Seeing as I have managed to document my thoughts throughout my CFA level one study so far in my CFA Blog updates and my original CFA Level One Study Plan, I figured an update 4 days out from the exam is in order. I write this update knowing full well my time could be better spent studying.

Biggest points of interest

- Very interesting course. it all comes together at some point. highly recommend skimming the whole course with schweser secret sauce to get your head around all you have to know. Once you do this, it is easier to focus on weaker areas.
- Boredom of doing questions that you can do is a problem. circa motivation too. but must continue to do them or will forget.
- Need to focus on problem areas.
- Need to do practice questions.
- Must do ethics material from CFAI, schweser Q bank or some other source of questions, all the practice Q’s you can get your hands on.

A post I made on Analyst forum is below with the results further down.

After going back and forwards on different plans and strategies for weeks (I think I have written at least 6 plans in excel and or word), I think i have finally found one i like. If it helps others, fantastic, if not it provides great procrastination time as i try to put off the 60 derivatives questions i am about to do after i write this…. This may not provide much value to most and is fairly elementary (i wish i had come up with it earlier).

Once you are fairly comfortable with the majority of the workload (which i assume most of us are by this point), there are going to be gaps in our knowledge which we need to improve. Simulating test conditions may also be important to some if time is an issue for you.

I have been taking the CFAI samples (nothing new here) but actually working through my results in a systematic way. I chose to do the CFAI samples first before i take the Schweser ones as they are obviously more representative of the exam.

My ‘systematic’ way is as follows (sounds stupid but i hope it helps)(also note i have the tests on my computer but it would work just as well for schweser etc)..

1-creating an excel spreadsheet for my answers numbered 1–>x

2-input answers as i do the test (put a star on the questions i know need revision on as i do the test or that I am totally guessing – also write the topic of the question in the next cell as a primer for later)

3-mark the test

4-go through with answers and identify problem areas.

5- create a “must revise”, a “forgotten formulas” and a “should revise” list in the same spreadsheet

6- add areas that you need to work on to the list and repeat this process for each of the sample exams and the Schweser exams and you will have a fairly comprehensive list

7- Revise key areas and question bank or some other way test yourself on these areas.

8-pass.

Here is a link to what it looks like – hope it helps someone – glad i wasted time not thinking about swaptions.

I have made a list of stuff I need to work on before the exam. It is below and the spreadsheet that I made it from is here. It is unedited.

Must Revise | |

E | GIPS |

E | GIPS only apply to investment management firms |

E | - Under GIPs: composite must include all fee-paying discretionary accounts. non-fee paying can be added if disclosed. non-discretionary cannot be added. |

E | ETHICS – you cannot have unfair allocation methods of shares even if you disclose |

E | cannot knock people over on trading floor |

CF | calculating NPV practice cashflows |

CF | NPV profile – steeper slope = more sensitivity |

CF | mismatching strategy for short term forecasting |

CF | CAPM vs Bond Yield for Cost of Equity |

CF | effective cost of financing (73 mock 1) |

CF | discounted payback period (77 mock 1) |

CF | FCFF + discount rates |

CF | project sequencing |

CF | profitability index = 1 + NPV / initial cost |

CF | no tax deduction for preferred stock |

CF | MMY / Discount basis yield |

CF | DDM approach – cost of common equity = div yield + growth rate Q76 M2 |

CF | 5 part dupont |

D | graphs + put call parity / prot put, covered call |

D | maintenance margin |

D | covered call and protective put. Covered call reduces upside and protective put reduces downside minus costs. |

D | FRA, swaps and different types |

D | covered call + protective put (96 m2) |

AI | Alternative investments (everything) |

AI | property valuation methods |

AI | commodities with stocks and inflation (111 m2) |

AI | emerging mkts (114 m2) |

ECO | Economic Profit vs Accounting Profit |

ECO | okup + inflationary gap |

ECO | government spending – budget deficits –> more loan demand —> IR higher |

ECO | structural unemployment = changes in technology , frictional = influenced by unemployment compensation |

ECO | The quantity of land and other renewable natural resources (37/mock 2) |

ECO | Phillips curves – REVISE – 39 / mock 2 |

ECO | feedback rules (40/mock 2) |

ECO | Marginal cost pricing (42/ mock 2) |

ECO | nom IR = real Ir + expected inflation |

ECO | demand pull inflation leads to increase in price level and real GDP (44/m2) |

ECO | McCullum = Monetarist (new). Taylor = Keynesian (new) |

ECO | constant vs increasing cost industries |

FE | forward rate calcs / options / swaps |

FE | bootstrapping – forward rates |

FE | different term structure theories (expectations, liquidity preference + ..) |

FE | GOVER OVER BOND EQUIVALENT YIELDS AND ANNUAL PAY BONDS (99 / m1) |

FE | Zero volatility spread (103/m1) + OAS (104/m1) |

FE | increasing yield curve = bigger spread between nominal spread and Z spread |

FE | duration of portfolio is best described as % change in portfolios value if interest rates change by 100 basis points |

FE | different types of risk (98 m2) |

FE | Defaults rates + recovery rates (105 m2) |

FE | spot rate final for Z coupon bond – dont forget semi annual compounding |

FE | price sensitivity is negatively correlated coupon rate and level of mkt interest rates. |

