People on a world map, symbolizing benefits of joining a CFA society

Posted by: Kaplan Schweser
Published: July 3, 2018

CFA® societies offer locally led brand building, professional development, and advocacy to promote, facilitate, and enhance professional standards and effect change in markets and regulations. Local societies help CFA Institute as a whole raise professional standards in over 150 global financial markets.

More specifically, they offer current CFA Institute members, CFA Program candidates, partnering institutions, or anyone seeking additional information on the charter the opportunity to learn more, attend special events, and expand professional networks. If you’re wondering if you should participate in one (or even start one yourself), here are 5 valuable benefits of joining a CFA society.

1. Networking and Volunteering Opportunities

The first benefit of a CFA society is the opportunity to network and volunteer. Because these societies have regular meetings and events, members have the opportunity to discuss challenges and ask questions of their peers. If you join, you can get information from experts that keep you up to date on investment management and specific CFA trends. Also, if you volunteer to participate in events that cover topics of interest to CFA charterholders, you have the opportunity to discuss the latest trends with experts and showcase your expertise. You also have the satisfaction of knowing you have shared your time, talent, and knowledge.

2. Access to Exclusive CFA® Society Member-Only and Other Events

When you work in finance and investment, you are not immune to the changes that are happening in business as a whole, but you also face specific challenges. Joining a CFA Society offers you access to events just for members that cover these changes and challenges and how to address them. For example, currently a number of CFA societies are hosting events that cover the hottest topics in the industry, such as FinTech, artificial intelligence, data security, blockchain, and cryptocurrency (e.g., bitcoin). If you join a society, you also have the option of getting involved,potentially helping plan, and even leading one of these events.

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3. Professional Development Opportunities

To succeed in a highly competitive and ever-changing industry that values expertise and trustworthiness, investment professionals must be committed to furthering their knowledge, skills, and abilities. CFA societies offer ideal professional development opportunities for such a commitment. In addition, some societies work with other local organizations to help their members develop and enhance skills such as communication, public speaking, and leadership. For example, the Toronto CFA Society is a sponsor of the Financial Analyst Toastmaster Club, which aims to help finance professionals address an audience and make the right impression.

4. Career Assistance

Another of the five valuable benefits of joining a CFA Society is career advancement and access to job postings in the local market, such as the CFA Society Boston career center. Members can find out who is hiring or who is looking for CFA charterholders in their area. Many CFA societies post local job opportunities and career resources on their websites. Some also host career fairs like the one the CFA Society of Los Angeles held in April 2018, which are open to more than just society members and can help students or new charterholders meet members whose institutions and organizations are hiring.

5. CFA® Continuing Education

CFA Institute advocates lifelong continuing education. Although continuing education is not a requirement, CFA Institute recommends 20 hours of continuing education credit activities (with at least two hours on the topics of standards, ethics, and regulations) each calendar year. This is because financial markets and the investment management sector are constantly in flux, and CFA charterholders need to stay relevant to provide the best guidance to their clients. Many CFA societies offer frameworks for identifying suitable educational activities and classes for earning these credits. Also, you can earn continuing education credits by volunteering for society activities.

How Do I Join?

To join a CFA society, start by finding one in your city, state, country, or region. CFA Institute’s Find a Society web page lists all 152 CFA societies. You can go down the list to see all of them, or you can search by country. If there isn’t a CFA society near you, the web page has information about how to start your own.

Also, did you know Kaplan Schweser partners with CFA societies around the world to offer world-class instruction, innovative study materials, and excellent service to CFA candidates? Get all the details here.