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  #21  
Old 12-06-2006, 01:09 PM
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I used to work at a brokerage firm. The folks that had been there 10 years and had a CFA were pulling in about $300K. The actuaries here that have been here 10 years and have an FSA are probably making about half that.

But the CFAs were working 80 hours a week and the FSAs are working 40 hours a week. On an hourly basis, the pay is darn near close to equal.
Sounds about right. And I'd say, the fact that their marginal rate of pay didn't increase at all makes it a bad deal, according to MY utility curve, at least
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  #22  
Old 12-06-2006, 01:12 PM
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and I don't see where its a bad thing.

Track 1: More hours, money. Not much time for anything else.
Track 2: Sane hours, comparable hourly wage. Much higher external (nonwork) quality of life.

For some people, track 1 is their life's dream. Good for them, but its not for me.
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  #23  
Old 12-06-2006, 01:21 PM
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...


(OTOH, what's the average salary for an FSA+CFA ).
about 207k..... duh.
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  #24  
Old 12-06-2006, 01:25 PM
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I used to work at a brokerage firm. The folks that had been there 10 years and had a CFA were pulling in about $300K. The actuaries here that have been here 10 years and have an FSA are probably making about half that.

But the CFAs were working 80 hours a week and the FSAs are working 40 hours a week. On an hourly basis, the pay is darn near close to equal.
what was the location of the office?
Similar costs of living if that's what your driving at. Both are in moderate-sized Northwest cities (neither is in Seattle) that people outside of the Northwest have heard of.
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  #25  
Old 12-06-2006, 04:21 PM
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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?
A lot of charted accountant, after having 5 to 10 years of working experience, go and obtain CFA designation, so do people with MBA and FSA. So, it is difficult to judge the "true" average salary of a pure CFA (people who only has CFA designation, without working experience in any other field such as accounting, actuarial).

I have friends who are CFAs, and some of them have FSA + CFA and. Base on my limited pool of data, people with a combination of FSA & CFA make the most money and have more reasonable working hours.
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  #26  
Old 12-06-2006, 04:53 PM
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There are tons of people trying with CFA out there, all with very different career background. Many of them do not have the high-profile, high-paying finance jobs that people perceive CFAs to have. In fact, a lot of people take CFA exams just to get a job, but of course they won't be fully qualified because of the lack of work experience. So a CFA does not guarantee entrance to those Street jobs that give a $125k AVERAGE salary. But having an FSA pretty much guarantees a 6 digit ultimately...
I agree with you Martingale. Not all CFAs are having the high-profile, high-paying finance job that we perceived. Most of CFA I know make around 50K-60K even with 5+ years of working experience. Those who make high salary usually have other professional experience or designation in accounting or MBA or FSA.

While CFA does not guarantee entrance to Wall Street jobs that give a $125K average salary, but it does open doors for finance/investment related job, hence, a chance to work your way up to $125K after a few years of hard work (very long working hours...)
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  #27  
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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  #28  
Old 12-07-2006, 10:10 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??
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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  #29  
Old 12-07-2006, 10:40 AM
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When looking at the differences between CFA and FSA/FCAS I think one must understand that the CFA isn't really defining the career and requiring a certain salary like a FSA/FCAS. Alot of these top earning CFA's have come from very good schools, have done much more than pass a couple exams, they probably would be worth close to what they are even without the CFA. A CFA isn't going to define your career and isn't going to get you a good salary on its own as much as FSA/FCAS can. With 76% passing level 3 last time, there is going to be a TON of donkey CFA running around, just because you can pass an exam, that doesn't create a job opportunity.

Also if finance jobs weren't as concentrated in new york, and the salary surveys weren't heavily biased in how they collected data, you would see those average salaries plummet. And the average Fellow does not make 82k, this is obviously a troll who started this board. The average fellow STARTS higher than that regardless of location.

Last edited by GosuJohn; 12-07-2006 at 10:51 AM..
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  #30  
Old 12-07-2006, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirVLCIV View Post
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(OTOH, what's the average salary for an FSA+CFA ).
about 207k..... duh.
He said average, you've got to divide that by 2. It should be $103,500.
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