Best CFA Level 1 Books

The path to becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a hard one, full of challenges and rife with stress. Passing the CFA Program exams requires strong discipline and an extensive amount of studying. The tests cover topics including ethics and professional standards, quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, equity investments, derivatives, alternative investments, portfolio management and wealth planning.

CFA Level 1 books offer a more affordable way to study for your CFA exam compared to buying a full review course. The comparison chart below lists the best CFA prep books in an easy to read side-by-side format to help you prepare for your upcoming exam.

Helpful Comparisons + Best Pricing Options

CFA Books






COMPANY Wiley CFA Level 1 Books SchweserNotes CFA Level 1 Fitch & Wiley CFA Level 1 Wiley CFA Level 1 Books Wiley 11th Hour
CFA Guide
PRICE  $150  $290  $132.37  $197.57  $95
PAGES  1300 1100  1608  3824  480
FORMAT Paperback Book  Paperback Book  Paperback Book  Paperback Book  Paperback Book
Free Bonus Electronic Practice
Exams and QBankNone
Practice Exam Book and Critical Concepts Booklet Supplemental Mobile Apps None None
MORE DETAILS Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review

Wiley Study Guide for 2017 Level I CFA Exam: Complete Set


In terms of sheer volume of information, CFA prospects should look no further than the Wiley guides for the best CFA study materials. Published by trusted educational expert Wiley (formerly Elan guides), these weighty tomes tackle each of the three CFA levels, with five volumes dedicated to each one.

The Wiley Study Guides for the Level I CFA exam are proven to help candidates understand, retain, and master the CFA Program Curriculum, complete with color-coded Study Guides and coverage of every Learning Outcome Statement on the exam. With over 1,300 pages of distilled knowledge from our staff of CFA charterholders and instructors, these books are a highly effective and proven study aid filled with exam tips, fundamental concepts, and in-depth examples.

One flaw of  this book is that it contains way too many typos and mistakes. It gets really confusing when you’re reviewing an accounting problem and there’s an extra zero on one of the lines in a financial statement.

2017 CFA Schweser Notes Level 1


Published by another dominating player in the CFA resources market, the Schweser (now owned by Kaplan) notes guides are a dependable source of guidance for anyone considering this exam. Providing exam focus and knowledge application makes The CFA® Level I Exam Companion the most effective study guide on the market.

For anyone considering the CFA exam, though, and with enough funds to spare, this series contains some of the best CFA study guides, and is fully deserving of its reputations as one of the best CFA resources on the market.

CFA level I Exam Companion: The Fitch Learning


The CFA® Level I Exam Companion acts as a guide, assisting candidates to navigate through the wealth of CFA level I content, prioritising key areas of the official CFA texts.  The Exam Companion has been written by Fitch Learning’s experienced CFA® instructor faculty, who know what it takes to pass.

This important supplement provides:

  • Exam focus and guidance from Fitch Learning CFA® instructors
  • Exam style questions and worked examples demonstrating key concepts
  • Identification of critical Learning Outcome Statements
  • Directly references the CFA® curriculum

Fitch text book is also not available for purchase separately, but I find one 2014 version if you are really into Fitch.

CFA Program Curriculum 2017 Level I, Volumes 1 – 6


CFA Program Curriculum 2017 Level I, Volumes 1-6 provides the complete Level I Curriculum for the 2017 exam, delivering the Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) with expert instruction on all ten topic areas of the CFA Program. Fundamental concepts are explained with in-depth discussion and a heavily visual style, while cases and examples demonstrate how concepts apply in real-world scenarios. Coverage includes ethical and professional standards, quantitative analysis, economics, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, equities, fixed income, derivatives, alternative investments, and portfolio management, all organized into individual sessions with clearly defined Learning Outcome Statements.

Overall, an excellent and underrated resource from the official makers of the CFA exams, which you should definitely use.

Wiley 11th Hour Guide for 2017 Level I CFA Exam


Wiley’s 11th Hour Final Review Guide for 2017 Level I CFA Exam compacts all sixty readings tested on the 2017 CFA exam into one portable volume. Organized in order from Reading #1 to #60, this best-selling guide has helped thousands of candidates from over one-hundred countries pass the CFA exam. It’s ideal for last-minute revision, studying on the move, and quickly recapping key points.

Finally, note also that for those who are short on time, the Wiley 11th Hour Guide may be an additional helpful resource and an ideal companion to Wiley’s Complete CFA Sets (reviewed above).