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Certified Futures and Options Analyst (CFOA)

TrendUp Finance currently has an exclusive agreement with the International Council for Derivative Trading (ICFDT) whereby all our participants who successfully complete the L3 program are eligible to sit the Certified Futures and Options Analyst (CFOA) examination with the following advantages:

  • The examination fee ($290) is fully covered by TrendUp for those participants who have successfully completed L3 AND have never attempted the CFOA before. A fee reduction (but not a total subsidy) is also available for second attempts.
  • TrendUp candidates only need to complete an abridged version of the exam (60 questions instead of the full 100). This is because our participants, by the time they complete L3, have already been assessed throughout the L-program in many of the same areas the CFOA is focused on.

What is the CFOA?

The CFOA stands for Certified Futures and Options Analyst. It is a relatively new professional credential designed to certify one’s knowledge of derivatives, mainly options and futures. It is administered by the International Council for Derivative Trading (ICFDT), a Chicago-based institution. Their goal is to advance the financial derivative market on a global scale, by both helping the industry develop through sensible regulation and increased visibility, and by offering official derivative-centered certifications for professionals and independent investors.

Is this similar to the CFA?

There are many financial certifications available. Unlike in other countries, in the United States, all of them are issued by private bodies with no official government affiliation. As such, the main aspects that differentiate them are the areas covered and their level of recognition.

The CFA program (Chartered Financial Analyst) is issued by the the CFA Institute, a private organization that seeks to measure and certify the competence and integrity of financial analysts. It is often regarded as the top certification for financial analysts. However, it is both time consuming and expensive. According to the CFA institute, on average, candidates spend 4 years trying to get certified. The fees are also high, ranging between $2500 and $5000, only in exam fees. This number is usually higher because it does not take into account the cost of resources, classes, traveling expenses etc.

On the other hand, the CFOA (Certified Futures and Options Analyst) is focused only on options and futures, so it is not as exhaustive as the CFA. It is also a much newer certification, which makes it less known. However, its recognition is continuously rising, and some of our partner funds, especially those focused on derivatives, regard it as a valuable asset for any candidate. Since our candidates are eligible to obtain the examination at no cost to them, we believe it is an excellent opportunity to get certified. Even if you may not end up working in the derivative space, most employers will see financial certifications as an asset, if only because it shows that you have the knowledge and self-disciple to meet formal qualifying requirements.

What is the exam’s structure?

The full version of the exam has 4 main sections:

1. Financial Derivatives: Past, Present and Future (currently waived for TrendUp L3 candidates)

2. Options: Full content, but the amount of questions is lower than the full version, standing at currently about 35 questions for TrendUp candidates.

3. Futures: Full content, but the amount of questions is lower than the full version, standing at currently about 25 questions for TrendUp candidates.

4. Risk Profiles, Asset Allocation & Risk Management (currently waived for TrendUp L3 candidates)

CFOA Exam Topics

I

Financial Derivatives: Past, Present, and Future

Options Contracts

Concept, Types, Chains, Pricing, Time, Volatility, Greeks, Intrinsic & Extrinsic Value

II

Options

Options Trading Strategy

Naked Strategies, Verticals, Strangles, Straddles, Multi-Legged Strategies, Breakevens

Options Trade Management

Probabilities, Standard Deviations, Entering and Exiting, Risk Management

Futures Contracts

Concept, Types, Markets, Cost to Carry, Contango & Backwardation, Basis

II

Futures

Futures Trading

Directional, Intermarket Spreads, Calendar Spreads, Limit Moves

Options on Futures

Concept, Settlement, Hedging, Speculation

IV

Risk Profiles, Asset Allocation & Risk Management

How is the CFOA graded?

A 60% of correct answers is required in order to Pass the exam. There is a one-hour time limit.

The exam is graded as follows:

  • 0-59%: Fail
  • 60-69%: Pass, C
  • 70-84%: Pass, B
  • >85%: Pass, A

The grade will appear on your certificate.

What percentage of TrendUp participants pass the exam?

Currently, 85% of all our eligible participants (those who successfully complete L3) pass the exam on their first attempt. 100% of them are certified by their second attempt.

There is little need for extra study as the CFOA content overlaps very well with the L2 & L3 material.

Note: Attempting the CFOA exam is optional for all L3 participants. L3 graduates (with a satisfactory score on the L3 final assessment) will be able to take the CFOA exam for free.

