On October 1, 2018, FINRA will begin administering the new Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam. The exam will cover only the fundamentals of the securities industry, including the structure of the industry, how the industry functions, and the agencies that regulate the industry. This general knowledge material will no longer be tested in the exams listed above and will now be tested only once in the SIE exam. To be fully licensed, a candidate will complete the SIE exam and one of the specialized exams listed above. Yes, that’s two exams now, instead of one!
Students who want to take the SIE exam will open an “exam window” at the time they register. After opening the window, they will have 120 days to take the exam at a Prometric Center. The exam will consist of 75 questions, and students will be given 105 minutes to complete the exam. A student will receive a pass/fail grade and may receive additional information about areas of their strengths and weaknesses. If a student fails, he or she will have to wait 30 days to take the exam again.
A critical change initiated with the SIE exam is that students do not need to be sponsored to register for this exam. The purpose of the change is to make it easier for individuals to enter the securities industry; however, they will still need to be sponsored for specialized exams, also referred to as “top off” exams. Those taking the SIE exam must be 18 years of age, and the results are valid for four years.
With this rearrangement of material and changing of exams, FINRA will be retiring several exams. The following exams will be retired: Series 11, Series 62, Series 42, and Series 72.
University programs offering investment courses may want to help students prepare for the SIE exam because passing the exam will make students more desirable candidates for positions in the securities industry. We encourage schools to begin incorporating this exam preparation into courses starting in the fall of 2018. We will have student materials in the summer.
Have you ever sat down to study for an upcoming exam and felt utterly overwhelmed? You’ve read a paragraph three or four times and it still doesn’t make sense? Heard a lecture and thought this is a great way to remember this concept, but later that night you can’t remember what was said? That’s because you didn’t receive the information in a format that fits how you learn and retain information.
If you are a visual learner, you will have a tough time sitting down to read material and retain it. You will find it easier to receive and retain information in pictures, colors, and charts. Do you find yourself choosing the print icon when printing a document, versus using the keyboard or drop-down menu? You will know this is your learning style if you find yourself grouping information in your notes or using color to differentiate thoughts. Look for study choices that offer visual depictions of the material.
Maybe you are not a visual learner, but you can recall information you have heard? Maybe you have you read a book, or article you found interesting but could not recall the details to tell someone about it a day later, but can remember a presentation from last year, or something you heard on the news? When reading for pleasure or getting the news, do you choose an audio book or TV versus the newspaper (or online)? Finding study material with an auditory delivery will help you; look for MP3s or online lectures.
You could be the third type of learner, tactile. Do you find you have a hard time sitting still while you study or find yourself thinking of your to do list in the middle of a paragraph (which you’ll need to read again!)? Can you assemble an item without needing to look at the directions? If you fall into this category, you will want to find material that is more interactive, or take frequent short breaks while studying. You may find switching between computer questions, flashcards and reading, helpful to stay engaged in the material.
You could be a combination of two or three learning styles! Whatever your study style, Keir has you covered for the CFP® Exam! We integrate your studying style into our THINK LIKE A PLANNER® study method to give you the most well-rounded review that will also help you in your career.
Procrastination….the ramifications and some study solutions…the CFP® Exam is coming!
We all procrastinate about something. It may be scheduling a dentist appointment, getting our oil changed or cleaning the fridge. It gets us nowhere. Whatever we procrastinate needs to eventually get done, though now with the added stress of being immediate!
When it comes to studying for an exam, that very easily gets put on the back burner to accommodate work and family responsibilities. What we don’t take into consideration is that procrastinating on the next big exam will add MORE stress to the family and work. By starting early, you can spend an hour or two a day and take a day off each week to spend with family and friends. Waiting until 6 weeks before the CFP® exam will not work. Let’s look at a breakdown of the hours.
Suggested study time dedicated to CFP® Exam review: 200-300 hours
Time before the exam: 12 weeks 10 weeks 6 weeks
Studying 6 days per week: 2 ½ – 4 hours per day, 3 – 5 hours per day, 5 ½ – 8 hours per day
How can we help you keep your work/life/study time in balance so you don’t need to procrastinate? Use MP3 files while working out, running, cleaning, driving…..great way to multitask. Flashcards can be thrown in your purse, or briefcase, to use when you are between meetings or waiting at the doctor’s office. Have your kids quiz you with the flashcards. Study when they are studying, setting a good example for them! Our Key Concepts Infographics can be downloaded to your iPad and viewed at any time! It may not be easy, but you won’t beat the feeling of seeing a “pass” on your exam!
The concepts of behavioral finance are applied increasingly in our world. Governments are using decision-making psychology to encourage behaviors like saving more for retirement. This type of psychology is also used by a wide range of businesses to help maximize their profits. Although plenty of behavioral interventions do work, others fall short of expectations or even backfire. Understanding what creates these differences is essential for CFPs® who want to provide the assistance clients need to make the right financial decisions:
The Role of Emotional Triggers
Both governments and businesses that use behavioral finance strategies have to overcome the challenge of getting people’s attention in a world that’s full of distractions. To cut through the noise technology is being developed using systems that trigger emotional responses.
One example of these types of triggers has been developed from the concept of loss aversion. The theory of loss aversion states that people react more strongly to the threat of a loss than the possibility of a gain. Using this concept, app developers have found that the average person doesn’t want to use something that solely tracks their failings without any positive reinforcement.
Another example arises from the realization that nudges become less effective over time. It’s standard practice for app developers to do extensive testing to figure out exactly what works best with users. But as many technologists have discovered, what’s fully optimized now may not be nearly as effective in a few years. Dealing with this issue is why more resources than ever are being put towards creating and delivering experiences that are highly personalized.
Using Behavioral Finance on a Big Scale
While behavioral finance is something that has a lot of appeal to smaller technology companies looking for a big opportunity, it’s on the radar of larger financial institutions as well. Designing more effective savings products, small-dollar loans, and automobile loans with lower rates are all things that established financial companies have enlisted help with from behavioral finance experts.
One interesting aspect of all the attention on this topic is the realization that this attention will eventually reduce the effectiveness of behavioral finance. While these practices currently have the ability to improve outcomes by ten to thirty percent, experts have stated that consumer suspicion is something that may eventually make it more difficult to achieve these results.
By taking the time to test out some of the apps and other types of technology being developed in the area of behavioral finance, CFPs® can gain some hands-on insights that they can pass along to clients.
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