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pre course prep


New Member
Hi, I'm looking to take level 1 next year, either May if I feel prepared enough or possibly Nov. My concern arises with my lack of maths knowledge, although I am currently working as a risk manager so some concepts will be familiar.

I know previous posts have talked about preparation material but I can't find one with any real structure. Can anyone recommend a strucured approach? For example some prep reading before I start the course material? Many thanks


New Member
I'll chime in since I have a similar background in regards to higher mathematics not being something that I was exposed to - I was in comp. sci. so I had discrete math and a basic course in statistics but nothing going up to multiple regression and differentiation / integration etc.

So for math, as David pointed out: mathtv.com for 60 bucks you get access to the site for 6 months...(!)

There are essentially 4 major books for the level 1 exam (which we now know will not change with the 2012 AIM's):
Stock Watson (statistics)
John Hull's Options futures and Derivatives
Bruce Tuckman (bonds)
Jorion (Value at risk)

(FAQ should be changed, still lists Gujarati, although any number of ecnonmetrics texts would do I reckon)

Since the materials come printed, buying the books is entirely up to you. I bought them because I like delving a little but the material itself in the materials stands on its own.

One pro for me is that it's succinct - you won't spend 100 pages on a few simple concepts. I like that as it eliminates fluff. Also, I'll be biased and say that the videos of this site are a great ressource because of redudance of the topics as well as hearing a voice in your head from time to time. :)

One con would be if you're completely new for finance and it's products, it's a big mountain to trek but the rewards are plenty and when all the unknown starts to open and clear up it does become very interesting and you can really picking apart some news article or views.

(one small example is the movie by Zeitgeist on moving forward that's on youtube (2011) which talks about essentially wanting to eliminate the money market system to "start over" (it's quite utopian and idealistic) but one thing that caught my eye fro example, was that in their depiction of how "bad" derivatives are, they pointed out the notional amount as a figure (x trilion)... which is quite misleading as it constitutes all manner of trades and offsetting/hedging ones so the actual money at risk is substancially lower.)

Welcome and I hope you stick around! :)