It’s no secret – There is no lack of CFA study materials on the market. The CFA is growing in popularity, and publishers far and wide have responded accordingly by creating their own CFA Exam prep study programs, materials, and guides. The plethora of choice begs the question, “What do you actually need to study for the CFA Exam?” Answering this depends on the Candidate’s study style, but I’ve written about the Standard CFA Study Method here. Below, I attempt to aggregate a list of all the CFA study guides, companions, and resources available to CFA Candidates.
CFA Exam Prep Study Materials
Schweser CFA Study Notes – The standard CFA study guide, from Kaplan. The standard study notes come with one volume of 3 practice exams. Typical add-ons are the 2nd volume of practice exams and the online question bank (Qbank).
Allen Resources – Been around along time. I’ve only glanced at some of their resources, but never used in depth.
Elan – Elan study notes are a close replica of Schweser. The basic notes come a bit cheaper than Schweser, but I don’t have much experience personally other than a quick glance over.
Analyst Success – AS offers study notes and courses. Have noted their marketing efforts ramp up since I started the CFA (but not unlike most study note publishers).
BPP – Offers more British centric study materials and courses. Would be curious to hear a review of BPP by any readers in the future.
Soleada – Another CFA study guide publisher I’m largely unfamiliar with. Soleada sells study notes, practice tests, question banks, and video lectures.
Digital and Mobile CFA Study Notes
Stalla – Stalla offers digital only CFA study notes. You can purchase by section or as a package.
PassedTense – Cleverly named passed tense offers adaptable quizes, video lessons, and study manuals. Bundles available. Interactive looks credible
Benchprep CFA – Benchprep attempts to gamify CFA studying by offering a personalized learning and practice platform to CFA Candidates. It doesn’t serve as a full-length study guide, but as a companion to use practice questions. For a frame of reference, they’re a platform for preparing for the GMAT, GRE, etc.
Fitch Learning – Fitch offers CFA Review courses. No study materials, just the courses, if that’s your thing. Courses, mock exams, e-learning,
TimePrep.me – TimePrep appears to be mobile centric in its delivery. From my understanding, they offer a scheduler iOS app along with an iBook study guide.
5 a day Prep – Maker of cheesy YouTube videos, 5aDayPrep is a group of CFAs that sells CFA Level 1 review (flash) cards. They sell the cards in printable or mobile application forms.
Learn Signal – A new company offering a variety of CFA courses on a subscription basis. They’re still building their catalog of courses, but pride themselves on interactivity and quizzes. So no basic CFA notes.
Passing Score – Passing Score offers mobile applications to study flashcards. They offer guides for the CFA CPA and FINRA exams. The site leaves quite a bit to be desired, as it’s less late-2000s than the rest.
General Books on the CFA Exam Journey
Not CFA Exam study materials, but books discussing the journey to getting a CFA at a higher level. Perhaps reading to gain perspective when just starting in the CFA program, or light reading ‘for fun’ when you’re not busy studying.
CFA Confidential – The original CFA Journey book, CFA Confidential takes you through the journey of ____ as he undertook the CFA. It’s an easy, light read that serves as a good motivator for anyone considering or in the CFA Program. The Author Gregory Campion didn’t have the greatest luck undertaking the CFA, as he failed as many Exams as he passed, which makes for a good, motivating, and somewhat entertaining light read.
Direct Path to the CFA – Direct Path takes a somewhat contrasting approach to CFA Journey Reading. The author Rachel Bryant passed all three levels of the CFA in a straight shot and really focuses on hard tactics in her book. Direct Path is less light, and more results-driven, strategy, and actionable. A good read and motivational in a different sense.