, 2006 CFA Level I exam in NYC. We are going to meet at the Stevens libarary during the week to collaborate - starting Tuesday.

So, with 93 days, I just started really studying. I read for about 1.5 hrs at Panara and typed notes into Writely. It got too cold (I am kinda sick right now), so I came home. I am about to study for another 2hrs.