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FAQ Before Exam Pre-FRM Options

Thread starter #1
Hi, just recently joined and enjoying reading the forum content!

I was looking to do the FRM, then thought CFA (as it seemed slightly less quanty) My background is in derivative compliance within UK UCITS/AIF's, so maybe I feel my roots lie in risk.

My maths is poor, have not even attempted anything past a excel formula since higher maths 16 years ago!

I've read a few threads from those who were in a similar situation regarding maths skills and its encouraging to see it might not be as difficult as it seems..... Although, just looking at a formula makes me wince in pain, let alone trying to rearrange one.

So, does anyone have any experience of the IMC (Investment Management Certificate)? Would this be a nice precursor into the FRM? Apart from a few fitness & nutrition certs I've not done anything profession related so thought it might be a nice introduction back into study (~80 hours part 1 & ~120 hours part 2), before committing to a monster like the FRM, as well as getting me more familiar with the mathematics side of things.

With regards to study material - I quite like the look of the BT site, study plans and support, so choice made there! But, would the GARP materials add anything if I could get some used books from somewhere?

Sorry for the long ramble but would be nice to get some input.

Thanks,

Scott.
 

Nicole Seaman

Chief Admin Officer
Staff member
Subscriber
#2
Hi, just recently joined and enjoying reading the forum content!

I was looking to do the FRM, then thought CFA (as it seemed slightly less quanty) My background is in derivative compliance within UK UCITS/AIF's, so maybe I feel my roots lie in risk.

My maths is poor, have not even attempted anything past a excel formula since higher maths 16 years ago!

I've read a few threads from those who were in a similar situation regarding maths skills and its encouraging to see it might not be as difficult as it seems..... Although, just looking at a formula makes me wince in pain, let alone trying to rearrange one.

So, does anyone have any experience of the IMC (Investment Management Certificate)? Would this be a nice precursor into the FRM? Apart from a few fitness & nutrition certs I've not done anything profession related so thought it might be a nice introduction back into study (~80 hours part 1 & ~120 hours part 2), before committing to a monster like the FRM, as well as getting me more familiar with the mathematics side of things.

With regards to study material - I quite like the look of the BT site, study plans and support, so choice made there! But, would the GARP materials add anything if I could get some used books from somewhere?

Sorry for the long ramble but would be nice to get some input.

Thanks,

Scott.
Hello @scottwilson

Welcome to Bionic Turtle! You will find that there are many members who are very helpful in our forum, and will offer really great advice! I know you said that you read through some of the forum posts, but I wanted to make sure you saw these two in particular.
  • This other thread is just one that I really like to point out because it shows that a person with any background or education can successfully pass the FRM exam with hard work. There are other similar posts in the forum, but this one comes to mind after reading that you haven't had any math education for the past 16 years. Here is the link to that one: https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/posts/40253/.
I hope that you find these helpful :)

Nicole
 

Matthew Graves

Member
Subscriber
#3
I have both the IMC and the FRM.

I would say that IMC is a very nice introductory qualification. It introduces some basic maths and mathematical concepts and would be a good place to start if you're a bit rusty. The volume of material is also much less than the FRM or the CFA so you can judge your level without too much of an outlay/commitment.

The FRM is another kettle of fish completely! It is quite maths intensive and will be a challenge if you've not done much in the past few years. I would recommend that you give the IMC a go first and see how you get on. If you struggle with the maths there then the FRM will be an enormous challenge. Not impossible, but you will need to put in a lot of hours if you want to pass.

Hope that helps.
 

David Harper CFA FRM

David Harper CFA FRM
Staff member
Subscriber
#4
Hi @scottwilson Because you referenced the CFA, I just wanted to mention that the CFA Institute just last week made (freely!) available the Course of Study for their "mini-CFA" which is called CFA Institute Investment Foundations (previously it was called Claritas). While CFA IF will not really give you the heavy quant introduction, it is the gold standard in terms of an introduction to investments (e.g, portfolio management). I mentioned the CFA IF in my weekly links here at https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/threads/week-in-risk-ending-sept-18th.9873/

And Nicole has already uploaded the readings to Resources here https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/resources/categories/cfa-investment-foundations-certificate.15/
I hope that's helpful, good luck!
 
