Changes to CFA level III: Effective February 2023

Changes to CFA level III: Effective February 2023

CFA has been known to make changes to its curriculum every year. For the year 2023, there have been significant revisions in the CFA levels III curricula as a result of extensive practice analysis and curriculum development. 

The revisions include updates that involve small changes, for instance, in data, examples, and references brought up to date. There are also some revisions that bring about a medium degree of change, where clarity and accuracy have been improved by content adjustment and improvement. There are major revisions in some areas where content has been rewritten or significantly altered to reflect advances in the industry. Some areas of content have been introduced, and some material that is no longer relevant has been dropped.

Other than the changes in content, there are also structural changes as well as changes in the pedagogical approach with the goal of improved outcomes.

What has changed in the Level III CFA curriculum?

For the 2023 CFA exam cycle, the content at level III remains unchanged from the 2022 curriculum. Just as in levels I and II, the readings have now become learning modules. Here is a brief outline of topics and learning modules candidates should expect in the 2023 exams.

Behavioral Finance

  • The Behavioral Biases of Individuals
  • Behavioral Finance and Investment Processes

Capital Market Expectations

  • Capital Market Expectations, part II: Framework and Macro Considerations
  • Capital Market Expectations, part II: Forecasting Asset Class Returns

Asset Allocation and Related Decisions in Portfolio Management

  • Overview of Asset Allocation
  • Principles of Asset Allocation
  • Asset Allocation with Real-World Constraints

Derivatives and Currency Management

  • Options Strategies
  • Swaps, Forwards, and Futures Strategies
  • Currency management: An Introduction

Fixed-Income Portfolio Management

  • Overview of Fixed-Income Portfolio Management
  • Liability-Driven and Index-Based Strategies
  • Yield Curve Strategie
  • Fixed-Income Active Management: Credits strategies

Equity Portfolio Management

  • Overview of Equity Portfolio Management
  • Passive Equity Investment
  • Active Equity Investment: Strategies
  • Active Equity Investment: Portfolio Construction

Alternative Investment for Portfolio Management

  • Hedge Fund Strategies
  • Asset Allocation to Alternative Investment

Private Wealth Management

  • Overview of Private Wealth Management
  • Topics in Private Wealth Management
  • Risk Management for Individuals
  • Case Study in Risk Management: Private Wealth

Portfolio Management for Institutional Investors

  • Portfolio Management for Institutional Investors

Trading, Performance Evaluation, and Manager Selection

  • Trade strategy and Execution
  • Portfolio Performance Evaluation
  • Investment Manager Selection

Cases in Portfolio Management and Risk Management

  • Case Study in Portfolio Management: Institutional
  • Case Study in Risk Management: Private Wealth
  • Integrated Cases in Risk Management: Institutional

Ethical and Professional Standards

  • Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct
  • Guidance for Standards I-VI
  • Application of Code and Standards: Level III
  • Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct
  • Overview of the Global Investment Performance Standards

Strategic Implications

The new CFA curriculum is designed in such a way that you can easily complete a module in an evening of study. This, however, does not mean that you will spend less time preparing because there is an increase in conceptual stress. There is less recall of concepts and more application of the same. To facilitate learning and ensure a better understanding of concepts, more visuals have been incorporated. There are more spreadsheets, expert demonstrations, and examples. 

Take your time and do as much practice as you can in preparation for your exams. Go through all the formative assessments included in each module, but it is also very important that you practice with real exam questions. We offer a large number of CFA study resources on our website that will come in handy in your preparation for your exams.

As part of your preparation, do not forget to always visit the CFA website for the most current policies and information.

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