Certified Financial Technician (CFTe) Program
The IFTA Certified Financial Technician (CFTe) has replaced DITA I & II, which started in 1996. The program consists of two levels, with the examinations normally being taken at 12-month intervals. There are usually two exam sittings per year. The program is designed to lead onto the Master of Financial Technical Analysis (MFTA)
Venues and dates vary from year to year, but each April they generally include London, Frankfurt, Geneva and Hong Kong, as well as at least one site in North America. In October/November they always include the site of IFTA's Annual Conference, which takes place at various centres throughout the world.
If strict conditions of security and authorised supervision can be guaranteed, IFTA may agree to permit the examinations to be taken in other places on an individual or (more usually) on a group basis.
The two examinations culminate in the award of an international professional qualification in Technical Analysis. The exams test not only technical skills, but also ethics and international market knowledge.
CFTe 1: This exam consists of 120 questions with multiple choice-answers, covering a wide range of technical knowledge but not usually involving actual experience. The pass mark is generally above 67 percent. Previous exams are not available, but a limited number of sample questions is sent out with the syllabus and reading list. Members of the STA may sit the STA Foundation exam rather than CFTe 1.
CFTe 2: This exam incorporates a number of questions requiring (short) essay-type answers which should demonstrate both knowledge of and experience in using various types of technical analysis. It also provides a number of different charts covering one specific market (often an equity), which has to be analyzed as though for a Fund Manager. The pass mark is normally above 70 percent. Syllabus and required reading list, as well as previous exam papers, are available on receipt of application and fees. Members of the STA may sit the STA Diploma exam rather than CFTe 2
Only members of IFTA societies (like the STA) may take these exams
The program is essentially designed for self-study. Local societies may offer preparation courses to assist potential candidates. Reading Lists are available on the IFTA website.
The STA Diploma and Foundation exams are accredited by IFTA, and members who pass both exams are entitled to be registered as CFTe holders (on payment of a $50 accreditation fee to IFTA).
The cost of the exams is as follows: CFTe 1 US $500 and CFTe 2 US $800.
Application forms for CFTe 1 and CFTe 2 are available from the IFTA website, www.ifta.org
Applications must be complete and accompanied by registration fees.
IFTA's Master of Financial Technical Analysis - MFTA - has replaced DITA III. It requires a university-style research paper. It is intended to be a severe test of professionalism in the global arena. There is one submission date per year., usually the beginning of May.
MFTA is opened to all holders of the Certified Financial Technician designation or equivalent (currently CMTA from the NTAA and Dip.TA from AATA) who are members of IFTA-affiliated Societies (IFTA Colleagues). On receipt of applications, confirmation will be sought from the candidate's local Society that the applicant is a properly accredited and fully paid-up member or associate member of that Society before further processing takes place.
For those IFTA Colleagues who do not have the formal qualifications outlined above, but who either have other certification and/or many years experience working as technical analysts, the Accreditation Committee has developed an "alternate path" by which candidates with substantial academic or practical work in technical analysis can bypass the requirement for the CFTe.
In general, the Alternate Path is open to 3 categories of applicants. These are IFTA Colleagues who
- have technical analysis certification other than CFTe (such as CMT, STA Diploma) PLUS three years experience as a technician
- have financial certification other than CFTe (such as CFA, CPA, MBA) PLUS five years experience as a technician
- or have experience only (8 years minimum)
Cost of the exam is US $900.
An application form is available on the IFTA Web site
In order to complete this level and receive your Diploma, you must write a research paper of no less than three thousand words (but generally no more than five thousand). Charts, Figures and Tables may be presented in addition, but should not constitute the bulk of the paper.
Your paper must meet the following criteria:
- It must be original
- It must develop a reasoned and logical argument and lead to a sound conclusion supported by the tests, studies and analysess contained in the paper
- The subject matter should be of practical application, and
- It should add to the body of knowledge in the discipline of international technical analysis.
The first and most important step for a candidate is to submit an outline of the proposed paper to IFTA for the attention of the Chairman of the Accreditation Committee. Care should be taken to ensure that this Summary is sufficiently detailed to enable the Committee to determine whether or not the proposed paper meets the above criteria. Failure to submit a sufficiently detailed or well thought-out outline, or departure from the outline after it has been approved, could mean wasted time and effort.
Your outline should be submitted to the IFTA Accreditation Committee no later than May 3 in the year in which you intend to submit your paper. Response to that outline will normally be made no later than June 1 in the same year. The official application form (and payment) must also be sent separately to the IFTA Admin Office by May 3.
Your completed paper must be mailed, couriered or hand-delivered so as to reach IFTA no later than October 15 of that year. Delivery must be in electronic form (via e-mail) and by hard copy, by that deadline. Papers received after October 15 will not be accepted, and candidates will need to re-enrol (and pay a second registration fee) for MFTA the following year.
Depending on the number of applicants, results will generally be made known by the end of March in the following year.
It is anticipated that most candidates for MFTA will have some academic background, and this should convey the high standard against which these papers will be judged. Papers which do not meet the professional requirements of the Committee will be rejected, with reasons, and candidates may either start again or revise their paper and resubmit it the following year. This will be viewed as a fresh application. Alternately, candidates who are dissatisfied with their mark may elect to have their paper referred to the Accreditation Committee for review. The fee payable for review will be communicated at the time the application is made. Candidates should note, however, that due to other pressures and the fact that the Committee members are in several countries, the review process can take several months. If the Committee confirms the original result this may mean that you miss the opportunity to submit another paper in the following year.
Copyright of all submitted Papers will be held by IFTA, although any application by the writer to publish the work in other areas will generally be regarded favourably, on condition that due reference is made to IFTA's copyright. The Journal Committee of IFTA may, in its absolute discretion, choose to publish particularly meritorious papers, either edited or unedited, in the IFTA Journal or any other IFTA publication, and any Paper or part thereof may be posted on the IFTA website. Each candidate is deemed to have given their permission for the publication, in whole or in part, of her or his Paper.
For more information on this Diploma please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.