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CFA Travel

Back from Chicago

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First I would like to say Chicago is freezing cold. I did not spend much time outside, but I did feel it when I was waiting for the bus and train from Midway to hotel (and back). It’s a short trip, 29 hours exactly (4PM yesteday to 9PM today), and the main purpose was taking (retake) CFA I test at McCormick Place, one of the top exhibition center in North America.

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place
It’s decent, although not perfect considering its $179 (pre-tax) room rate. I can hear some noise from the neighbour or the hallway. And the comforter (quilt) in hotels seems always too thin for me. The bed is good (I am thinking buying the Hyatt Grand Bed/mattress now). Two features I found interesing (and useful), the self check out kiosk and the board pass printing kiosk.

fastboard boarding pass print kiosk

CFA test scene


Shortly before 8AM, there are already a lot people. More than 2,700 (should be 2,100) candidates took the test at McCormick place. The testing is done in an exhibition hall, I can literally smell the metal, which is from the machinery being exhibited there a while ago.

CFA test scene

One word about the test: I felt it’s a little easier (esp. the afternoon session) than the June one. Maybe because I did learned something in past few months, and the sample exams also helped.

Public transportation
When waiting for the Orange Line train at Roosevelt, a special Holiday version of Green Line arrived, with Santa Clause and his aids on board. I guess they are freezing their ass off in this cold weather. But noneless the people on the platform (like me) have some fun taking pictures.

Holiday train

St. Louis and Chicago
Coming from St. Louis, the first US city to host Summer Olympics, and at the time was more prosperous than Chicago, I guess I may have some sour looser mentality. In last 10 years, St. Louis lost two major companies: TWA (Transworld Airlines) and Anhuser Busch (Budweiser). Compared to Chicago, I think St. Louis lacks the the presence of major banks, which is crucial to modern economy. McCormick Place has many manufacturing themed shows during the year, as Chicago (Illinois and midwest) is center of US manufacturing industry. But keep in mind Chicago is also the hub of mid-USA, and the financial center of Mid-USA.

McCormick Place outside
another picture of McCormick Place

2 replies on “Back from Chicago”

Where did you get the 2,700 figure? The special instructions indicated that they were expecting only 2,100 – and at least 10-20% of the seats there were empty.

You are right, Scott. Should be 2,100 according to CFA.

Also, for comparison, 多伦多 (Toronto) 3500 人, 香港 Hongkong) 5500 人, 伦敦 (London) 6000 人 ,上海 (Shanghai) 3500 人, 北京 (Beijing) 2000 人. So CHI is about the size of Beijing 🙂

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