Posted by The Team at Brand Financial Training on May 11, 2021 in Newsletter
11 May 2021
The Mental Health Foundation are running their ‘Mental Health Awareness’ this week and their theme for the week is ‘Nature’ which is of course so important for our psychological and emotional health. We are keen to help inspire action to promote the message of good mental health and in our featured article (below) we provide details of this year’s Mental Health Awareness week with tips and advice on reconnecting with nature and the environment to help with your general wellbeing as well as work and exam stresses.
The Team at Brand Financial Training
Quantitative Easing – The Facts
In his recent budget speech, Rishi Sunak stated that estimates on borrowing are the highest figures seen outside of wartime. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) confirmed that borrowing is estimated at £355 billion for the financial year to April 2021. So how exactly does the government borrow money? The answer is that the government borrows money by selling gilts. This is useful reading as you prepare for any of the CII R01, R02, R06, AF4, or J10 exams.
A gilt is a fixed-interest security (also known as a bond) issued by the Treasury and listed on the London Stock Exchange (so its price can rise and fall). The bond is called a ‘gilt’ because the original issue had gilded edges. They are a low-risk investment as the government has never failed to meet interest or final repayments.
The government pays interest to whoever owns the bond (which is usually pension and investment funds, insurance companies, and banks, although private investors can also buy them).
The rate of interest (or coupon as it is also known) is fixed and designed to generate a steady income for the purchaser. Investors often look to gain at least as good an interest rate as paid by the bank, while the government is borrowing money at a cheaper rate than going to a bank.
The return is fixed over an agreed term, and at the end of the term, repayment of the original capital is made. Some gilts are repaid in a year whilst others do not have to be repaid for 50 years. Often the government has to issue new gilts (i.e. borrow again) in order to repay the debt due on the repayment date.
Corporate bonds work in exactly the same way as gilts, the idea being that companies can raise cheap finance by issuing bonds.
The Bank of England buys gilts and corporate bonds from the private sector in an attempt to boost the economy through spending and investment. So far, the Bank of England’s total purchases of UK government bonds totals £875 billion with another £20 billion having been used to buy investment-grade corporate bonds – a grand total of £895 billion.
The Natural Choice for Mental Health Awareness Week
This month, there is an opportunity for all of us to focus collectively on the goal of achieving better mental health, in the form of Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from 10 to 16 May.
The pandemic has also affected our mental health
A survey conducted last summer by the mental health organisation Mind found that more than half of adults (60%) and a greater number of young people (68%) reported worsening mental health during lockdown. Only around 29% said their mental health had remained the same since the start of the pandemic.
And while another study, from the Mental Health Foundation, has found that virus-related anxiety fell from 62% to 42% among UK adults between March 2020 and February 2021, loneliness is still on the rise, according to the same research. What’s more, fewer of us believe we are handling the stress of the situation well – 73% in April 2020, compared with 64% in February 2021.
From the lack of ability to renew or forge connections with others due to closed gyms and schools to fears for ourselves and those closest to us, the toll of the coronavirus pandemic on our mental health has been, and remains, incalculable.
Mental Health Awareness Week – one of the biggest events in the world
Run by the Mental Health Foundation for more than two decades, the Mental Health Awareness Week initiative has become one of the biggest events of its kind in the world – and it’s open to anyone.
The occasion offers the chance to kick-start a conversation about any aspect of mental well-being. But each year there is a particular theme – and, this year, the emphasis is on nature, with organisers hoping people will take the time to notice the natural world, and make the effort to connect with it every day.
..."The calculation workbooks for R02 and R03 are very good indeed. They were a major factor in helping me achieve good scores in these exams (89% and 80% respectively)..."
Julian Sellen, Leatherhead
Available for AF1, AF2, AF4, R02, R03, R04, R06, J03, J05, J10, J12, CF1, CF6
Many exam-takers lose vital marks when it comes to performing calculations as they haven’t nailed down the exact process and order in which to perform the calculations, and haven’t spent enough time practising them.
The number of marks gained or lost on calculation questions can make the difference between a pass and a fail. Just a little more time taken on calculations during the revision period can give you the confidence you need to perform any calculation that could come up, so that you know you will gain top marks on all those calculation questions.
Our calculation workbooks guide you through the calculations, step-by-step, and providing detailed answers, with cross references to the relevant CII study text. All questions and answers kept up-to-date to reflect changes to the exam syllabus and tax year, and you can download them instantly in PDF format.
Why not try before you buy? Download one of our free tasters:
..."I passed R02 - No doubt thanks to your fantastic workbook which helped no end! With the extra work that I did going through your workbook, this helped a great deal with feeling confident which in this exam particularly was useful given that the technique and timing is as important as the knowledge and skill in ensuring that you get through the questions in a timely manner. One could so easily become distracted or frustrated trying to work out/remember one particular formula to the deficit of the other questions but your workbook enabled me to feel glad that there were so many calculations in the exam whereby before I actually feared them."...
David Gunn, Adviser, Nottingham
How to Pass Guides
For over 10 years, we have been helping candidates pass their R0 exams and now we have summarised our knowledge and experience in a succinct guide on ‘How to pass’ each of the multiple choice R0 exams. The guides provide an overview of the exam, help with exam technique, and walk you through some typical exam questions including useful tactics for facing the more difficult multi response questions. This is a completely free guide for all our customers – coming soon!
We will be starting work on the AF5 analysis when the fact-find is released on 21 May. Our team are vastly experienced at producing analyses, and we filter through the detail to help you focus your learning. We look at the types of questions (and answers) we think are likely to come up in the exam, based on the fact-find. We also provide generic AF5 questions and help on exam technique. The analysis now also includes self-test questions, so you can practise your exam technique and technical knowledge relevant to the fact-find subject material.
You will also have an opportunity to access our lead analysis author in our email support day on Monday 7 June.
The exam booking closing dates (AF2 – 12th May and J03 – 19th May) are fast approaching for the last sitting of the CII business exams. The exams are being withdrawn after this sitting. (Note there will be the opportunity to re-sit in the autumn)
The CII have told us they are hoping to confirm if the AF4 sitting on 24 June will go ahead when the government updates the COVID restrictions that will apply from the 17 May.
Updates to CII Study Texts
Here’s a reminder that the CII update their study texts throughout the examinable year to either incorporate new legislations, correct errors or clarify information. Many candidates aren’t aware of this, which can result in candidates studying out-of-date information.
To find out if you have the most up-to-date information, visit the CII website, navigate to your chosen exam and click on ‘learning solutions update’ in the ‘Unit updates’ section in the sidebar.
Note that we keep our resources up-to-date with any updates from the CII.
Did You Miss These Posts on Our Blog?
Articles and Help for All Your Exams
You’ll find that there’s something for everyone when you check out our blog:
specific topics and how-to articles;
reviews of recent CII exam papers;
our Friday Five – a weekly quiz to give you a fun break from reading the study text;
study techniques that help you to retain your revision and keep your brain working for you, when you need it
Here are the blog posts you might have missed since our last newsletter:
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Quote of the Month
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