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.

Are you thinking about taking the CFA exams? Download this free Before You Decide to Sit for the CFA Exam eBook.

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. Understand the Exam Language

The CFA exams are administered only in English, so you should speak English and understand the English curriculum well in order to take the exam.

5. Live in a Country Where CFA Institute Conducts Business

Individuals who live in certain countries cannot take the CFA exam because of US laws, sanctions, and trade regulations. In addition, some individuals who live in countries where the exam is permitted still may not be eligible because of their specific designations. This CFA Institute web page explains it in detail.

I’ve Met These Requirements: What’s Next?

If you meet all five of these requirements and want to take the exams, you should register for the CFA Level I exam, which is given every June and December. And, if you’d like to get some great advice on preparing for the exam, check out The Best Way to Study for CFA Level I Exam.