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  #1  
Old 12-06-2006, 12:09 AM
al1835 al1835 is offline
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Thumbs down FSA vs. CFA

I just got through the first 4 actuarial exams and feel disillusioned. I read an article on CNN that says the average pay for financial analysts is 125,000 whereas for actuaries it is 82,000. So it gets me thinking: there are only 3 CFA exams, so why are we putting so much time and effort into something when there is a SHORTER exam-based career out there with much BIGGER rewards?
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:31 AM
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Firstly, DO NOT believe what CNN says...just watch it to laugh at them (or read it to laugh at them)

However, you do have a good point on shorter exam base vs pay.

However, once you have your FSA life is just chillin...and it's very stress free compared to having a CFA. My Accouning prof. said that CFA's are very very busy people.
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Old 12-06-2006, 09:34 AM
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I agree with Rad, don't pay attention to this BS. Realize that statistics can be skewed to yield favorable results. I can do a biased study and conclude that garbage men make more than actuaries. These stats are BS. $125k is an extemely high average salary. I bet they include CFO/CEO/etc into this $125k figure. Whereas the $82k seems awfully low for average actuary salary. I bet they include students in this figure (non-credentialed). Also I would bet they don't include CEO/Presidents with actuarial credentials. A median figure would be the better measure to use to do a fair comparison.

Last edited by DudeMan; 12-06-2006 at 09:44 AM..
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:23 AM
DW Simpson DW Simpson is offline
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Originally Posted by GraffixMan View Post
I agree with Rad, don't pay attention to this BS. Realize that statistics can be skewed to yield favorable results. I can do a biased study and conclude that garbage men make more than actuaries. These stats are BS. $125k is an extemely high average salary. I bet they include CFO/CEO/etc into this $125k figure. Whereas the $82k seems awfully low for average actuary salary. I bet they include students in this figure (non-credentialed). Also I would bet they don't include CEO/Presidents with actuarial credentials. A median figure would be the better measure to use to do a fair comparison.
Good points.

See these discussions regarding the CFA for additional points: http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...3&postcount=30 , as there have been other discussions about this compensation "discrepancy".
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:22 AM
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, once you have your FSA life is just chillin...and it's very stress free compared to having a CFA.
Wow, where do you work? I have an FSA and I want to chill.
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Old 12-06-2006, 11:28 AM
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I found a Director level CFA job in NYC going for $125-$150k, hmm i guess the average CFA lives in NYC and is at the director level??
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Old 12-06-2006, 11:40 AM
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I found a Director level CFA job in NYC going for $125-$150k, hmm i guess the average CFA lives in NYC and is at the director level??
I'm guessing that's a director at a rating agency (S&P or Moodys) which is much different than a director at an insurance company. I believe somewhat entry level positions are associate directors and the next step up is the director level.
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:11 PM
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Director - Transportation Finance
5+ years experience
MBA, CFA Preferred
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Old 12-06-2006, 05:15 PM
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I found a Director level CFA job in NYC going for $125-$150k, hmm i guess the average CFA lives in NYC and is at the director level??
One of my friend, bachelor of Finance, CFA, age 31, $100K, NYC, not director. There is not much of the 100K left after tax, and after hafty housing and living cost in NYC ($2,200 rent per month for a one-bedroom apartment, just to give you an idea) plus excessive working hours (80 hrs per week is a norm, so forget about weekends, he rarely have any).

Another friend of mine, bachelor of Actuarial Science, newly qualified FCAS, age 29, not in NYC, manager. $100K. Tax is still there, but the rent is about $1200 for one-bedroom apartment, and much cheaper living cost (foods, clothes, outings), working hours 9 am to 6 pm, rarely overtime. During weekdays, after work, taking Spanish classes and cooking classes for leisure, joining book-club for leisure; during weekends, tenis classes, working out, socializing with friends and travel to other cities to visit friends & family...

Sometimes, it's not all about money, but it's about the over all quality of life that one can get...
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Old 12-07-2006, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraffixMan View Post
I found a Director level CFA job in NYC going for $125-$150k, hmm i guess the average CFA lives in NYC and is at the director level??
One of my friend, bachelor of Finance, CFA, age 31, $100K, NYC, not director. There is not much of the 100K left after tax, and after hafty housing and living cost in NYC ($2,200 rent per month for a one-bedroom apartment, just to give you an idea) plus excessive working hours (80 hrs per week is a norm, so forget about weekends, he rarely have any).

Another friend of mine, bachelor of Actuarial Science, newly qualified FCAS, age 29, not in NYC, manager. $100K. Tax is still there, but the rent is about $1200 for one-bedroom apartment, and much cheaper living cost (foods, clothes, outings), working hours 9 am to 6 pm, rarely overtime. During weekdays, after work, taking Spanish classes and cooking classes for leisure, joining book-club for leisure; during weekends, tenis classes, working out, socializing with friends and travel to other cities to visit friends & family...

Sometimes, it's not all about money, but it's about the over all quality of life that one can get...
Great anecdote! Sounds like the CFA has more future earning potential, but the FCAS has a wonderful work/life balance. Another question: What are some of the main projects concerns of a CFA?? What makes their job so stressful and hours so long?
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