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2019 CFA Program Curriculum

A Curriculum That Reflects the Profession

At CFA Institute, our robust practice analysis process tracks how the profession is changing over time. We continuously make changes to our curricula to make sure that candidates are armed with the knowledge needed for success in the rapidly evolving investment management industry. Input and feedback is gathered from practitioners around the globe.

These professionals guide us in prioritizing the CFA Program curriculum areas that need to be revised to maintain the "gold standard" status of the CFA Program.

Keeping such an extensive curriculum up to date is a challenging task that we take seriously. It takes time to identify the knowledge, skills and abilities of today's (and tomorrow's) investment management professionals. When a topic is added or changed, it is an indicator that the practice of investment management has evolved and that there is sufficient agreement about how this topic is applied in practice to justify the addition or change to the CFA® Program curriculum.

2019 Key Updates

This year, we introduce the first reading-length coverage of financial technology (fintech) in the investment management industry, covering the landscape of big data and the use of artificial intelligence, including machine learning, in the analysis of big data as well as selected investment management applications such as robo-advisers or blockchain. A new reading examines the evolution of financial services into a profession, describes the expectations for investment management professionals, and outlines the challenges facing the profession. The reading will improve your understanding of ethical conduct, trust, and professionalism as the essential building blocks for a career in investment management. New cases in ethics will reinforce your understanding of ethical responsibilities in modern, fintech-affected work contexts.

Level Ill Overhaul Continues

The planned multi-year curriculum strategy to overhaul the Level III curriculum that began last year with new teachings about asset allocation and fixed-income portfolio management continues this year with the release of a series of four new readings in equity portfolio management. These readings replace the former single reading, with a major increase in scope, depth, and currency.

Always Looking Forward 

Professionalism is at the core of CFA Institute. With purpose and professionalism, we can—over time—rebuild trust among investors and investment management professionals. When we earn trust, we earn a sustainable future for our profession.

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