Blue Skies

The Mystical Poetry of Lumi

Just by the hair of my chinny chin chin…

FYI, I logged 200 study hours this time around, which built upon my 238 study hours from the first attempt at Level III last year.

24 thoughts on “Blue Skies”

  1. Hey lumi,

    I Passed too! Congrats to you and to everyone who wrote!

    Now that I am done all three levels I can finally say the cfa program is tough but also not worth the effort.. I still can’t do an interest rate swap question, nor can I tell you the difference between GAAP and IFRS. The biggest scam is that I have to pay $300/year to rent the letters to put behind my name.

    A part of me wants to create my own designation the Global Financial Analyst,GFA… the requirements would be an MBA or MSc in finance, the three levels of the cfa passed ( don’t have to be a charter holder) and five years of relevant work experience…. No annual dues… self regulated!

    What a scam… oh well, im done… All the best to you and thanks for your blog.

  2. Congratulations Brent!!! Excellent work. I am really impressed. How do you plan to celebrate?


  3. Emma Owen – Thanks!

    Vancouver – I feel your pain. No dues for me since I don’t have the work experience requirement (and may never). I love the GFA idea. Congrats for sticking it out.

    Chuck – Thanks! I celebrate all major & minor victories the same way – Sierra Nevada Torpedo.

  4. Congrats!

    I have been following this blog for a while. I studied over 250 hours for L2, but didn’t make it. Your perseverance is quite inspiring. I will continue to burn the midnight oil as you did, and one day I will pass L3.

    Well done


  5. LF – thanks so much!

    Ed – way to go! i’m sure you’ll think of something. but if not, there’s always the CAIA.

    Luke – oh man, i’ve been there. Gaze not too long into the abyss, lest the abyss gaze into thee. all you have to do is not quit. go luke!

  6. Hey Luke – I didn’t pass the CFA exams with ease. In fact, I got through in a rather clumsy manner.

    What i discovered about myself however, is that I don’t learn through reading the material and I quickly forgot specific details that I learned soon afterwards…this a big disadvantage given the volume of Material for Levels I and II.

    The only way I learned was by doing questions and reviewing the correct answer right away. And, doing this over and over again ad nauseum.

    What I discovered helped me was the Schweser Q-Bank (it is a rapid fire question and answer question bank). If you are in my boat then that might help you too! Good luck – keep your head up, and as disgusting as the CFA feels – eventually it will be all over and you will get through it!

  7. @LumiLog: Hi can you pls share tips as to how to start with level3 studies and how will i get practise of essay portion? what are the subjects i shd b starting with? which subject is most important? from where should i study and how much time should i be devotiing???


  8. Vancouver – thanks for helping out. Couldn’t agree more with your strategy.

    Rashi – well i didn’t exactly ace the essay portion of the exam, but i focused heavily on being able to read a case history about a client’s financial situation and goals, and do the RRTTLLU. That’s being able to talk about Return requirements, Risk tolerance, comment on the Tax situation, number of Time horizons and length of each, Liquidity requirements, any Legal issues, and anything Unusual or out of the ordinary that must be taken into account (like a desire for socially responsible investing).

    For me, the only thing that seemed to give accurate practice for doing the essay portion of the test were the Schweser Practice Tests. Not only are the problems realistic, but in the answer key they specifically show you how you should answer for the test (that part of the answer is labelled “For The Exam”.

    Good luck!

  9. I am currently working in public accounting but started my CFA journey a few years ago. I passed level 2 on my first try in June 2012 and am about 2 months away from “busy season” which unfortunately ends about a month and a half before the exam. I haven’t stared studying for level 3 yet, but I wanted your opinion on the approximate number of hours you would recommend putting in for level 3. I’ve been considering putting off level 3 until 2014 so I can finish up the CPA exam. What do you think?

  10. hi bob,

    well 250 hours didn’t work for me on the first try and i added 200 hours for 450 cumulative for my second try. i seem to remember one of the schweser instructors talking about people logging “350, 400, or 450” hours for level 3 as if that was typical. i think you could do it in less as long as you intensely practice how to do those essays. good luck!

  11. Hi,

    I have given L3 this year, I could not complete AM almost missed out on 12 Marks out of 60, Rest of AM was good though.

    I completed PM well ahead of time, expect 42-48 in that. Do i stand a chance considering i will be scoring out of 108 instead of 120.

  12. Hi Lumi,

    I wanted to say that I have followed your blog for several years having started my CFA journey back in the summer of 2007 when I sat for Level I that December. I didn’t take Level II until Spring of 2009 since I had no desire to try the December LI / June LII challenge! Then many personal challenges arose along the way – I’m sure this is the case w/ most candidates though so I definitely won’t try to dwell on it.

    I ended up sitting for Level III in Spring of 2010 and failing it unfortunately. My wife and I were blessed to have a beautiful baby daughter although that put studying on hold for a little while. So here I am and it’s Summer of 2013 and I can finally say I passed Level III! What a great feeling to be through this and never having to think about it again!

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I appreciate all of your posts and will definitely look at the book you wrote and think back on my own experiences. Time to go hoist a glass of the bubbly and enjoy an amazing day!


  13. Bob! Lose the cup and just drink from the bottle. WAY TO STICK WITH IT and HUGE CONGRATS! Thanks for checking in with us. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Dude…Lumi…I did it!! Just passed the Level III CFA Exam!! And as you described above, if we could bottle this feeling, we would make millions!! Haha!

    I’ve been following (lurking) around this site since 2011. I told myself, that when I finally conquered the program, I would drop you a line to say THANK YOU! Your stories and images (particularly “Blue Skies..”) helped to motivate and push myself, especially during those long, lonesome study sessions.

    I took L1 in June 2009, then L2 in 2012, and finally L3 in 2015. I passed each on my first attempt, but having put the designation on hold throughout that 6/7 year span, it didn’t exactly feel that way. I knew this thing would be in the back of my mind until I finally completed it. I’m proud and happy to say the day has arrived. BURNED the midnight oil. I am done good sir. Haha take care and thanks again

    – Andrew

  15. yayyyyy andrew!

    done, done, done. outstanding & way to see it through – most people do not. it’s a huge accomplishment – congrats and enjoy a glass of something fantastic. ๐Ÿ™‚

    be well – lumi

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