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Tag Archives: education

Why Keir for your CFP® Exam Review?

keir-resources-2017-800x350We 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!

Why Studying in Your Learning Style is Beneficial

Student preparing for the exams

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.

 

Reach out for more information at www.keirsuccess.com or 800-795-5347.

 

Strategies and Rules for Successful Budgeting

Budgeting concept.

 

Successful budgeting can help an individual anticipate future financial needs and prevent financial problems like those that arise from taking on too many financial obligations and incurring too much debt. A budget is useful in helping an individual to achieve financial goals and can also be a tool for increasing net worth or for achieving financial security.

 

The Basics of Budgeting

 

The stages of the budgeting process are estimating income, estimating spending and planning for savings. Income can be estimated using gross income or net income after deduction of items regularly withheld from a paycheck. For a client on a salary or receiving a regular wage, estimating income probably won’t present much of a problem. But for a self-employed person, the fluctuation may require a low estimate of income for budgeting purposes.

 

Estimating spending is complicated somewhat by certain large expenditures that arise annually or semiannually. Regular deductions or contributions to a savings account may be required to pay for items such as an annual insurance premium or annual assessment of real estate taxes. In budgeting expenditures, some payments like rent or the mortgage are not subject to much immediate reduction. Other items like clothing, recreation and entertainment may be readily controlled. Additionally, one must always take into account the effects of inflation.

 

Savings should be planned as part of the budget and not considered a residual that will simply materialize if expenditures are controlled. Conscious effort is required to save. Financial planners often recommend saving 5% to 10% of income annually. The exact amount of savings needed to reach goals will be determined as part of the planning process. Arrangements can be made with a bank to transfer a specific amount each month from a checking to a savings account.

 

9 Rules for Budgets

 

The following rules can be helpful in preparing budgets:

 

1. Be reasonable in establishing goals.

 

2. Budget for fixed expenses like a mortgage payment or rent first.

 

3. Make saving a priority.

 

4. Necessities like food, clothing and transportation may be variable expenses but a high priority.

 

5. Set aside money over many income periods to spread out payment for large annual expenses.

 

6. Large expenses are not necessarily the easiest to cut.

 

7. Develop priorities for general categories of expenses and don’t try to account for every penny.

 

8. Records should be kept of expenditures after the budget is established.

 

9. Use it to measure and understand actual versus planned results.

If the estimated expenditures and planned savings exceed income, the financial planner and client should review expenditures to see where the expenses can be reduced. The budget should balance. Moreover, the budget will work only if the estimates have been realistic.

The Top 5 Factors That Affect FICO Scores

Credit information form

One way for planners to help clients access credit at lower interest rates is to teach them how to manage their FICO scores. This score can range from 330 to 850. The higher the score, the better. To get the best interest rates, clients should try to keep their FICO scores at 760 or higher. The score value is based on information from credit reports. Understanding how this information affects the score can provide an opportunity for planners to help clients make the right decisions to increase their FICO scores.

 

Payment History, Amount Owed and Length of Credit History

 

Payment history is the largest factor in the score. Planners should make sure clients understand the importance of making payments on time. When students enter college, they will typically apply for their first credit card. Students should do so with the understanding that failing to make timely payments can impact their ability to qualify for other types of credit like auto and home loans. This impact can continue well into the future.

 

The second major factor affecting the FICO score is the amount that’s owed. It’s an assessment of whether or not a borrower might already be overextended on credit. Being overextended means the borrower may have borrowed so much that he or she is unable to make the payments required on this amount of debt. Utilization affects the score positively if credit cards are used periodically and paid on time, but there is no effect on the score if someone has a credit card available but never uses it.

 

The longer the credit history, the better the score. In the example of the college student getting his first credit card and making timely payments, he’s also increasing his credit score for buying a home in the future by having a longer credit history from the credit card account.

 

Types of Credit and New Credit

 

Ten percent of the FICO score comes from looking at the types of credit that are used. These types include credit cards, retail cards, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans. Having a credit card and using it responsibly provides a higher score than not having any credit cards at all.

 

The final category that affects the FICO score is new credit. Opening several accounts in a short period of time can indicate a higher credit risk and will lower the score.

 

Checking a Credit Score

 

When a consumer checks his or her own credit score, there is no impact on the score, and it is recommended that clients check credit reports on a regular basis to identify and correct any errors and to ensure that there has not been an identity theft situation. Every individual is entitled to one free copy of the credit report from each of the three credit bureaus each year. A good practice to monitor activity throughout the year by requesting a report from a different company every four months.