A Desired Designation: What a CMT Can Get You?

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Getting Technical with Technical Analysis

I was awarded my CMT charter in 2012. Back then, I was one of a handful of CMT charter holders in India. Since then the community has grown dramatically, and over 1000 in India have been part of the CMT program. India now has the second highest number of candidates for the CMT program, after the US. 

As a result, I keep getting asked questions about the CMT designation, its scope, requirements and more. There is a lot of information on the CMT Association website itself, provided more clearly than I would ever be able to. Over and above these, here are a few questions that I am often asked. 

  1. What is CMT ?

The Chartered Market Technician (CMT) credential is the preeminent designation for practitioners of technical analysis. It certifies that one has the knowledge and skill to conduct research, recommend trades and manage finances. Simply put, it is the global gold standard of technical analysis skill.

2.  Why should I do CMT?

I will answer this question in 3 parts

a. You should do the CMT program and get the charter if you want to be a professional, as it is the best way to endorse your ability to potential recruiters. This is relevant not only for the role of technical analyst, but also for any other market or client facing role in the financial industry

b. You should do the CMT program to be part of a global community. The networking opportunity here is fabulous. It has helped me not only to continue getting better at technical analysis, but also to build career and business opportunities. The affiliate membership program provides access to chapter meetings, live webinars, newsletters, exclusive discounts and several other benefits. I even got to meet global technical analysis legends at the various events that I attended. 

c. Even if you are only managing your personal portfolio, taking the 3 exams levels of the CMT program helps you to test your understanding of technical analysis at the highest level. If you are able to clear all 3 levels, you can be confident that you are ready to be a responsible investor or trader.

3. I have done CFA or FRM, what’s the benefit for doing CMT?

The CFA qualification is broad based and suited to a generalist kind of profile. The good news is that if you are a CFA charterholder, you get a waiver for Level 1 and can directly start from Level 2 of the CMT Program. 

FRM is more focussed towards mid to back office risk management, such as compliance, process, portfolio risk. The CMT qualification is most directly relevant to front office roles. This means you either directly engage with the markets, as a trader, analyst, portfolio manager, or engage with clients and talk about markets, like investment advisor, broker, client advisor, relationship manager etc

4. What are job prospects for a CMT charter holder?

Like I stated earlier, any front office role in the financial services industry can benefit from a deep knowledge of technical analysis. I am listing some relevant industries here

  • Traditional Industries 
    • Investment Managers (hedge funds, mutual funds, insurance funds, pension funds), 
    • Broking houses, 
    • Banks, 
    • Corporations, 
    • Regulators, 
    • Exchanges, 
    • other market intermediaries
  • Modern industries include 
    • Quant finance and 
    • algo-trading firms, 
    • Trading system design firms etc. 
  • Non finance industries 
    • journalism, 
    • education 

Apart from these professions, the ability to manage your personal portfolio risk is a common denominator for everyone. 

5. Where can I get more information about CMT ?

See the link I shared above. The website answers a series of FAQ’s and provides additional details on the program. You can also join the CMT server on Discord  to be a part of and engage with the growing technical analysts community.

6. What is the fee structure and when are exams held ?

Exams are held twice a year in June and December. The fees are in the Program Fees section here.

7. Is there any requirement/criteria for joining the CMT Program. 

There are no entry criteria for taking the exams. However, once you clear the 3 Levels and are ready to apply for your CMT Charter, you will need to meet the following 2 criteria. 

a. Minimum 3 years of professional experience in a role that uses technical analysis 

b. 3 CMT charterholders will need to review your work and recommend you to the global admissions committee for your charter. 

What a lot of candidates do is, start with the exams, and in the meantime work to fulfill the other criteria as well.

I hope you find this information useful. Gaining the CMT charter has helped my career in more ways than I imagined possible. I wish anyone reading this article all the best in their own CMT journey.

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About the author

Vishal Mehta

Vishal Mehta is full time independent trader. He is a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) from USA and Co-Chair for Mumbai Chapter for CMT.

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