Posted by The Team at Brand Financial Training on November 12, 2019 in Newsletter
12 November 2019
It’s taken a great deal of planning, design and development, but our study text for R03 Personal Taxation is almost ready for you!
As you will know, the majority of our resources are in PDF or MP3 format, but our study text will be posted to you as a hard copy. Find out more in our ‘Around the Corner’ section below.
After seeing a rise in companies contacting us looking for cost effective knowledge testing for employees, last month we launched our new assessment tests for companies looking for CPD testing, testing for new recruits and testing for general training purposes. As an alternative to the CII’s Regulated Retail Investment Adviser Re-Evaluation test, our tests cover regulation and ethics, investments, personal taxation, pensions and retirement planning, and financial protection. If you are looking for testing for your employees, do take a look here.
The Team at Brand Financial Training
The Rules Surrounding Wills
It is still the case that an alarming number of people have not written a will. For these people, the laws of intestacy will apply.
If however, we do write a will, we can decide to whom we leave our assets, as well as who will deal with our estate; in other words, we can choose our own executors. We can also appoint guardians if we have small children.
Requirements for a Legal Will
For a will to be valid legally, the testator must be over 18 and in sound mind. They must also have made the will voluntarily. The will must be in writing and signed in the presence of two witnesses, who are also over the age of 18 and are not named beneficiaries.
The Laws of Intestacy
If we don’t make a will, then the laws of intestacy will apply; these state that any personal belongings and the amount of £250,000 will go to a spouse as well as half of the remaining estate. The other half will go to children. If there are no children, then the surviving spouse receives the whole estate.
A will only becomes a legal document on death so can be destroyed and a new one made that revokes all previous wills. In fact, the wording usually states that it revokes all former wills and codicils. The testator must have mental capacity and the intention to revoke.
When you face the challenges of balancing study with work, not to mention family or personal life, it becomes more important than ever to use your time as efficiently, effectively and productively as possible. Here are four examples of ineffective study techniques along with suggestions of what you can do instead.
Unfortunately, too many exam candidates still waste time on ineffective study techniques.
(Of course, the problem isn’t unique to those who are studying. Recent research has found that the average worker spends 51% of their typical working day on ‘unnecessary’ tasks.)
We thought we’d look at four ways to avoid ineffective use of time when it comes to studying.
Ineffective Study Technique #1: Being over-zealous with a highlighter pen
Whether you’re liberally spreading the lurid yellow, green or pink across your screen or stroking merrily away with an actual highlighter pen on real paper, it can seem a tempting way of making information stand out. However, and it’s been spoken about on this blog before, proceed with caution. It might feel useful – but it probably isn’t.
What’s wrong with it?
Simply highlighting facts doesn’t guarantee you’ll remember them when you need to. It’s almost too easy as a study technique, and too passive. What’s more, of course, if you highlight everything, nothing will stand out!
Why do people do it?
Precisely because it’s easy. It makes students feel they are doing something useful.
What to do instead
Go easy on the highlighter pen or function. Write your own notes, test yourself (or get a friend to), write out key points from memory, or use flashcards.
Ineffective Study Technique #2: Typing up study notes
Again, this feels constructive and productive, whether you’re writing up key points from a book, website or another resource, or just making your own revision notes. The obvious solution seems to be to just reach for your laptop – as we’ve shared here before.
What’s wrong with it?
Again, your brain doesn’t have to work hard enough, so the information won’t be stored properly in your long-term memory. Various studies have shown that people recall information much better when things are written down by hand.
After all, it’s easy just to type the words, without processing or understanding them.
Moreover, information retention aside, you’re likely to stay more alert, focused and engaged if you wield a pen.
Why do people do it?
It’s generally quicker to make electronic notes, especially if you can touch-type, and of course, you get a neater end result than with the handwritten alternative.
What to do instead
Handwrite your revision notes, ideally on plain rather than lined paper. Using different colours for different points will make your brain worker harder, and keep the information for longer in the area of your brain where it needs to be.
Cost, capacity and time restrictions can mean it is difficult for firms to offer adviser testing; however, there are undoubted benefits. Amongst others, test results can form an important part of an individual’s CPD; they can provide evidence of current technical knowledge and work needed; they can evaluate the knowledge of potential recruits.
With the introduction of the CII’s Regulated Retail Investment Adviser Re-evaluation test, Brand Financial Training has seen a large increase in demand from small- to medium-sized companies for a cost-effective, flexible approach to adviser testing. Our modular assessment testing offers the flexibility to spread the tests over the year if required and can be tailored for individuals specialising in certain areas.
Brand Financial Training’s assessment testing consists of five tests which can be used standalone, or together. They are:
Regulation and Ethics
Pensions and Retirement
Designed to re-test knowledge, each test includes 20 multiple-choice questions and answers. Each test paper comes with a Question-Only paper (for the test taker), as well as an Answer paper consisting of questions, answers and explanations of the correct answers.
Learning Resource Updates Page
Did you know that, from time to time, throughout the examinable tax year, we may update our resources? Often it is necessary because rules and regulations have changed, and because we ensure our resources are up to date, we need to amend them.
But don’t worry! We advise which of our resources has been changed and provide the detail of the change. You can look on our Learning Resource Updates Page to see if the resource you purchased has been amended. Just click on your exam category and you’ll be shown a list of the updates that may be relevant to you.
TIP: If you have a query about your purchased paper – perhaps a question doesn’t sound right given recent legislation – have a look at the Learning Resource Updates Page before you send us your query. You may find a change has occurred that affects you.
Study Text for R03 – A User-Friendly Alternative to the CII Study Text
A user-friendly alternative to the CII study text, our printed wiro-bound study text covers all the learning outcomes and exam syllabus with tables, diagrams, illustrations and detailed yet clear, concise explanations incorporating ‘how it works’ guides, jargon busters, sample exam questions and ‘check it again’ questions to test your knowledge throughout.
More details very soon!
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:
There’s such a variety of information on offer to help you as you tackle your CII exams, that you won’t want to miss a single post. We’ve made it easy for you; just click the button below and enter your email details. Be ‘in the know’ with CII-exam-related tips and info – straight to your inbox!
Quote of the Month
..." That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do is increased. "...
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"5 Questions in 5 Minutes Every Friday"
This is a bit of Friday Fun where we provide you with 5 questions (and answers) relevant to a mix of CII exams. The challenge is for you to answer the questions in 5 minutes.
Where do I find the Friday Five?
We post each week's Friday Five to our blog first thing every Friday. You can either visit our blog every Friday at https://brandft.co.uk/blog/ or you can simply go there now, and click on the subscribe button in the top right-hand corner of the blog and sign up to receive notifications of our Friday Five posts.
Note that we don't email the Friday Five out to everybody every Friday, so we recommend you sign up to our blog at https://brandft.co.uk/blog/ so that you receive an email notification when it is posted. It will only take you a minute to sign up.
A bit of Friday Fun, but with the added benefit of testing your exam knowledge!
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.