In an ideal world, when you place an order with a company, they box up your stuff and ship it out to you the same day.
In the real world, you sign up for Level 1 of the CFA exam and it takes them a couple weeks to get your 18.1 lbs. worth of study guides to you.
So what can you do to get started while waiting for your curriculum to arrive? The CFA Institute website has a lot to explore. I’ll list 5 things I found the most beneficial:
1. Get Ready
Start thinking about how you’ll structure your study schedule and watch the exam prep video here.
2. Get Started
Check out an overview of what you’ll be learning and even download the first chapter from from last year’s study guide for free here, so you can start studying today.
3. Get Insight
Gain a feel for the content and format of the exam questions by checking out their sample questions here.
4. Get Inspired
Listen to some CFA podcasts – not so much to help you prepare for the exam but to show you the finished product of the program. Granted one of the feeds is just a guy reading recent articles and not that all that lively, but the others have very interesting talks and presentations – more advanced and deeper than Vanguard’s podcasts or Fidelity’s podcasts.
Some of the CFA podcasts are available here but you’ll get a larger selection (3 different feeds) if you go to the iTunes store and search for “CFA Institute”.
5. Get Equipped
Order your exam-approved calculator if you don’t have one already. The ad below will take you to the one I opted for (and make me about a nickel if you happen to buy it).
Update: I finally passed all the CFA exams and wrote an eBook about the program. If you’re interested, click here.