What are your thoughts and experiences w/Financial certs/degrees? (CFA/CFP/MBA/CPA)

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Svnla

Lifer
Nov 10, 2003
17,999
1,396
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Originally posted by: vegetation
Originally posted by: b0mbrman
Hmmm...makes sense....so what is the reason that people tell you that an MBA away from the top tier schools isn't worth it?

That's because traditionally one who gets an MBA automatically figures they are going to get a six figure salary right off the bat. That's simply not true anymore. Not even for a top tier school, unless you have a lot of other credentials or experience under your wing. Freshly minted MBAs shouldn't expect any kind of major salary increase. It CAN open doors to new opportunities, but like I said, it seriously matters on your other skills.

I would strongly suggest anyone considering an MBA to take a part-time program. Don't quit your job. Your opportunity cost is essentially zilch, since if you take an evening program you're sacrificing what, watching some TV and neffing online?

Very well said. Like I said in my previous post in this thread, study for your advance degree but don't expect to make 100K+ salary righ away when you have your degree/certificate.

I studied for my MBA part time via night classes for over a few years because the company paid for it 100%. It was one of the best decision in my life.

I am studying right now for my CIA (Certify Internal Auditor) and blackbelt in Six Sigma Quality Control.
 

LegendKiller

Lifer
Mar 5, 2001
18,256
68
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Originally posted by: vegetation
Originally posted by: b0mbrman
Hmmm...makes sense....so what is the reason that people tell you that an MBA away from the top tier schools isn't worth it?

That's because traditionally one who gets an MBA automatically figures they are going to get a six figure salary right off the bat. That's simply not true anymore. Not even for a top tier school, unless you have a lot of other credentials or experience under your wing. Freshly minted MBAs shouldn't expect any kind of major salary increase. It CAN open doors to new opportunities, but like I said, it seriously matters on your other skills.

I would strongly suggest anyone considering an MBA to take a part-time program. Don't quit your job. Your opportunity cost is essentially zilch, since if you take an evening program you're sacrificing what, watching some TV and neffing online?

I completely agree. A top tier may give you some connections, and definitely a pipeline into the Street, but it isn't going to be a huge deal to anybody just looking to suppliment their income and future earnings potential.


On a side note, CFA exam is coming up in 10 days. Hopefully I pass level 3, I do not want to spend another 6 months studying next year!

Any additional knowledge is good knowledge, regardless of whether you get it from U-Penn Wharton or a minor public school. It is *YOU* who ultimately makes or breaks your career.
 

LegendKiller

Lifer
Mar 5, 2001
18,256
68
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Originally posted by: JS80
legend - where's your mba from? You realize you're an outlier?

Florida International, 3.92, A in every single finance course (Marketing an operations were Bs).

Yeah, I definitely do. I like finance enough that I probably should have taken it as an undergrad, but I never knew I was going to be this good until grad school, I just stumbled upon it.

If I had actually not been lazy in HS and undergrad, I'd probably have gone to Univ-chicago, northwestern, or something like that. However, I wasn't motivated until grad, now I am playing catch up.

As I have stated, it's a matter of what you like, how much you like it, and how much you are willing to do to get your ass in gear. For me, I had no motivation until 5 years ago, now I have tons and it has paid off.

An MBA is not a silver bullet to riches, but it is a path. It's your choice whether you want to crawl, walk, or run down that path.

 

everman

Lifer
Nov 5, 2002
11,288
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Originally posted by: Blackjack2000
My first advice is to stay away from Series 63, Series 7, and CFP designations. They are for financial salespeople. Unless cold calling and constant prospecting are what you want to do for the first 3 - 4 years, forget it. (Failure rate is also quite high, something like 80%-90%)

This isn't entirely true and only generalizes one segment of the industry. The CFPs that I know are independent planners who are more established (in business for 5-30 years). 99% of them now get all clients via referrals from current clients, they do not actively seek new clients.

Revenues are not from sales of products or commissions for some of them, the SEC is pushing the industry toward charging on assets under management. IE: charging 1% on the net asset value of assets under management.

The exact opposite also exists, cold calling, high commission items, etc. And a high attrition rate in the industry.
 

aswedc

Diamond Member
Oct 25, 2000
3,543
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CPA

From Wikipedia: A CPA is licensed by the state of his/her residence to provide auditing services to the public, although most CPA firms also offer accounting, tax, litigation support, and other financial advisory services. The requirements for receiving the CPA license varies from state to state, although the passage of the Uniform Certified Public Accountant examination is required by all states. This examination is designed and graded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Monetary cost: ~$1,000 for the exam, Education Costs

Time commitment: Varies by state. Most states require 150 semester hours of college education, as well as specific accounting and business requirements. After the education requirement is satisfied, a student can sit for the exam. However, the CPA license will not be granted unless the experience requirement is met. This is also state specific, and is typically one to three years.

