So, according to my countdown app, I only have 109 days until I sit for the CFA Level II Exam. That is literally right around the corner. Honestly, I do not feel as well-prepared for the CFA Level II Exam as I did for the Level I Exam at this point in time. There are several reasons for this, but the largest reason is that the Level II material is an order of magnitude more difficult than the Level I material. There is no short-cut (at least not one that I am comfortable with), I just need to put in the time.

Here is how I plan on spending my next 50 days preparing for the Level II Exam:

  • Days 109 (16 February) through 96 (March 1st). I will be finishing up my Equity Analysis class in Creighton’s MSAPM program. I have a comprehensive final due by March 1st, which will also serve as preparing for the CFA Level II Exam. This class is covering both Equity Analysis and Alternative Investments. I will watch all Irfanullah Financial Training (IFT) videos on Equity and Alternative investments. I will also read through the entire Schweser Notes sections on Equity and Alternative Investments. I also plan on using Schweser’s Q-bank extensively, where I will answer hundreds of questions.
  • Days 95 (March 2nd) through 89 (March 8th). I will study Fixed Income and Derivatives. I will watch all of the IFT videos and read through the Schweser Notes on these topics. I just completed my MSAPM class on these subjects in December, so I am hoping that things are still somewhat fresh in my mind. My Schweser’s Q-bank will once again be used to answer hundreds of questions.
  • Days 88 (March 9th) through 82 (March 15th). I will study Financial Statement Analysis. I will watch all of the IFT videos and read through all of the Schweser Notes on Financial Statement Analysis. Once again, I will rely on Schweser’s Q-bank to reinforce what I have learned….hundreds of questions will be answered.
  • Days 81 (March 16th) through 75 (March 22nd). I will study Economics. Even though there are only 3 readings for Economics, I am devoting an entire week to my Econ review. This is because no other subject has given me as much pain as Economics. What am I likely to see on the Level II Exam? Whatever I have the most problems with, of course. I will watch all of the IFT videos, including the examples and read through all of the Schweser Notes for Economics. Schweser’s Q-bank will once again be used to practice hundreds of questions.
  • Days 74 (March 23rd) through 68 (March 29th). I will study Corporate Finance. I will watch all of the IFT videos and read all of the Schweser Notes on Corporate Finance. Schweser’s Q-bank will once again be used to practice hundreds of questions.
  • Days 67 (March 30th) through 60 (April 6th). I will study Quantitative Analysis and Portfolio Management. I will watch all of the IFT videos and read all of the Schweser Notes on both subjects. My last week of study for my “Next 50 Days” would not be complete without answering hundreds of practice questions in Schweser’s Q-bank.

I plan on studying approximately 30-40 hours per week for the next seven weeks as outlined above. This alone will put me close to the purported “magic” 300 hours that is rumored to be required to pass a CFA Exam. I don’t really keep track of the amount of time I have spent studying. If I had to guess, I would say that I spent well over 800 hours studying for the CFA Level I Exam. I have a feeling I will have spent well over 800 hours once again for the CFA Level II Exam. Why would I spend so much more time than what may be necessary? Because the penalty for failure is huge. Having to wait an entire year to retake the CFA Level II Exam would be pure torture for me. My method may not be sexy or easy like this guy, but it is lower risk. I still may fail, but it will not be because of a lack of time spent on the material.

The discerning eye may have noticed that Ethics is absent from my “Next 50 Days” study plan. I will read through the Ethics material when I get closer to the test date and I will likely use the CFA curriculum and Schweser’s Q-bank to study that topic.

So, for the next 50 days, my life will essentially consist of eating, sleeping and studying for the CFA Level II Exam. Sounds fun.