Congrats on L3. Very nice accomplishment.
As someone who's passed L3 (charter pending on work exp. requirement), it's sometimes frustrating to hear people knock the program and thus, the temptation to weigh in here is too strong. While I understand that it's not necessarily a huge bump in the admin process, I definitely shows intellectual capacity and work ethic.
The only people that talk about the CFA as somesort of replacement of an MBA are those that don't have the charter. Sure the CFA charter ensures a high level of competence in finance, but at the core of the charter is a commitment to 1) ethical behavior and 2) lifelong learning through continuing education.
I went to Booth Live this year and was chatting with a 2nd year, who was about to sit for LII. He commented that while LII was hard, his finance courses at Booth went well "above and beyond" the curriculum. That is to be expected, and thus why someone wanting to concentrate in finance would go to business school. It's the difference between self-directed study of a certain curriculum for that year to learning from the guys who are shaping the form the curriculum with their work. It's a different ball game.
Yea, given the opportunity I'd like to tell Adcom, "I blew through the CFA 3/3 in 18 months while working 60 hrs a week" but pretty sure it would fall on deaf ears. Instead, my strategy will be - "the CFA program really opened my eyes to what I want to do - your school will help me get there. By the way, I'll be a fantastic resource to the students that have little to no finance experience."