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CFA Exams to Put More Emphasis on Fintech

May 17, 2017

Testing knowledge on robo-advisors, machine learning and big data will soon become a far bigger part of the CFA exam, writes eFinancialCareers.com.

Financial technology is already a big part of the exam, Lisa Plaxco, the head of the CFA Program at the CFA Institute, tells the news and hiring website.

Topics related to fintech are interspersed throughout the institute’s curriculum and various sections of the exam, eFinancialCareers.com writes.

The first area covers big-data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as financial analysis and algorithmic trading, the website says. The second category deals with the use of robo-advisors and technological impacts on portfolio and private wealth management. The third area applies to capital flows and covers areas such as crowdfunding, shadow banking and peer-to-peer lending, according to the website. The last category encompasses infrastructure, including payment systems, cryptocurrencies and mobile payments, as well as how regulators use fintech.

But as soon as 2019, the CFA Institute plans to include a new series of readings on financial technology aimed at “increasing professionalism” and stressing the importance of various technologies in the financial industry, says eFinancialCareers.com.

As things stand now, fintech questions appear frequently in the first two levels of the exam, particularly when it comes to quant methodology, according to eFinancialCareers.com.

Two years ago, the institute also added questions on algorithmic and high-frequency trading, the website writes. Level III of the CFA exam is now light on fintech as it deals primarily with private wealth and portfolio management, but will soon include more fintech topics as well, according to eFinancialCareers.com.

The institute plans to emphasize not just assessing algorithm quality, for example, but also risks associated with data mining, and to address models that explain past performance but lack in explanations of future outcomes, Plaxco tells eFinancialCareers.com

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the eFinancialCareers.com article cited in this story, click here.