Thread starter #5
Hello @scottwilson

Welcome to Bionic Turtle! You will find that there are many members who are very helpful in our forum, and will offer really great advice! I know you said that you read through some of the forum posts, but I wanted to make sure you saw these two in particular.
  • This other thread is just one that I really like to point out because it shows that a person with any background or education can successfully pass the FRM exam with hard work. There are other similar posts in the forum, but this one comes to mind after reading that you haven't had any math education for the past 16 years. Here is the link to that one: https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/posts/40253/.
I hope that you find these helpful :)

Nicole
Thanks Nicole!
 
Thread starter #6
I have both the IMC and the FRM.

I would say that IMC is a very nice introductory qualification. It introduces some basic maths and mathematical concepts and would be a good place to start if you're a bit rusty. The volume of material is also much less than the FRM or the CFA so you can judge your level without too much of an outlay/commitment.

The FRM is another kettle of fish completely! It is quite maths intensive and will be a challenge if you've not done much in the past few years. I would recommend that you give the IMC a go first and see how you get on. If you struggle with the maths there then the FRM will be an enormous challenge. Not impossible, but you will need to put in a lot of hours if you want to pass.

Hope that helps.
Thanks! Confirms the plan I had in my head isn't completely daft....! I think the FRM will be a massive challenge regardless of maths ability, so I suppose its back to basics for a while before the IMC books come out.

I think I might try and get some used 2016 FRM books and take the time to make an early start with just reading them a few times before officially picking up the 2017 ones to study
 
Thread starter #7
Hi @scottwilson Because you referenced the CFA, I just wanted to mention that the CFA Institute just last week made (freely!) available the Course of Study for their "mini-CFA" which is called CFA Institute Investment Foundations (previously it was called Claritas). While CFA IF will not really give you the heavy quant introduction, it is the gold standard in terms of an introduction to investments (e.g, portfolio management). I mentioned the CFA IF in my weekly links here at https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/threads/week-in-risk-ending-sept-18th.9873/

And Nicole has already uploaded the readings to Resources here https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/resources/categories/cfa-investment-foundations-certificate.15/
I hope that's helpful, good luck!
Thanks David!

I hadn't spotted that it had been re branded, I have downloaded it from the BT forum now and will have a read over, should lead my nicely up to the IMC being released.

https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/members/nicole-manley.27903/ - It looks like Chapter 4 download is just the .jpg front cover page?

I've also got a copy of Market Risk Analysis Volume 1 - I think if I can work through this as much as possible it would be a huge benefit for progressing to the FRM?

Thanks for taking the time to reply everyone!
 

David Harper CFA FRM

David Harper CFA FRM
Staff member
Subscriber
#8

Nicole Seaman

Chief Admin Officer
Staff member
Subscriber
#9
Thanks David!

I hadn't spotted that it had been re branded, I have downloaded it from the BT forum now and will have a read over, should lead my nicely up to the IMC being released.

https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/members/nicole-manley.27903/ - It looks like Chapter 4 download is just the .jpg front cover page?

I've also got a copy of Market Risk Analysis Volume 1 - I think if I can work through this as much as possible it would be a huge benefit for progressing to the FRM?

Thanks for taking the time to reply everyone!
@scottwilson

Thank you for pointing that out. I uploaded the incorrect file in that chapter. It is now fixed :)

Nicole

cc @David Harper CFA FRM
 

Rami

New Member
#10
Thanks for you all, this is an interesting question and a precious feedback. However, I wished I could have read this before being committed to the FRM. I have already registered for Nov 2018 exam. I find Bionic a very important resource. In addition to that I follow classes with a GARP approved institute, to help me to be more committed to the studies. I am also struggling with math, but managing somehow, while being a bit lagging behind the classes. Though I understand at least partially from the sessions, I found it very difficult to follow all this math formulas and do this fast calculations in class. Here is where I find David video, very important to explain the concepts slowly and surely and also link it with other parts of the curriculum. If I am still not digesting it, I will refer to my Sheweser notes, which explains with good simple examples. But all this takes more time compared to other candidates.

I hope to get David's advise, as I am now 40 years old and spent almost all my career in just a Relationship Management job in SME working capital and contracting financing (more than 10 years). It seems that it is too late to pursue the FRM. I would consider "CFA IF" or the IMC, if I completely fail the FRM, twice for example, after putting all possible efforts. So David, what do you think about this strategy ? and should I consider IMC or "CFA IF". I still dream to do my CFA after the FRM, anyway, regardless of my age :).
 

