Here is my analysis on the pros and cons of CFA prep courses based on readers’ experience and comments from financial analyst forums.
Let Me Find the Best CFA Prep Course for You!
I don’t believe in people who say their study materials are the absolute best, because different courses suit candidates with different background and learning style. I am however confident that you will find one that suit you the best here.
Detailed CFA Prep Course Comparison
The most established and biggest brand in the market.
- Fully integrated offer with notes, Qbank (practice questions), videos, mock exams and access to lecturers
- Clear and concise notes that summarize the CFAI text book
- Most number of mock exams
- Most expensive
- Notes and especially videos comparatively not detailed enough to explain concepts
- No free trial, no pass guarantee, no extended access for retakers
- Great for busy candidates who have a decent knowledge in finance and prefer a more concise, summarized notes for review.
- Check out my Schweser CFA evaluation>>
Wiley CFA (formerly Elan Guides)
Wiley acquired Elan in 2012 and integrates Elan’s celebrated content in its state-of-the-art learning platform.
- Best videos with star instructors (Peter Olinto and Basit Shajani)
- Tougher practice questions that are closer to the real deal
- Free trial, pass guarantee and access until you pass
- Least expensive
- Some students may find the detailed instruction an overkill (may not be suitable for those who know finance very well)
- Excellent choice for candidates who need more guidance and great instructor who teach from scratch, with reassurance from free trials and unlimited access.
- Check out my Wiley CFA evaluation>>
Formerly 7City Learning, Fitch CFA offers both classroom and online learning.
- Videos tend to be more instructive than that from Schweser
- No Pass No Pay — they cut you a check if you don’t pass (conditions apply)
- Notes may not be detailed enough
- There have been occasions of last-minute cancelled classes due to low enrollment
- Can’t really think of a particularly good reason to recommend Fitch to be honest, but they are decent in everything.
- Check out my Fitch CFA evaluation>>
Our General Recommendation
I believe most candidates would agree that Wiley CFA has the best videos, the notes and practice questions are great, together with access to lecturers, free trial, access until you pass… all in one nice package. The brand is not as big as Schweser, but hey, that’s why it is more affordable (at least for now).
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