Financial Analyst Warrior’s Sample CFA Level 1 Exam Study Guide

Download our free CFA Level I Exam Study Guide (sample) for study session 12 on portfolio management and give us your feedback!

Our team at Financial Analyst Warrior is currently working on a study guide eBook that will hopefully help you succeed on your December 2013 level 1 CFA exam. We are trying to cover all the required material and explain it in a clear and concise fashion. We embarked on this project because when we were CFA candidates ourselves, we were not fully satisfied with the study packages available out there. The relevant material was often hidden in much verbiage and we sometimes failed to see how these numerous theories translated in the real life.

We are hoping to offer a more “user-friendly” study guide that will help you nail that exam. We decided to release this sample study session to get your feedback before releasing the full study guide. Creating these study notes requires a lot of time from us (approximately 3 gazillion hours so far) but the complete eBook with all study sessions should be ready in mid September…

We answer some questions you may have regarding the upcoming eBook:

Why a CFA Level 1 eBook?

  • As candidates, we wished there existed a less boring alternative to the CFA Institute “bricks” or the other study packages. It seems that the videos explaining the CFA material are even more boring plus you cant skim them to skip the material you already know, you have to listen to the whole thing in case there is some important info.
  • To help candidates by presenting the CFA required material in a different way than traditional study notes.
  • The Financial Analyst Warrior eBook does not replace the other study packages, it complements them by providing a more user-friendly, practical and visual learning experience.
  • For our team at Financial Analyst Warrior, it helps us stay sharp by refreshing all the concepts and as you know, for a warrior, staying sharp is essential…
  • It is a great and motivating challenge for us to provide candidates with a helpful resource to conquer the exam.

Why should I use this study guide?

  • It is more visual. According to this paper by William C. Bradford, 65% of the population are visual learners.
  • It contains up-to-date practical application of most concepts so you can relate more easily to the material than if it was just theory.
  • It is written in plain English that is easy to understand. We know that for the majority of CFA candidates, English is not their mother-tongue (only 33% of candidates are in North America)
  • It is much shorter, more concise and to-the-point than other material so it is great for review.
  • Although we cannot really call this eBook prime entertainment material… we tried to keep the boring factor to a minimum (lets just say the Beta for that factor is <1)

Who is it for?

  • Those who have ADHD or a short attention span. If you have a hard time staying focus on readings for long periods, this study guide is for you.
  • Those who have studied the material and need notes to review.
  • Those who have no time to spare and want to study whenever they have a minute without having to carry the huge CFA books wherever they go.
  • Those who are just lazy and want the relevant information quickly without having to read hundreds of pages (although we would still recommend also reading the hundreds of pages if you want to be sure to cover all required material)
  • Those who want to put all the chance they can muster on their side.
  • Those who learn better by understanding the practical “real-life” application of the sometimes very abstract concepts.

Who is it not for?

  • Those who already know 100% of the material and are super confident.
  • Those who only use notes that cover every single detail of the material.
  • Those who enjoy the CFA Institute prose and literary style…

What material is covered in this study guide?

  • Most study sessions are covered except Ethics which requires you to read and understand the CFA Institute Code of Conduct. There is no way to really simplify that for a study guide…you just have to know it.
  • Approximately 80% of the LOS required are addressed in the study guide. This also means if you know and understand very well the topics included in that guide, you are likely to pass since the usual passing grade has historically been around 70%. However, as we mentioned, this guide complements the complete CFA curriculum, it does not replaces it.

How is this study guide different from other study guides out there?

  • Thanks to the eBook format, we do not have to pay for printing so we can afford to put colorful graphs, pics and tables that will help you stay focused and clarify the material.
  • In order to explain the topics in a language everyone can understand, we took a more informal approach rather than the highly academic tone in most guides. Obviously this is not exactly “pillow-talk” given the complexity of some of the material but the tone is always friendly and direct.
  • While it covers most topics thoroughly, the Financial Analyst Warrior study guide is much shorter than other study guides.
  • The examples provided to explain the concepts do not date from the Renaissance area like in some other notes. We only use current example to make it easier for candidates to relate.
  • We are very responsive and transparent, if you have questions about anything in the book you can send us a message and we will answer, which you cannot reasonably expect from most study package providers.
  • Since we are small and independent, we have the flexibility to cover each topic the way we find most appropriate. For example, the Schweser notes found it sufficient to explain the efficient frontier using Asset 1 and Asset 2 as examples. We actually created, with step-by-step explanations, a full optimal risky portfolio using securities representing major asset classes (SPY, IWM, GLD, EEM…). Not only you get to see how the portfolio theory is applied on the market, but you can actually implement it yourself, unlike Asset 1 and Asset 2 which you will have a hard time trading…
  • Our team has experience in coaching candidates pass the level 1 CFA exam. We used that experience to compile, at the end of each study session, the top 10 common mistakes candidates make and pitfalls to avoid.
  • Its much cheaper. It will be in the double-digits.

The main goal of releasing this sample is to get some feedback from level 1 candidates so feel free to contact us and let us know what you think. The study session covered in this sample is corporate finance which has a relatively small weight on the overall exam. It is therefore not necessarily representative of what’s in store for the complete eBook but it gives you a general idea.

We hope you will let us know what you think. Do not hesitate to ask us if you have questions about the eBook, our approach, our team, the exam, single malt scotch, hockey, Crossfit or hiking equipment…We are all passionate about these things (except the exam of course) so we’ll be happy to answer!

Cheers!

3D Ebook Cover