Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst – CAIA Exam Guide – Are you considering to pursue CAIA? Here are reasons why CAIA exam could be one if you are keen on learning Alternative Investments.
- The CAIA association is an independent and non-profit organization with a commitment to train and acquire professionals in alternative investments since the year 2002.
- The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst that is CAIA program is extremely deep level of knowledge and demonstrated expertise in alternative investments, this course is recognized globally as best in its class.
- Risk managers, analyst, portfolio managers, traders, consultants, etc can benefit from this program and become members of the CAIA association.
- This program gives you relevant industry knowledge as the course material is updated regularly.
- This degree adheres to the professional and ethical standards of alternative investments; hence have more than 8000 members across the globe tentatively 80 countries.
The CAIA association has gathered good number of members in a short span for alternative investments. With the help of a two tire examination you can become a member of this association. Taking advantage of the knowledge, the expertise demonstrated and in alternative global credibility adds value to your profile and your knowledge. A few notes given below can help you take your decision.
The post covers the following;
- About CAIA Exam
- CAIA Program Completion Criteria
- Why Pursue CAIA Program?
- CAIA Exam Format
- CAIA Exam Weight
- CAIA Fee Structure
- Pass Percentage for CAIA Exam
- CAIA Exam Strategy
About CAIA Exam
If you aspire to work in the finance industry CFA Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) is an option that you can consider. The alternative investment industry deals in asset class and other investment options besides just the fixed income and the equity products. It includes products such as private equities, hedge funds, real estate, structured products and also commodities.
- Role: Risk managers, Analyst, Portfolio Managers, Traders, Consultants, etc
- Exams: CAIA program has a process of two tier examination which can be completed in a year’s time. Both the examinations are offered in March and September.
- CAIA exam dates: Both level exams are held in March and September and are announced online for these online examinations.
- Eligibility: To be eligible to appear for this examination the candidate need to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or a relevant professional experience of a year. Or four years of an experience in alternate investment analysis or other regulatory such as banking, finance and other related fields.
CAIA Program Completion Criteria
- CFA CAIA is divided into two levels to become a part of the CAIA association you need to get through both these levels.
- Level I consists of 200 multiple choice questions and it covers topics such as Professional Standards and Ethics, Introduction to Alternative Investments, Real Assets, Hedge Funds, Commodities, Private Equity, Structured Products, Risk Management and Portfolio Management.
- Level II consists of 100 multiple choice questions along with 3 sets of essay type of questions that are also known as constructed response questions. This part is divided into two parts the 1st one is the main topic the alternative investments and the 2nd one is core and integrated topics. To have a deeper and a better understanding of the level II the candidate must apply knowledge from level I examination.
- Level II covers topics such as Professional Standards and Ethics, Private Equity, Real Assets, Commodities, Hedge Funds and Managed Futures, Structured Products, Asset Allocation and Portfolio Management, Risk and Risk Management, Manager Selection, Due Diligence, and Regulation.
- Devote 200 and more hours of studies to clear this course for a better understanding and clearing.
- The candidate needs more than 70% marks to clear both level I and II of the CAIA examination. For 70% is set as the initial benchmark for clearing the level by the examiners.
Why Pursue CAIA Program?
If you like alternative investments (investments except for the regular equity and fixed income investments), then this is the course for you. Let’s see a few reasons why should you pursue CAIA program.
- CAIA provides deep knowledge and displayed expertise and credibility in alternative investments by professionals recognized globally as best in class.
- Within a year that is after completion of two levels of examinations you can be a member of CAIA association.
- To update students or candidates and members regularly the curriculum is updates regularly.
- It is a complete self study program with curriculum books, study guide and preparation material created by the CAIA association alone. The course material is revised regularly based on the changes and developments in the industry along with the latest academic research. These books and the study material are available to be purchased online.
- If you really believe in alternative investments and you know you can ethically guide your customers through successful investment planning then you must pursue CFA CAIA program to add value to your career and make the most of this course.
- Go through the syllabus and the course structures you will understand that both the levels include ethical and professional conduct lessons.
CAIA Exam Format
|CAIA Exam||CAIA Level I Exam||CAIA Level II exam|
|Focuses on||Professional Standards and Ethics, Introduction to Alternative Investments, Real Assets, Hedge Funds, Commodities, Private Equity, Structured Products, Risk Management and Portfolio Management||Professional Standards and Ethics, Private Equity, Real Assets, Commodities, Hedge Funds and Managed Futures, Structured Products, Asset Allocation and Portfolio Management, Risk and Risk Management, Manager Selection, Due Diligence, and Regulation|
|CAIA Exam Format||Online exam||Online exam|
|CAIA Pass percentage||70% as initial benchmarks||70% as initial benchmarks|
|Duration||Exam duration here is for 4 hours with an optional 30 min break||2 hours for multiple choice question and 2 hours for constructed response questions.|
|CAIA Exam Dates||The exam are held in March and September||The exam are held in March and September|
CAIA Level 1 Exam
- In the Level I examination the candidate is assumed to have elementary and undergraduate understanding of basic concepts of quantitative analysis and traditional finance.