Typical jobs: The most common career path for a CPA (and usually the most desirable) is in public accounting. There are four large firms with about ~100,000 employees worldwide, these are known as the "Big 4". Most people join an accounting firm in its audit or tax practices. Starting salaries for large firms range from $45,000 to $55,000, depending on region. To be employed it is usually required to have met the CPA education requirements.
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,389
1,778
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I have a degree in General Management and Human Resources Management....did a double major since it was only a couple of business law and staffing classes to add it on. I'm working on my MBA now and should complete it by next Spring.

I have attended a couple of different Business programs like Main Event Management's Model-Netics course, etc....

My experience is that it really doesn't matter what you do as long as you can market yourself to fit the job you're applying for. Having the education simply makes this easier to convince someone to hire you. You're basically showing them proof that you've attended the classes that teach you the principles to do the job. If you have no common sense, you'll eventually be found out and possibly laid off. Just go after the certifications you think you need to give you that edge over the other guy in the field you want to persue. That's all you need to do. Just keep in mind that a degree is worth more than a certification because of the amount of time and overall cost it takes to get it. You can get a certification usually by taking a test and study on your own time. Companies often pay for both kinds of training, but getting the degree out of the way will open more doors for you up front and give you a higher earning potential off the bat when you get your foot in the door.
 

b0mbrman

Lifer
Jun 1, 2001
29,471
1
81
Originally posted by: LegendKiller
Originally posted by: vegetation
Originally posted by: b0mbrman
Hmmm...makes sense....so what is the reason that people tell you that an MBA away from the top tier schools isn't worth it?

That's because traditionally one who gets an MBA automatically figures they are going to get a six figure salary right off the bat. That's simply not true anymore. Not even for a top tier school, unless you have a lot of other credentials or experience under your wing. Freshly minted MBAs shouldn't expect any kind of major salary increase. It CAN open doors to new opportunities, but like I said, it seriously matters on your other skills.

I would strongly suggest anyone considering an MBA to take a part-time program. Don't quit your job. Your opportunity cost is essentially zilch, since if you take an evening program you're sacrificing what, watching some TV and neffing online?

I completely agree. A top tier may give you some connections, and definitely a pipeline into the Street, but it isn't going to be a huge deal to anybody just looking to suppliment their income and future earnings potential.


On a side note, CFA exam is coming up in 10 days. Hopefully I pass level 3, I do not want to spend another 6 months studying next year!

Any additional knowledge is good knowledge, regardless of whether you get it from U-Penn Wharton or a minor public school. It is *YOU* who ultimately makes or breaks your career.

Did you start studying for the CFA while also earning your MBA?
 

WildHorse

Diamond Member
Jun 29, 2003
5,023
0
0
Originally posted by: b0mbrman
Originally posted by: Blackjack2000
What I found that I was more interested in was economics. The finances are just the math behind it all.

So, where could a love for pure economics take you (or me)?

For pure econ you've gotta earn a Ph.D. at a top school, then be a professor, or a consultant.
 

LegendKiller

Lifer
Mar 5, 2001
18,256
68
86
Originally posted by: b0mbrman


Did you start studying for the CFA while also earning your MBA?

Nah, but when I was doing my MBA I was in with a lot of MS-Finance people who were taking it (and failing). I started studying ~6mo after I finished bschool and ~2mo after I started my first job out of bschool.

It was my first job in Securitization, and a tough one. Now I am on my 2nd job in the field, at another tough company, studying for 3. 1 week to go, hopefully I pass, I am tired of studying.

I am 27 and have been studying for 22 straight years...
 

b0mbrman

Lifer
Jun 1, 2001
29,471
1
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Originally posted by: scott
Originally posted by: b0mbrman
Originally posted by: Blackjack2000
What I found that I was more interested in was economics. The finances are just the math behind it all.

So, where could a love for pure economics take you (or me)?

For pure econ you've gotta earn a Ph.D. at a top school, then be a professor, or a consultant.

Yeah, I figured as much...The world seems sorta limited for the math side of econ and statistics
 

ottothecow

Senior member
Aug 30, 2005
228
0
0
Originally posted by: b0mbrman

Yeah, I figured as much...The world seems sorta limited for the math side of econ and statistics

Unfortunately in a direct matter, that is rather true (I say this on my way to a degree in econ from the university of chicago...).

