Definition of Chartered International Financial Analyst (LIFA)


What is a Chartered International Financial Analyst (LIFA)?

The Chartered International Financial Analyst (LIFA) is a global professional certification for investment professionals offered by the International Research Association (IRA). The LIFA designation aims to help applicants achieve higher levels of professionalism and ethics in the profession of investment management and analysis.

LIFA exams require a thorough knowledge of investment principles, as well as an understanding of global financial markets. The program is administered by the International Research Association (IRA).

Key points to remember

  • The Chartered International Financial Analyst Exam (LIFA) is a comprehensive degree earned by finance professionals around the world.
  • Unlike other globally recognized financial accreditation programs, LIFA has no registration fees and you only pay if you successfully complete the program and obtain the LIFA charter.
  • LIFA was created to challenge the dominance of the CFA charter, presenting itself as a more intensive option, harder to pass and less expensive.

Understanding the Chartered International Financial Analyst (LIFA) designation

Like the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, the LIFA designation requires applicants to pass three proctored exams. The IRA tries to keep the success rate at an acceptable (or lower) level, believing that the validity of the designation is based on the success rates, and therefore on the quality of the nominees: lower success rates correspond to a more valuable designation. Areas covered by the tests include asset valuation, corporate finance, derivatives, economics, financial statement analysis, ethics, portfolio management, international markets and analysis. quantitative.

In fact, the LIFA exam is billed as the “hardest exam” you can take in finance and was created to be a direct competitor of the CFA charter. For example, there is no charge to enroll in the LIFA program and take their series of three exams, and you will only pay if you pass ($ 700 per exam). LIFA pass rates are also lower than the notoriously difficult set of CFA exams, with LIFA claiming historical average pass rates at Level I: 36%; Level II: 38%; and level III: 48%.

Plus, unlike other programs like the CFA, which allows those who fail to rewrite a test an unlimited number of times, the LIFA has a hard limit of only three attempts per exam level. Once the LIFA designation is obtained, members must pay an annual membership fee of $ 275 to maintain their membership and credentials.

LIFA Exam Details

Successful completion of all three exams in this program allows a professional to gain recognition that they have achieved the highest levels of professionalism and ethical standards in the investment industry. The LIFA â„¢ exam is primarily aimed at measuring professional excellence in a broad curriculum of investment-related subjects. The main thematic areas include:

  • Accounting
  • Banking
  • Brokers-Dealers and Investment Banking
  • Consultant
  • Financial publishing
  • Foundation / Endowment
  • Government / regulatory body
  • Assurance
  • Investment company / Mutual fund
  • Investment management advice
  • Law
  • Plan sponsors
  • Immovable

For a detailed description of the topics described above, see the PDF program guide provided by the International Research Association. More details about the exams include:

  • Levels: 3
  • Time limit: 4 hours
  • Cost: Varies between $ 155 and $ 600
  • Number of questions: 200
  • Format: Multiple choice
  • Preconditions: An American baccalaureate or the equivalent must be obtained by December 31 of the year in which the first exam is attempted.
  • Exam date (s): More than 260 days offered all year round
  • Exam location (online): Moodle online
  • Exam official website: https://www.lifaexam.org/


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