Karim_B

Active Member
Subscriber
#11
Thanks for you all, this is an interesting question and a precious feedback. However, I wished I could have read this before being committed to the FRM. I have already registered for Nov 2018 exam. I find Bionic a very important resource. In addition to that I follow classes with a GARP approved institute, to help me to be more committed to the studies. I am also struggling with math, but managing somehow, while being a bit lagging behind the classes. Though I understand at least partially from the sessions, I found it very difficult to follow all this math formulas and do this fast calculations in class. Here is where I find David video, very important to explain the concepts slowly and surely and also link it with other parts of the curriculum. If I am still not digesting it, I will refer to my Sheweser notes, which explains with good simple examples. But all this takes more time compared to other candidates.

I hope to get David's advise, as I am now 40 years old and spent almost all my career in just a Relationship Management job in SME working capital and contracting financing (more than 10 years). It seems that it is too late to pursue the FRM. I would consider "CFA IF" or the IMC, if I completely fail the FRM, twice for example, after putting all possible efforts. So David, what do you think about this strategy ? and should I consider IMC or "CFA IF". I still dream to do my CFA after the FRM, anyway, regardless of my age :).
Hi @Rami
I’m 41 and just got FRM certified last month, so we old dogs can still learn new tricks :)

My math was also rusty and I had to review it and put in quite a bit of time, but if you’re willing to do the work it’s feasible :)

If you look in the Resources section of the BT forum there’s a zip file with the Meissner text which includes a math refresher that starts very basic which I found useful.

Enjoy!
Karim
 

Flashback

Active Member
#12
Hi Karim
Congratulations!
Another 40+ student
@Rami
I would try with CFA first because is much more time consuming. You cannot finish CFA program with less than 2 years but it might takes much longer. Overall, it is less quanty than FRM but it requires much larger effort in general. In FRM, in my impression, whole time you're studying same narrow things on both P1 and P2 whereas P1 is more general. On CFA you must reach high level of problem solving to pass in various disciplines which are, with exception of CFA L3, are not often related one to another.
Accounting per se (I mean FRA) is less "quanty" than applied statistics in FRM but you must cover advanced financial reporting & accounting techniques covered with both standards, USGAAPs and IFRS which is a very hard mission for someone who is not familiar with those. Furthermore, there is no deep coverage of Macro Economics and zero coverage in Micro Economics on FRM while on CFA you're expected to masterize it. Ethics on CFA is a unique world per se and is crucial. Derivatives and Fixed Income are similar like in FRM. Equity, especially on CFA L2 is thought and is not covered in FRM.
I'm taking both parts in November and I was glad to repeat some areas from CFA again on FRM P1 (which is, IMO, over 80 % covered by CFA L1 and L2), while studying P2 is quite challenge to me because some P2 parts are brand new area to me. P2 is also quite more interesting to study.
 
#13
The choice between FRM and CFA really depends on what you want to do/are doing currently. As already pointed out, the FRM is much more focused on quantitative methods and risk measurement. The CFA is much more general (and voluminous!), covering a lot of ground in different disciplines. If you want to go into a role (or are in a role) where quantitative methods and risk are important, then the FRM is the obvious choice as it will be most relevant and more focused. For the CFA, as an example, if you're just starting out on your career and don't know where you want to be in 5 years time then it gives you a good grounding in several areas. I don't subscribe to the "gotta catch 'em all" philosophy of studying for every qualification no matter whether it's relevant or not.
 

Rami

New Member
#14
Hi @Rami
I’m 41 and just got FRM certified last month, so we old dogs can still learn new tricks :)

My math was also rusty and I had to review it and put in quite a bit of time, but if you’re willing to do the work it’s feasible :)

If you look in the Resources section of the BT forum there’s a zip file with the Meissner text which includes a math refresher that starts very basic which I found useful.

Enjoy!
Karim
Thanks Karim, good luck with the post FRM journey. I wonder what is your current job, and whats your plan to benefit from the FRM ?
 

Karim_B

Active Member
Subscriber
#15
Thanks Karim, good luck with the post FRM journey. I wonder what is your current job, and whats your plan to benefit from the FRM ?
Thanks @Rami
Sorry I missed your earlier comment.

I work at a financial data & analytics company on our risk model offering.

The FRM helped me better understand the work I'm doing - especially the Market Risk and Risk Mgmt & Investment Mgmt pieces.

Now I have to keep learning and go deeper into the practical aspects of risk model methodology :)
Best
Karim
 
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