Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Financial and Investment Analyst are two different courses sharing so many common characteristics.
CFA is internationally recognized but not everyone can pursue the most coveted professional course because it requires someone with at least undergraduate degree or a student who is about to graduate with good grades.
CIFA on the other hand is a Kenyan professional course administered by KASNEB.The course is relatively new but has attracted attention even beyond the country.
To start with, CFA is the best course to study if you want to be paid huge salary, or possibly dictate what a company must pay you. But CIFA is a bit subordinate to CFA and most CIFA holders end up being paid as low as Sh 50,000 per month.
What thrills me about CIFA is that it is very practical and makes one understand how capital markets, stock exchange, bonds, shares, derivatives and all the financial instruments work. At the end of the course, you will have knowledge how to invest and advise people in regards to wise investment decisions.
If you are fortunate enough, you will get a very good job with CIFA in Kenya.
I know of a number of CIFA holders who are working in NSE, CMA, CFC Stanbic Bank, Central Bank of Kenya, Insurance companies and stock brokers, and they are paid over Sh200, 000 per month.
CFA is a king of kings and it rules the world of investment. Once you complete level three of the course, you will be eligible to work anywhere on earth and earn good salary. But it’s a very challenging course.
In Kenya for instance, you don’t have to look for a job; companies will look for you if you have CFA qualification.
Unlike CIFA which is only marketable in Kenya, CFA is marketable worldwide.
If you are a student and you want to pursue CFA, you better start with CIFA so that you can gain enough knowledge to enable you pursue CFA in future.