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Qualified Financial Advisor (QFA)

  • 14-10-2018 12:52pm
    Registered Users Posts: 4,093 ✭✭✭

    Hi All,

    I attained my Bachelors degree in Accounting and Finance in 2003 and have being working in Fund Administration since. Primarily Fund Accounting for the first 10 years and in a support role to Fund Accounting for the last 4 which is my current role.

    Long story short I hate my current job. The job spec has changed drastically since I took it 4 years ago and really and truly it is just not for me anymore. As and aside I wouldn't have seen myself as working in Fund Administration forever. A lot of colleagues I would have started with and even who started after me have left the industry.That is all a bit besides the point anyway.

    I have a keen interest in potentially working in pensions and investments. I believe the best stepping stone would be QFA and granted it has being a considerable few years since I have being out of education.

    Would anybody be able to provide me with more information on how I would put the wheels in motion. Information online seems to be a little scat but I see that UCD is the awarding body. Can I partake in this course in any colleges closer to home being Limerick? Also the course fees are high @ €6,600. I cant really see myself working in my current job and being able to study at the same time. If I gave up work to study would there be any financial assistance available to me for the course?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2 jambodub

    Hi johndaman66,

    Just completed the last of the QFA exams last month, like yourself coming from a BA in Accounting and Finance a long time ago and working in a different field since. You can sit the 6 QFA Modules with . Membership is €150 for the year and each module costs €325 (€1950 + €150 member). You can do them over the course of 1-2 years. I did 2 exams each semester and completed them in one year and it went well. Study is by distance learning (you basically get a manual for each of the 5 subjects to learn cover to cover) and these 5 exams are multiple choice. The final financial planning exam is a written exam encompassing content for the 5 previous subjects involving case studies etc..

    There is online help with subjects and one lecture day per module (optional, which I found useful). Exams are held in Dublin or Cork every 4 months. If you want to do really well you would need to put in 100 hours study per subject, if you just want to pass you would get away with less. Next exams are January 2019. You may still be able to enrol and as it's distance learning you woudn't be at a disadvantage at this stage. Anyway go to the LIA website and it's fairly straightforward.

    BTW, start with Regulation module as it applies to all the other modules.

    Best of luck.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,460 ✭✭✭poker--addict

    100 hours per subject is a useful reference, would others agree? has anyone done this on a full-time basis recently and how did they find doing it that way?

    This used to be a referral link 😎

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,639 ✭✭✭completedit

    I have managed to pass two of these exams with minimal study; I was really interested in the Investments course but just with time of year and general Covid lethargy, didn't give them that much work. I'll definitely be consulting the books in my own time because it's useful stuff imo.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,036 ✭✭✭lg123

    Hi John, did you ever pursue this course? How did it go?

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Newclassic1

    Hi there. I'm currently almost a year into the QFAs. Started working in a bank in May 2022 and they're required to enroll you on the QFA course as it's part of every day work as a controlled function (CF). They pay the fees for you to sit the exams etc.

    So far I've done Regulation, Loans and now sitting Investment for the 2nd time as I didn't put the work in the first go around. 😬

    As other's have said, you get out what you put in. The books are tedious and often longwinded but I'd recommend to focus on the chapter weightings and study accordingly. The sample questions will give you a good indicator of where to be attentive etc.

    For example, in the current edition of Investments there's around 3 massively weighted chapters so my focus was primarily on those and paid little to no attention to lower weighted chapters with say 2 to 4 possible questions. It's the big weightings you should be absorbing.

    I'll probably take a break IF I pass Investment this time and possibly take Life Assurance or Pensions in my own time (next year) as my employer doesn't put any obligation on me once I've Regulation, Loans and Investments covered off and passed.

    Any other questions let me know!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2 Sinead-IE

    I've just finished Loans after my exam on Sat. Thinking of doing Regulations and Investments together over the summer but not sure how they compare to Loans. Wish you could have a proper look at the content before committing to do it, the quick overviews on each APA don't tell you too much! Best of luck in Investments :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,342 ✭✭✭Buddy Bubs

    I did a finance degree too, then CIMA exams, then QFA about 10-12 years after my initial degree. No comparison to the degree or CIMA accounting exams, the QFA are academically way below any of the others. They are industry compliance exams. I passed them all by just turning up to a few classes put on by employer and then for my study just did practice exams. You only need to pass, not looking to attain high scores or anything.

    Multiple choice exams, and the exams repeat themselves all the time. 100 questions, answer no more than 60, 45 correct and 15 incorrect is still a pass as far as I remember (3 points for a correct answer, minus 1 for an incorrect answer) but you shouldnt be getting 15 wrong because if you are you are guessing, skip the questions you dont like then get the hell out of the exam hall. I got close enough to 60% in all exams, picked around 60 questions I liked and ignored 40 of them. Got maybe 1 or 2 wrong leaving me between 55 and 58% most times.