When I founded Echo Wealth Management in early 2015, I had a vision in mind for my new company: take complexity out of wealth management while helping clients gain the confidence to follow their dreams. And over the past 18 months, through investing in cutting edge technology, and bringing Steve Drost and Tyler Lodahl aboard as associate wealth managers, I am thrilled by what we have achieved together: over $59 million in assets under management and 50 clients. In addition, I continue to invest in education and technology to enhance the services to clients.
The big news this month: Both Steve and I passed Level III of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) exam! I am in the process of submitting the professional references to the CFA Institute in order to be awarded the charter. Steve passed all three levels of the exam in his first attempts and will apply for the CFA charter in June of 2017 when he meets the required four years of qualified work experience.
Some people were surprised when they learned that I decided to pursue another designation in my 40s when I already have had both the CPA and CFP designations for over 15 years. I believe that success in today’s evolving business climate requires not only superior industry knowledge and expertise, but an unwavering commitment to ethical conduct and professional excellence. No credential is as widely regarded in the global financial industry, with its rigorous focus on current investment knowledge, analytical skill, and ethical standards, as the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. With more than 130,000 CFA charterholders in over 135 countries and territories and an increasing demand worldwide for the CFA program, the charter has become the first truly global professional investment credential.
Successful candidates study for approximately 1,000 hours on average to master 8,500 pages of curriculum. The CFA curriculum includes ethical and professional standards: financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, economics, quantitative methods, equity, fixed income, alternative investments, derivatives, portfolio management, and wealth planning. Its depth and breadth provide a strong foundation in advanced investment analysis and practical portfolio management skills, preparing today's investment professionals for the challenges of a global market.
In addition, they spend an average of four years to finish the three levels of the exam. All three exams are administered on paper on a single day; the level I exam is administered twice a year. The level II and III exams are administered once a year, usually the first weekend of June. Year 2016 passing rates: Level I: 43%, Level II: 46%, and Level III: 54%.
What Guides a Charterholder?
- A strict code of ethics and professional standards. A charterholder not only must master the technical knowledge to make investment decisions but also adopts and is held to the highest ethical standards.
- Global best practices and real-world experience. The CFA Program curriculum is based on an extensive and ongoing global practice analysis process, which ensures that the program stays current and relevant in relation to the ever-changing dynamics of a global professional investment practice.
- Breadth of knowledge and expertise. A comprehensive global view and update-to-date practical skills give these investment professionals the tools and deep understanding necessary to effectively analyze the risks and rewards of a variety of investment types, enabling them to address a client’s specific investment needs.
Simply put, a CFA designation is a badge of distinction. It represents a deep knowledge of all things investing, a commitment to ethics, and a passion for always putting investors first. By partnering with a CFA charterholder, you’re partnering with an investment manager who always puts investors first - someone with proven knowledge and who’s fully equipped to navigate the uncertainties of the financial world.
We are excited to put our new skills to work for our clients!