Sunday, June 10, 2007

Wow, can't believe it's about mid-June. I wrote the CFA this year, yet again, this time in Hong Kong. I was getting so used to the annual routine at the Toronto CNE, when I could roll in 15 minutes before the exam without any problem. This year, it was held at the Asia-World Expo on Lantau Island and not the Wanchai Convention and Exhibition Centre. It just means that it's far... beyond the Airport on the Airport Express.

However, given the smooth transit system, I have no complaints, and given the volume of writers in Hong Kong (continue this thought afterwards), CFA Institute even negotiated a cheaper transit ticket to the exam centre. On top of that, since Asia-World Expo does not allow outside food, they organized lunch boxes for everyone (with a price, of course, but not unreasonable).

First... my pencils... it's kind of funny because for all of my previous CFA exams, I was using the exactly same package of $1.00 yellow primary school-type pencils that I bought at a dollar store with a friend.. since when would I actually use those yellow pencils otherwise?? Just once a year! It seemed silly to bring them to Hong Kong, so I borrowed some from work... it's just funny to me because these are as symbolic as you can get for Chinese stationery. Ah yes, I wrote in Hong Kong this year. :p

Then, I was wondering how many people write this exam. Actually, I was pretty surprised, as I was researching which CFA Society to join (i.e., Toronto or Hong Kong), that Toronto has the second-highest members out of all CFA societies internationally. Not bad. Of course, I expected the volume of writers to be high in Hong Kong... after all: (a) the general population is much higher than Toronto, (b) HK people are ever pursuing further education, even if CFA is totally unrelated to the job, and (c) Hong Kong is a major financial centre which means that many more people *should* actually write this exam.

So, I estimate that about 2,500 wrote Level III, which means that there were likely >10,000 writers on the Airport Express that morning! (since many people would actually write Level I even without the objective of pursuing the designation any further.) Back to the lunch boxes. HK-logistical efficiency at its best. They had a hall set up just for lunch as they served the previously-purchased lunch boxes. It was a sight to behold.. and I discreetly tried to take pictures without looking too silly. This is not a very good one of the lunch hall... the "line" at the back is actually the line-up to get lunchboxes. They served everyone in under 40 minutes. Soooo efficient! Food wasn't really good, but at least I didn't have to think about what to bring for lunch.

Anyway, that was that. Results come out mid-August, and I'll see. Not really sure what to think... including whether I would re-write if I failed... who knows, it's just all in His hands, and if I pass, then, all glory to God!! I don't deserve it! :p

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

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