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Members' Guide to 2023 Refresher Readings

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What's Changed in the 2023 CFA Program Curriculum

As the investment industry continues to evolve, our Professional Learning team remains committed to delivering flexible learning opportunities in formats that fit our member’s needs across a wide variety of topic areas to help you upskill and reskill throughout your career. We encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities—ranging from online self-paced courses and live instructor-led trainings, to the latest research and industry insights and more—and to access high-quality, practitioner-relevant content that will help you reach your personal and professional goals.

Year after year, our Refresher Readings have proven to be one of our most popular Professional Learning products. This popularity shows our members’ commitment to keeping their skills and knowledge current. We are excited to share the latest developments in the CFA® Program curriculum—the source of the Refresher Readings you can access as an exclusive member benefit.

Last year, we made comprehensive changes to the CFA Program curriculum. The 2023 readings build on those improvements by evolving the structure of the curriculum, improving key topic areas,
and reflecting the extensive work coming out of Practice Analysis and curriculum development.

A significant change in the curriculum in recent years comes at Level I. By revising the material to a learning module structure, we have aligned the content with best practice to meet adult learners’
needs. Each module is designed to be completed in one sitting, and practice questions are included throughout. The modules incorporate more visuals and realistic content, plus expert demonstrations followed by opportunities for CFA charterholders and CFA Institute members to practice the skills.

In addition to modernizing the format and presentation, key changes from the 2023 curriculum appear in the following categories:

  • An updated and expanded analysis explains the use of derivatives in the investment industry and how investment professionals navigate derivative markets.
  • A new “Introduction to Geopolitics” reading at Level I in the economics topic area provides a structure for thinking about a wide range of geopolitical issues and assessing their risks.
  • New and updated readings in the corporate issuers (formerly corporate finance) topic area include refreshed environmental, social, and governance (ESG) content, general partner and limited partner structures, and more. In particular, the “Corporate Restructuring” reading at Level II covers all types of corporate restructurings and explains how to model them using spreadsheet
    modeling.
  • Alternative investments readings have been modularized and now reflect greater depth and detail. For Level II, three integrated modules cover various topics in real estate, including investments through private vehicles and publicly traded securities.
  • New content highlights decentralized finance and blockchain in the portfolio management topic area.
  • Multiple regression content has been updated with investment-focused datasets in the quantitative methods topic area. At Level II, the material now includes information on evaluating outliers and influential observations as well as expanded content on logistic regression, an important foundation for neural network estimation.
  • A new vignette in the “Application of the Code and Standards” reading at Level II helps members refine their ethics expertise.

We hope you find these Refresher Readings applicable to your day-to-day work. We welcome your feedback on our Professional Learning program and resources. Please contact us at
[email protected].

About the Author

CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. CFA Institute works with academic institutions with the University Affiliation Program. Academic institutions that embed a significant portion of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK)—including the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct—into their curriculum may be eligible to participate in the University Affiliation Program.
An Affiliated University signals to their students and to employers that their curriculum is closely tied to the practice of investment management and is helpful to students preparing for the CFA® Program exams.