CFA Level 1 Study Topics and Tools

cfa level 1 study topics and tools

Read this if you’re thinking of flexing your analysis muscles with CFA Level 1…

CFA Level 1 Study Topics and Tools are of interest to investors considering their Chartered Financial Analyst qualification. The CFA is largely considered to the hardest test on Wall Street…

So what does this difficult exam encompass?

In this blog post I’ll share the CFA Level 1 Study topics, exam weights and the number of learning outcome statements. By the end of this post you’ll have a great understanding of the CFA Level 1 study topics, and what each section of the exam is worth. But before you review the CFA Level 1 study topics there’s one thing to keep in mind…

When looking at the CFA Level 1 study topics, keep in mind the number of learning outcome statements per section does not correspond to the exam weight. This is a common mistake so just be aware that (for example) even though ethics section only has 13 learning outcome statements it is 15% of the exam. So when reviewing the CFA Level 1 study topics just keep in mind the percentage points per learning outcome. Now…

Let’s get into the CFA Level 1 Study Topics and some of the best tools to help you get started studying for your CFA…

CFA Level 1 Exam Weights and Learning Outcome Statements:

The good thing about writing the CFA Level 1 exam is that the CFA institute makes it easy to find out what you need to prepare for. Here’s a quick breakdown of Study topics, exam weights and the number of learning outcomes:

  1. Ethics – 15% – 13
  2. Quantitative Methods – 12% – 87
  3. Economics – 10% – 94
  4. Financial Reporting and Analysis – 20% – 109
  5. Corporate Finance – 8% – 45
  6. Portfolio Management – 5% – 27
  7. Securities Markets and Equity Investments – 10% – 60
  8. Fixed Income – 12% – 66
  9. Derivatives – 5% – 37
  10. Alternative Investments – 3% – 21

As you can see there are quite a lot of topics in the CFA Level 1 curriculum. There are thousands of pages of reading and over 550 learning outcomes! The CFA is no easy undertaking but being a charter holder is a great way to validate your knowledge of financial analysis.

Other CFA Level 1 Study Tools and Resources:

In addition to the above level 1 exam weights, there are another of other helpful online resources to help you prepare for the CFA Level 1 exam topics. has a lot of great resources to help you get up to speed with CFA Level 1 study topics. Check out the CFA Level 1 Forum to get in on the conversation and start learning from other CFA Level 1 students who are studying as well. There’s also a good discussion thread on CFA study strategy you might enjoy reading.

The CFA institute also provides an in-depth Candidate Body of Resources (PDF). This document will give you a working summary of all the main areas of the exam. I recommend giving it a read before you get started studying the CFA Level 1 topics.

And while you’ll probably want to get your own copy of the CFA study guides and textbooks, Investopedia has a great CFA Level 1 study guide. If you’re having trouble deciding if studying the CFA Level 1 exam is right for you then check out this free guide to see if the study topics are of interest to you. The CFA is a difficult qualification to achieve, requiring 3 exams and years of professional experience. So are you interested in studying CFA Level 1?

And By The Way: If you’re not ready for the CFA but are still curious about improving your approach to stock markets, I encourage you to download my free ebook below. You’ll also get free weekly updates with my favorite tools and resources to help improve your stock trading and investing decisions.

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