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CFA Institute Research Challenge: What, Why and How

What is it?

The CFA Institute Research Challenge (IRC) is a prestigious, annual global competition where university students present an investment recommendation on a chosen stock through a written research report and pitch to a panel of judges. Each student will be tested on their analytical, valuation, report writing and presentation skills throughout the course of 8-10 weeks. Upon submission of reports, four teams proceed to the local finals and are given 2-3 weeks to prepare an investment pitch, based on the report, which is presented to a panel of industry professionals as judges. This is an invaluable opportunity to gain real-world experience as students assume the role of an equity research analyst. Jump start your career and enhance your resume by seeing how you can get involved:

Why be involved?

The IRC provides students an excellent insight into what an equity research analyst does when issuing a recommendation on a stock, and understand the investment research process end-to-end. Students can expect to receive training and hands-on mentoring on the following core skills:

Financial and qualitative analysis

    • Students learn how to create and build financial models to arrive at an intrinsic value of the chosen stock. You will learn how to incorporate data from the financial statements, forecast cash flows and build assumptions into the model.
    • You will have the opportunity to engage with management of the chosen company to ask questions that will help support your investment thesis. Teams will need to think critically of how industry and economic developments will affect operating activities of the chosen company.

Report writing and presentation

      • Teams will synthesise their investment thesis in a written report. Through this process, students learn how to write coherently to convey their recommendation. Sections of the report include the Industry Overview, Business Summary, and Valuation.
      • Students also develop public speaking and presentation skills when pitching their investment recommendation to a panel of judges who work in the industry. A Q&A section after the pitch challenges students to think on the spot and defend their recommendation.

Networking opportunities

      • You will have the opportunity to meet members from CFA Society Sydney, volunteer members, other investment professionals and participating students from other universities.
      • It’s a great way to expand your network and meet like-minded, driven individuals.

By: Hugh Lam
Date: 19 September 2022


How to get involved?

To find out more about the IRC,  register to Investment Voices to be notified on when the IRC opens for registration.

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