Have a friend who can benefit from the CFOA?

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TrendUp Finance currently has an exclusive agreement with the International Council for Derivative Trading (ICFDT) whereby all our participants who successfully complete the L3 program are eligible to sit the Certified Futures and Options Analyst (CFOA) with the following advantages:

  • The examination fee ($290) is fully covered by TrendUp for those participants who have successfully completed L3 AND have never attempted the CFOA before. A fee reduction (but not a total subsidy) is also available for second attempts.
  • TrendUp candidates only need to complete an abridged version of the examination (60 questions instead of the full 100). This is because our participants, by the time they complete L3, have already been assessed throughout the L-program in many of the same areas the CFOA is focused on.

What is the CFOA?

The CFOA stands for Certified Futures and Options Analyst. It is a relatively new professional credential designed to certify one’s knowledge of derivatives, mainly options and futures. It is administered by the International Council for Derivative Trading (ICFDT), a Chicago-based institution. Their goal is to advance the financial derivative market on a global scale, by both helping the industry develop through sensible regulation and increased visibility, and by offering official derivative-centered certifications for professionals and independent investors.

Is this similar to the CFA?

There are many financial certifications available. Unlike in other countries, in the United States, all of them are issued by private bodies with no official government affiliation. As such, the main aspects that differentiate them are the areas covered and their level of recognition.

The CFA program (Chartered Financial Analyst) is issued by the the CFA Institute, a private organization that seeks to measure and certify the competence and integrity of financial analysts. It is often regarded as the top certification for financial analysts. However, it is both time consuming and expensive. According to the CFA institute, on average, candidates spend 4 years trying to get certified. The fees are also high, ranging between $2500 and $5000, only in exam fees. This number is usually higher because it does not take into account the cost of resources, classes, traveling expenses etc.

On the other hand, the CFOA (Certified Futures and Options Analyst) is focused only on options and futures, so it is not as exhaustive as the CFA. It is also a much newer certification, which makes it less known. However, its recognition is continuously rising, and some of our partner funds, especially those focused on derivatives, regard it as a valuable asset for any candidate. Since our candidates are eligible to obtain the examination at no cost to them, we believe it is an excellent opportunity to get certified. Even if you may not end up working in the derivative space, most employers will see financial certifications as an asset, if only because it shows that you have the knowledge and self-disciple to meet formal qualifying requirements.

What is the exam’s structure?

The full version of the exam has 4 main sections:

1. Financial Derivatives: Past, Present and Future (currently waived for TrendUp L3 candidates)

2. Options: Full content, but the amount of questions is lower than the full version, standing at currently about 35 questions for TrendUp candidates.

3. Futures: Full content, but the amount of questions is lower than the full version, standing at currently about 25 questions for TrendUp candidates.

4. Risk Profiles, Asset Allocation & Risk Management (currently waived for TrendUp L3 candidates)

CFOA Exam Topics

I

Financial Derivatives: Past, Present, and Future

II

Options

Options Contracts

Concept, Types, Chains, Pricing, Time, Volatility, Greeks, Intrinsic & Extrinsic Value​

Options Trading Strategy

Naked Strategies, Verticals, Strangles, Straddles, Multi-Legged Strategies, Breakevens

Options Trade Management

Probabilities, Standard Deviations, Entering and Exiting, Risk Management

III

Futures

Futures Contracts

Concept, Types, Markets, Cost to Carry, Contango & Backwardation, Basis​

Futures Trading

Directional, Intermarket Spreads, Calendar Spreads, Limit Moves

Options on Futures

Concept, Settlement, Hedging, Speculation​

IV

Risk Profiles, Asset Allocation & Risk Management

How is the CFOA graded?

A 60% of correct answers is required in order to Pass the exam. There is a one-hour time limit.

The exam is graded as follows:

  • 0-59%: Fail
  • 60-69%: Pass, C
  • 70-84%: Pass, B
  • >85%: Pass, A

The grade will appear on your certificate.

What percentage of TrendUp participants pass the exam?

Currently, 85% of all our eligible participants (those who successfully complete L3) pass the exam on their first attempt. 100% of them are certified by their second attempt.

There is little need for extra study as the CFOA content overlaps very well with the L2 & L3 material.

Have a friend who can benefit from the CFOA?

Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on email
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