FE | SPV vehicles are rated abased on collateral and credit enhancement mechanisms sued |

FSA | change in Lifo reserve due to change in inventory |

FSA | discon items, other comprehensive income, extraordinary items |

FSA | gaap vs ifrs |

FSA | CFO direct / indirect |

FSA | 5 component dupoint’ |

FSA | DTA?DTL accrued warranty |

FSA | SFAS143 |

FSA | depreciable lives in high inflation times |

FSA | expensing vs capitalising r&d |

FSA | Treatment of Intangible Costs under GAAP(LOS 36b) |

FSA | % of Completion vs Completed Contract – revise |

FSA | net income –> FCFF |

FSA | FSA phases of analysis |

FSA | intangible assets and impairment |

FSA | Calculations on leases (q59 moxk 1) |

FSA | growth rate does not –>DTA/DTL (Q 60 mock 1) |

FSA | treasury stock method (!65 mock 1) |

FSA | Lease payment calc (Q66 mock 1) |

FSA | actual vs incurred expenses DTA / DTL (Q67 mock 1) |

FSA | always compare interest expense as a % of sales NOT total debt |

FSA | remember to put dividends paid into net income if from year before |

FSA | tough question on LIFO / FIFO COGS (51/m2) |

FSA | if there is no change in lifo / fifo, net profit margin is the same |

FSA | ADVERSE OPINIONS!!! |

FSA | Q59/M2 – A=L + E… A= L + (Cont cap + ending retained earnings)…. A= L + [(cont cap) + (beginning retained earnings + Net income – dividends)] |

FSA | Discount Bonds = CFO Overstated, CFF understated |

FSA | Premium Bonds = CFO Understated, CFF Overstated |

FSA | Zero Coupon = CFO Severly Overstated, CFF Severly Understated |

FSA | treasury stock method |

FSA | The tax expense less DTL = Tax payable less DTA |

FSA | trading sec / available for sale + HTM securities effect on BS / IS |

M/E | time weighted return (GM) vs moneyweighted return (IRR) |

M/E | price weighted / value weighted unweighted indexes |

M/E | EMH |

M/E | investments in diff bus cycles |

M/E | porters five forces + industry life cycles |

M/E | statistical models for long term projections, models for medium term |

M/E | commodities with stocks and inflation |

M/E | Technical Analysis |

M/E | projection models, averages and statistical techniques |

M/E | types of indexes (Q79 / m1) |

M/E | intrinsic value calcs (Q84 mock 1) |

M/E | bias (behavioural, survivorship, arbitrage) |

M/E | end of year dividend!!!! |

M/E | price weighted index and stock splits (Q79 / mock 2) |

M/E | calculating P/BV (85/82/90 m2) |

M/E | equivalent number of firms = 1/ HHI |

M/E | valuation using FCFF (84 m2) |

M/E | call markets no primary mkt (87 m2) |

M/E | FCFF (88 m2) |

PM | Relaxing of CAPM assumptions |

PM | Portfolio management (everything) |

PM | not compensated for risk that can be decreased by diversifying |

PM | people dont ask for risk |

PM | Market risk = systematic risk = non-diversifiable risk = risk you are compensated for. |

Q | roy’s saftey first |

Q | probability inc bayss theorem |

Q | correlation |

Q | Monte Carlo vs Historical Simulation(LOS 3.9.i) |

Q | Random Sampling |

Q | harmonic mean |

Q | portfolio variance, correlation and covariance |

Q | hypothesis testing |

Q | roy’s safety first vs sharpe ratio |

Q | Mean average deviation |

Q | confidence intervals |

Q | consumer surplus calculations |

Q | EAY / EAR / compunding freq Q |

Q | money weighted return = IRR, time weighted return = geometric mean |

Q | positively skewed distribution has a long tail to the right. Therefor mean >median>mode |

Q | Probability) P(a or B) = P(a) + P(b) – P(ab) |

Q | standard error (s.d/root n |

Q | hypothesis testing process (32 mock 2) |

Q | 1st: cov(a,b) = corr x stddev(a) x stddev(b) |

Q | 2nd: cov(A,B) = E[R(a) – E(R(a))]E[R(b) – E(R(b))] |

Hello,

I love your posts. I am just now starting my prep for June 2011. Would it be possible to email/share any material or practice questions you may have? I would be ok with just the excel files too…

thanks

KDe

Hey James, I congratulate you on passing the L3! What a feat it was! I’m studying for the June 2011 L1 exam right now and was looking for study tips and that is how I found your site…

quick question…would it be at all possible to get a copy of the excel spreadsheet? As i’m trying to put together my own “study schedule” i thought I might incorporate your spreadsheet in there…and see if it helps.

Anyway, you can email it to me if it’s possible, if not I understand.

Thanks and good luck CFA Charterholder!

Hello James ;

Thanks for the blog ,, I’m sure you hear this a lot ..but really , its refreshing to have someone with passion for sharing . I am studying for the Dec 2011 level 1 . Like yourself donâ€™t have the background , that is why I find your blog inspirational .. at what point did you decide that you’d go all the way to L3 … and , at what point you said no more … but with everything happening in the Financial sector and M&As globally , I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart … I Was looking for the updated plan …the one 4 days before the exam ..L 1 … could not find it … would you share it ? … … Thanks 8 )