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CFA Level III candidate to start studying for FRM and would like some advice


New Member
i am interested in obtaining the FRM designation and need some info. is it too late to start studying for the FRM? i noticed that some FRM and CFA material overlap so that may cut down on my required study time. Your advice would be appreciated.

David Harper CFA FRM

David Harper CFA FRM
Staff member
Hi Jack

FYI, last year I did 2-part post on CFA vs. FRM, the second elaborates on the overlap:

I attached the 2008 AIMs (Learning Outcome). My recommendation is that you spend time looking over these - you don't need to know them all to pass, but you'll be able to size up your current knowledge vis a vis the "ideal state."

As of September, I start to frankly discourage people from starting fresh. Last year, a few customers joined me in Sept/late Sep/even Oct and passed, but I do not embrace/promote their testimonials. (Because the pass rates are <50% and the majority who do not pass overwhelmingly cite time constraints). You have to have a pretty good foundation. I've noticed elsewhere (in other forums) that some FRM candidates are surprised to see the recommended allocation is 300 hours (or 200 to 400 hours). You can do the math on that, but if you start brand new at the beginning of September, a necessary but not necessarily sufficient condition is: you need to have a lot of time carved out.

The other key variable, IMO, is your current knowledge of quantitative finance. The CFA doesn't really cover you here to the extent the FRM employs quantitative ideas. If you have a foundation in quant finance, that makes a late start more feasible. If you do not have a quant finance, I would re-consider a late start. Hope that helps, just one opinion, styles and individuals vary tremendously...

therefore, I would give much less weight to any one individual's anecdotal view and much more weight to your comfort vis a vis the AIMs.


(2008 FRM Learning Outcomes/AIMs attached)