We are often asked, “Why should I use Keir for my CFP® exam review?” We have many answers…our top 3, in no particular order.
Material. This may be a long one, as there is much to say. We update our material before each of the 3 exams each year. Our material is based on the 72 Principle Knowledge Topics set by the CFP Board. We follow the CFP Board objectives, contextual variables and Job Task Domains. This does cause us a major re-write when the Job Task Analysis is completed every 5 years, but we believe it helps the students think more along the path of a CFP® professional.
We have also integrated our trade-marked study method, THINK LIKE A PLANNER® into the process. This study method emphasizes the CFP Board Ethics and Code of Conduct in the financial planning process. It also helps us explain how all this information will be used in your new life as a CFP® certificant. Our TLP study method is delivered in a way to fit your learning style.
Students naturally lean toward specific learning styles; auditory, visual, tactile or combination. Auditory learners take more from hearing information rather than reading. We created 20 plus hours of audio review you can download to any MP3 device. Visual learners are often taking notes in color, grouping material or building other visuals. We have created our Key Concept Infographics to appeal to this group. Study information is delivered in graphs, colors, information grouping, pictorials and diagrams. For more active learners, often referred to as tactile or kinaesthetic, we will send a set of flash cards that have structured activities to enhance learning. For those that are a little bit of all learning styles, we offer the combination learner package. It includes all the learning style tools plus calculator and formula recorded classes.
Lastly, we have constructed our study schedules based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. What this means to you is we take you through the facts and figures and then apply them to a case study situation, moving lastly into comprehensive cases and simulated exams. It truly is a great way to build your knowledge.
Instructors and Support. We don’t really like to brag BUT, we do have fabulous instructors. Each of our instructors is vetted by our senior staff, they observe a class, and co-teach a class with our senior instructor before running their own class. We look for a CFP® professional that not only has client experience but teaching or training experience.
We provide a dedicated email box to our CFP® exam students. This email box is monitored by no less than two instructors, three or four in the height of exam season. You will also have phone access to our full-time instructors for quick questions, or to set up a time for longer questions.
Classes. We have live classes and virtual classes to meet your needs. Our live classes meet 4 consecutive days in select U.S. cities. We offer three virtual options to fit your schedule. If you have a hard time setting up your study schedule and committing to it, our 10-week virtual class is for you! It meets once a week for the 10 weeks leading up to the exam, really helping to structure your time. All virtual classes are recorded for your use. You won’t have to worry about missing a portion of class, or needing to hear something again.
If you have questions or would like more information, please feel free to call us! 800-795-5347 or try our website www.KeirSuccess.com – Happy Studying!
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.
A conventional mortgage is usually a fixed mortgage, which means the interest rate and amount of each monthly payment are fixed. Conventional mortgages are traditionally not insured or guaranteed by any agency, although now private mortgage insurance is available to insure losses in the event of a default.
The Basics of FHA and VA Mortgages
An FHA mortgage is a loan given by an approved lending institution, and the loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The borrower pays a fee for the FHA loan insurance, but this fee can be amortized over the life of the loan. In the event of default, the FHA will pay the lender for any losses.
VA mortgages are guaranteed by the Veterans Administration. Only honorably discharged Veterans of the U.S. armed forces are eligible for these loans. The VA, like the FHA, sets the interest rates, qualification standards, and down payments required for their mortgage loans. While interest rates for VA and FHA loans are set by these agencies, rates for conventional loans are set by the lending institutions and depend upon money market supply and demand.
More Details About FHA and VA Mortgages
FHA and VA mortgages may be assumable, which means a buyer can take over the existing mortgage and make the monthly mortgage payments to the lending institution without qualifying for a new mortgage. The lender also cannot increase the interest rate or require refinancing of these loans. Most other mortgages contain due-on-sale clauses which require payment of the mortgage balance upon the sale of the property. These clauses force refinancing of the mortgage loan whenever a property is sold.
Are There Advantages to An Assumable Mortgage?
An assumable mortgage can be advantageous to the buyer because the buyer is relieved of qualifying for the mortgage, and the interest rate on the existing mortgage may be below the current market rate. In addition, the buyer can avoid paying several costs that are associated with obtaining a mortgage loan. For example, to obtain most mortgage loans, a borrower must pay an origination fee to the lender for arranging the loan.
The borrower may also pay points, which are essentially a way to increase the lender’s return on the loan in the first year while offering the borrower a slightly lower interest rate. A point is one percent of the mortgage loan amount. On a $100,000 mortgage, one point is $1,000. A borrower must also pay closing costs, which may include title insurance, attorney’s fees, recording fees, survey and appraisal fees, credit reports, and insurance and tax reserves.
In addition to avoiding payment of the origination fee and points, an individual assuming a mortgage can avoid some of the other closing costs associated with purchasing real estate. Note that the assumption of an existing mortgage may not make sense where the interest rate on the existing mortgage is above current market rates or where the existing mortgage balance is relatively small.
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