- It focuses on Professional Standards and Ethics, Introduction to Alternative Investments, Real Assets, Hedge Funds, Commodities, Private Equity, Structured Products, Risk Management and Portfolio Management.
- This examination is an online examination however the results are not declared immediately they are declared 3 weeks after the final examination date of the term.
- The examiners have their initial benchmark set as 70% for this level examination of 4 hours.
CAIA Level 2 Exam
- This part is divided into two sections the 1st one is the alternative investments and the second one is the core and integrated topic. The candidate is expected to appy the skill and the knowledge he has gained for the level I course.
- It focuses on Professional Standards and Ethics, Private Equity, Real Assets, Commodities, Hedge Funds and Managed Futures, Structured Products, Asset Allocation and Portfolio Management, Risk and Risk Management, Manager Selection, Due Diligence, and Regulation
- An online examination with 70% set initial benchmark the candidate needs to score. The results are expected 3 weeks after the last date of exam is over for the term. This level examination is divided into two parts 1st 2hrs for 100 multiple choice questions and the 2nd one for constructed response.
CAIA Exam Weight
CAIA Level I
|CAIA Level 1 Topic||Exam weight (approximately)|
|Professional Standards and Ethics||15% – 20%|
|Introduction to Alternative Investments||20% – 25%|
|Real Assets (Including Commodities)||10% – 20%|
|Hedge Funds||10% – 20%|
|Private Equity||5% – 10%|
|Structured Products||10% – 15%|
|Risk Management and Portfolio Management||5% – 10%|
CAIA Level II
|CAIA Level 2 Topic||Exam Weight (Approximately)|
|Professional Standards and Ethics||0%||10%|
|Private Equity||10% – 20%||0% – 10%|
|Commodities||5% – 15%||0% – 10%|
|Real Assets||10% – 20%||0% – 10%|
|Hedge Funds and Managed Futures||10% – 20%||0% – 10%|
|Structured Products, and Asset Allocation and Portfolio Management||5% – 15%||0% – 10%|
|Risk and Risk Management, and Manager Selection, Due Diligence, and Regulation||5% – 15%||0% – 10%|
CAIA Fee Structure
CAIA fee structure is extremely simple and we have got the information for you below, the table is self explanatory.
|DUE||FEE in US$|
|Level I Exam Registration||$1250|
|Level I Exam Registration||$1250|
|Annual Membership Dues||$350|
Pass Percentage for CAIA Exam
CAIA Exam Strategy
CAIA can be completed in one year’s time if you work around it correctly. The CFA CAIA course has more than 40% passing rate at the 1st attempt which means you stand a high chance of becoming a member of CAIA within a year. Like we said, you need to simply do it right. A few tips given below can help you achieve your aim.
- To start with know, what you are doing. Take up a course if it is worth it because the fee of the course and its examination fee is quite high. Only if you feel this course suits your requirement and is going to add value to your profile choose it.
- Now that you are sure about the course being apt for you; know the curriculum and the topics that the course will cover properly before you start. Knowing the course material well will help you plan further.
- Because this is a self study program you will have no guidance except for a study guide that is available for you online. Get this guide for your reference and study as per the guide.
- The study material is edited and updated regularly as per the latest industry trends and market changes in order to get the latest industry updates to the candidates. Study only from the material provided online. You can download and buy the material online as it is available on the website of CAIA.
- What is the examiners expectation, which means what the examiner expects out of you and your answers? It is extremely important to understand the examiners point of view before you start studying.
- It is said that you must understand and not memorize what you study. Memorizing does not give you the knack of analyzing and thinking. Understanding helps you dig into the matter better. So understand the material instead of memorizing it.
- As kids we always revised whatever we learnt throughout the year. Off course a revision is very important. However you must revise more than just once before the examination. The experts say that a dedicated 200 hours of study is important before appearing for this examination.
- Solve ample of model question papers. Model question papers or sample question papers are very good trick of remembering what you learn. Model question papers consist of different questions and also tricky ones that will help you think better.
- Keep stress at a distance. As exams are too stressful they can drain your energy out. Try to relax yourself once in a while by practicing some meditation or relaxation exercises. Along with working hard for your examination also concentrate on your health and make sure you are healthy enough before your exams.
- Sleep well to give your body and brain goo rest so that you can study well and also fair well in your examination.