If you want to do strict econ or statistics or something, its most likely going to be in academia. However, if you branch it out and start applying it to things, you see a lot more options open up. Of course, when you start applying, you start loseing the things that you dont use but hey...scarcity and tradeoffs...thats the heart of economics right there applied to a job in economics :)
 

BoldAsLove

Platinum Member
May 10, 2005
2,078
0
0
So I want to major in finance....wheres the best place to go for undergrad?(i have pretty good grades and extracurriculars).
 

b0mbrman

Lifer
Jun 1, 2001
29,471
1
81
So I recently registered for the CFA Level I exam in Dec 06...will report on how it goes.

Studying so far isn't too bad...then again, the topics I've covered have been all stat and econ so it makes sense that I should understand it
 

LegendKiller

Lifer
Mar 5, 2001
18,256
68
86
Originally posted by: BoldAsLove
So I want to major in finance....wheres the best place to go for undergrad?(i have pretty good grades and extracurriculars).

Univ of Chicago, Harvard, Yale, UPenn. Check out Businesseeek.
 

LegendKiller

Lifer
Mar 5, 2001
18,256
68
86
Originally posted by: b0mbrman
So I recently registered for the CFA Level I exam in Dec 06...will report on how it goes.

Studying so far isn't too bad...then again, the topics I've covered have been all stat and econ so it makes sense that I should understand it

I just passed level III, got my results 2 days ago. The best advice I can give you is to study your butt off, even if you hate doing it. Then, for the last two months, take a crap-ton of practice exams. I took ~60 each level (60 q's each). I used Allen for I, Schweser for II and III.

Good luck, let me know if I can help with anything.

 

b0mbrman

Lifer
Jun 1, 2001
29,471
1
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Congrats :)

I've heard of lots of people using notes...is it really that big of an advantage over the actual CFA I texts (using the study guide as a...guide)?
 

LegendKiller

Lifer
Mar 5, 2001
18,256
68
86
Originally posted by: b0mbrman
Congrats :)

I've heard of lots of people using notes...is it really that big of an advantage over the actual CFA I texts (using the study guide as a...guide)?

I read all of the books, then usually supplemented that with something like Schweser's Secret Sauce, and notecards that I made from the books. Used the flashcards a lot, read a lot, and answered more questions in mock exams than I care to think of.
 

cchen

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
6,062
0
76
Originally posted by: LegendKiller
Originally posted by: BoldAsLove
So I want to major in finance....wheres the best place to go for undergrad?(i have pretty good grades and extracurriculars).

Univ of Chicago, Harvard, Yale, UPenn. Check out Businesseeek.

Harvard, Yale, and Chicago all don't have undergrad business programs.
 

LegendKiller

Lifer
Mar 5, 2001
18,256
68
86
Originally posted by: cchen
Originally posted by: LegendKiller
Originally posted by: BoldAsLove
So I want to major in finance....wheres the best place to go for undergrad?(i have pretty good grades and extracurriculars).

Univ of Chicago, Harvard, Yale, UPenn. Check out Businesseeek.

Harvard, Yale, and Chicago all don't have undergrad business programs.


Econ?
 

cchen

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
6,062
0
76
Originally posted by: BoldAsLove
So I want to major in finance....wheres the best place to go for undergrad?(i have pretty good grades and extracurriculars).

Originally posted by: LegendKiller

Econ?

Econ != Finance
 

LegendKiller

Lifer
Mar 5, 2001
18,256
68
86
Originally posted by: cchen
Originally posted by: BoldAsLove
So I want to major in finance....wheres the best place to go for undergrad?(i have pretty good grades and extracurriculars).

Originally posted by: LegendKiller

Econ?

Econ != Finance


A lot of the time they let you take some cross over classes. It's also the #1 way to go from under to a top finance position. Finally, it's one of the best ways to get into a top b-school for finance.
 

cchen

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
6,062
0
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Originally posted by: LegendKiller
Originally posted by: cchen
Originally posted by: BoldAsLove
So I want to major in finance....wheres the best place to go for undergrad?(i have pretty good grades and extracurriculars).

Originally posted by: LegendKiller

Econ?

Econ != Finance


A lot of the time they let you take some cross over classes. It's also the #1 way to go from under to a top finance position. Finally, it's one of the best ways to get into a top b-school for finance.

Yes and no. With the case of the schools above you mentioned (Aside from Wharton), you won't be taking any "cross over classes" because there are none. Finance classes for undergrads in those schools are sparse. To get a top finance position, you can come from any major. In fact, if you look at a bulge bracket's recruiting profile, you'll see they have a huge mix, and some in fact hire more engineering and math undergrads than econ majors. Finally, again, getting into a top b-school depends on several factors, your undergrad major only being a tiny data point.