Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Continuing Professional Education - "Certificate in Financial Planning"

Recently I enrolled in a programme titled "Certificate in Financial Planning" (CFP). This programme consists of a series of courses which will run over two years initially with the option to become a CFP Professional via work experience and another level of courses in the programme as  starter conditions.  See the following layout or the link.

FPSC - approved CCH/Advocis Core Curriculum program
  • Course 231 – Financial Planning Fundamentals
  • Course 232 – Contemporary Practices in Financial Planning
  • Course 233 – Comprehensive Practices in Risk and Retirement Planning
  • Course 234 – Wealth Management and Estate Planning
FPSC Financial Planning Exam Level 1 (FPE1®)
FPSC-approved CCH/Advocis Capstone Course
Course 245 – CCH/Advocis FPSC-approved Capstone Course
FPSC Financial Planning Exam Level 2 (FPE2®)

Classes one and two have been an experience in learning. There has been the learning to use a financial calculator,  trying to learn a new way to memorise formulae and apply it on the calculator,  and primarily understanding at a higher level.

Understanding at a higher level is one of the more complex areas of doing this course in that the teacher explains the Course Objectives, the class schedule, a schedule on Evaluation and Assessment and asks that you purchase the calculator (an unplanned expense), read the Chapters from the book or sections of the Chapter prior to coming to class and  spend approximately eight hours in study and all of this is to happen within a week.

Well I dutifully purchased the calulator on Wednesday, had my days of study which did not materialise due to unplanned events, and only started reading the material the night before the class, spending two hours on this.

Thankfully I arrived for class with twenty minutes to spare,  some of  which I used to memorise the working of the calculator.  On reaching class, the lecturer started us working through examples from the chapter which we were to have read before class, having assumed that we read the chapters as we all had our books in class one and were keen on learning.

With hind sight, I can say that reading and working the examples may take longer than planned when you are doing it on your own, however it pays off in your ability to keep up with the class and the lecturer. The higher level of study also steps in when you have to cover  several topics  in one night.

In other courses, several of the  topics may have been covered over a period of months, however here it will be covered in two classes. The purpose of the three hours is to teach you the concepts and application of the concepts, assess your ability to interact with others as well as your willingness to participate.

Luckily for me I got called early in class, made a few errors  and was off the hook as the examples which we worked later on were more difficult. The rest is yet to come.

NOTE: Advocis does not award the CFP® and Certified Financial Planner®designation. The right to use the marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and CFP (logo) is granted under licence by FPSC to those persons who have met its educational standards, passed the FPSC's Certified Financial Planner Examination, satisfied a work experience requirement, and agreed to abide by FPSC Code of Ethics.

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