Earning the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation allows you to gain and showcase your skills and knowledge in diverse financial topics such as economics, investment banking, financial reporting, and portfolio management. To receive the credential, you must pass all three levels of a rigorous exam process, as well as have the requisite professional experience. In recent years, Financial technology (or Fintech) topics have been incorporated into the test. Here is what you need to know about the connection between Fintech and the CFA exam.
What Is Fintech?
Fintech is a broad term that covers technological developments in the design and implementation of financial service products. Financial technology has been evolving at an increasing rate in recent years, including the use of artificial intelligence and other technologies to improve investment opportunities and mitigate risks.
Fintech has been integrated into the financial services industry to help provide customers with better portfolio management services at a lower cost. As Fintech becomes more widely used, the CFA Institute has determined that financial professionals should have some background and understanding of Fintech technologies and concepts to remain competitive in the industry.
Career opportunities in the Fintech space are numerous. Popular careers include general technology positions with private and public sector companies specializing in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Some Fintech careers focus on the asset management side of the industry. These opportunities are primarily available in small and mid-size companies specializing in areas such as quantitative analysis or blockchain supply management.
Like many financial services careers, Fintech requires a solid background in data science, computer science, and a strong understanding of banking and financial markets.
Fintech and the CFA Exam
In 2019, the CFA Institute began incorporating many Fintech topics, including artificial intelligence, algorithmic trading, machine learning, and data science, into the CFA exam. As Fintech achieves broader applicability within the industry, the Exam keeps pace by incorporating more Fintech topics into the curriculum.
Applicants who are preparing for the CFA exam should familiarize themselves with Fintech principles. At Level I, you should have a solid knowledge of financial analysis, Big Data, machine learning, and certain fundamental aspects of artificial intelligence. For Level II, you should understand how technology impacts portfolio management, including software platforms and automated investment systems. Level III tests your knowledge of how financial technology impacts portfolio management and asset allocation.
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