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Nov 20, 2008 2:44 pm

I want some letters after my name.  Due to time or money or both I have ruled out MBA, CFA, CFP, CLU.


Because I have a backround in accounting and previously signed up to take the exams, I decided the CPA route will be the quickest and cheapest. 
 
I have heard the exam, even though it is now broken into 4 parts, is abhorrent.  I was wondering if anyone here can compare the difficutly/time investment of the CPA vs the series 7/66.  Total exam time for the CPA is around 16 hours while the 7/66 is 9 hours.  You need a 75% on the cpa vs 70%.  Would it be fair to say I should expect to put in about 2-3 times as much time studying?
 
Also, other than a hedge against failure, do you see any benefit to getting these letters on your business card?
Nov 20, 2008 2:45 pm

What area of finance you interested in working in?

Nov 20, 2008 2:49 pm

I've take both. The CPA exam makes the S7 look like an open book 3rd grade math test.

By the way...noone gives a crap about what letters we have after our names.

Nov 20, 2008 2:58 pm

Hank, is it because of the difficulty of it or the amount of material you need to learn.  Would you say its about 4 times as much time?

Nov 20, 2008 3:12 pm

I disagree about the significance of letters behind a person's name--if they're recognizable and respected. Frankly, when I see CPA on a business card, they automatically have my attention. The same goes for JD and CFA.


I'd highly encourage you to get your CPA, but I cannot comment on it's level of difficulty.
I can tell you, however, that the 7 and 66 are ridiculously easy when compared to nearly any other professional exam/education requirement. I wish the barrier to entry into this field was much, much higher.
Nov 20, 2008 3:17 pm
DirtPoor:

Hank, is it because of the difficulty of it or the amount of material you need to learn.  Would you say its about 4 times as much time?



The material is voluminous and difficult. The way it is administered these days, you can study just one section then go test on that section, which I think will help because you don't have to have studied ALL of the material, to take each piece of the exam. Unlike when I took it where you studied all of it and you took all four parts over a two day period. 

Nov 20, 2008 4:40 pm

The Series 7 takes about 100 hours.  If one took studying as a full time job, this could be done in 2 weeks.  The CPA exam would take a few months to pass the whole thing.  It's much easier now since it can be done in sections.


Keep in mind that in many states, passing the CPA exam does not make you a CPA. 


The time spent studying for any letters before you are successful takes you one step closer to failure.

Nov 20, 2008 11:24 pm

I like the letters A, M and Z on my card. They are the best and clients love them......

Nov 21, 2008 12:02 am

I have a friend who swears by letters B and S.

Nov 21, 2008 1:52 am

Dirt, having taken and passed both the CPA and CFP, I can tell you that the CPA is much harder than the CFP and they both make the series 7/66 look like a walk in the park.  That being said, the 7/66 is all you need to break into the business of investments.  As an aside, it's probably not the best time to consider entering the investment business, IMO.

Nov 21, 2008 8:43 am

yea well cpa doesn't command a lot of respect from me.

Nov 21, 2008 9:26 am
DirtPoor:

I want some letters after my name.  Due to time or money or both I have ruled out MBA, CFA, CFP, CLU.

Because I have a backround in accounting and previously signed up to take the exams, I decided the CPA route will be the quickest and cheapest. 


Dr. John Smith, M.D. commands a lot or respect, too, and
was even harder to earn than the CPA.  But it, too, means nothing in
terms of being better able to help investors.  Yet using your logic, if you could most easily pass the medical exams, you would become a physician - since that would be "the quickest and cheapest" way to achieve your goal of getting some letters after your name?!  

Be careful what you aim for, my friend, or you'll find yourself in the proverbial position of having successfully climbed the ladder only to discover the ladder was against the wrong wall.

Nov 21, 2008 9:45 am

CIMA?