Open sesame with three more letters

I apologize in advance if I occasionally disappear in the next 15 weeks. My study guide for a professional exam in financial analysis arrived last Friday. I spent most of this weekend studying as I need to squeeze in 300 hours of studying time between now and the exam in June. Topics of the exam range from professional standards to investment analysis to asset management. This is a major commitment as 300 hours in 3 months is no joke. Fortunately, I am familiar with a majority of the material. Unfortunately, most of the details I have forgotten already as level 1 of this exam covers the very basic. For example, I haven't heard terms like price elasticity and marginal cost in 10 years. The quant section, at least, I am finding it to be a breeze as I finished skimming through the 400 pages of material in a few hours and realized that I don't need to spend anymore time on statistics or technical analysis to answer the practice questions. Having said that, I do not take this exam lightly and will have to put most other work on hold. This is a difficult decision because having spent hours and hours in the past few months over our trading system, it is coming to shape. In fact, I just tape-out a major component of it last Friday. Studying with this curriculum would provide me with a big picture perspective of financial analysis. Still, I would rather spend the time to study pertinent works like Security Analysis by Graham and Dodd, or Time Series Analysis by Hamilton, or Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs by Abelson et al. (aff.), some classics on my shelf that I still couldn't fully appreciate yet. Better yet, I want to finish my trading system prototype as soon as possible because I've learned so much in bringing these systems (having gone through several incarnations already) to life than anything else I have done previously. However, it is also because of my desire to do this for the long term that I need to take the time to garner some industry recognition. As superfluous as doing an exam might seem for my outside-of-the-box approach to the market (mostly out of necessity as I have neither the bank roll nor brain cells to directly compete with the sharks), the fact is, to be successful in this industry, I need experience, skills, and credibility. The latter of which is something I lack. Neither Graham, Hamilton, nor Adelson can provide me with credibility that these three letters can -- CFA.

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