Posted by Catriona Standingford on October 9, 2018 in Newsletter
9 October 2018
This week is the October round of many J0, AF and R06 exam sittings, which means that many of you have had a busy few weeks. If you’ve already sat yours, I hope it went well. If you have an exam today or tomorrow, I hope it goes well! Do let us know how they go – we always love to hear from you.
You may be aware that the FCA have collaborated with the CII to produce a re-evaluation test for retail investment advisers. The (catchily titled) ‘Regulated Retail Investment Adviser Re-evaluation’ contains questions covered in R01, R02, R03, R04 and R05. Intended to test an adviser’s knowledge as part of their yearly Statement of Professional Standing, it’s already raising quite a few eyebrows for many reasons. Do take a look if you are interested.
The Team at Brand Financial Training
How to Achieve Minimum Tax Liability with Clustered Bonds
Clustering, or segmentation, is something that is tested within various CII exams. For example, it can feature in AF1, AF4 and perhaps even AF5, as well as at diploma level with R02 and R03. In particular, it seems R03 is a firm fan of testing a candidate’s knowledge in this area. Read on to learn how best to answer this sort of question.
The question in the most recent CII R03 exam guide gives an example of an additional rate taxpayer who invested in an onshore investment bond with £100,000 just over 6 years ago. The bond was clustered (or segmented) into 100 policies, and the recent valuation is £160,000. The investor now wants to realise £80,000 with minimum tax liability, and the question asks how this can be achieved.
Where do you start with a question like this?
The first thing to understand with CII questions is the technicality they are testing. With this one, it’s clustering an investment as opposed to leaving it as one investment and the formulas for partial and full surrenders. As this was a £100,000 investment clustered into 100 policies, each cluster was £1,000. The recent valuation of £160,000 is also divided by 100 to give a value of £1,600 each.
Some delegates might work this out before looking at the options available; others may find the answer by going through each option first. We’re going to go through the options.
Does background music reduce the effectiveness of revision?
While many of us like nothing better than to listen to a selection of our favourite artists while poring over revision material, others maintain that ‘hear-a-pin-drop’ silence is the only tolerable learning environment for them.
If you fall into the first of these two categories and struggle to study in silence, it is wise to remember that background music will almost certainly affect – and in a negative way, unfortunately – your capacity to absorb information.
What if you simply cannot study without music?
However, don’t despair, as there is something you can do to reduce the negative impact of music on your capacity to retain the information you’re reading: pick the right type of music!
Numerous studies have revealed that while all music reduces the ability to memorise facts, concentration is likely to be least impaired by music without words.
Music with lyrics can be distracting
This makes sense when you think about it, because if you’re listening to a song you know well, almost inevitably you will feel compelled to join in with any familiar lyrics, and very quickly instead of chanting the finer details of the latest tax laws, you’ll find yourself mouthing along to “Magnificent (she says)”.
And of course, once you start focusing on the lyrics of any song, you don’t need to be a genius to work out that your concentration is bound to suffer.
Available for AF1, AF4, AF5, AF7, CF1, J02, J05, J10, R01, R02, R03, R04, R05, R06
..."Your study notes were invaluable… I would advise everybody who is due to sit these to use the study notes and the mock exams as these will give you a terrific insight into how the exams work. Good luck."...
Brian Lynn, Partner, Brian Lynn Financial Services
Passing your CII exam can seem like a struggle, especially when the study text arrives on your doorstep with a heavy thud. Our study notes immediately focus your mind and help you sort the wheat from the chaff so that you can spend time revising what needs to be revised and get focussed on what is needed.
They put the exam syllabus into a sensible order, and eliminate any ‘padding’, and you can download them instantly in PDF format.
Why not try before you buy? Download one of our free tasters:
..."The Brand training material certainly helps you to focus on the key information required and get straight to the salient facts. Having to read all of RO4 and JO5 was daunting but by using the notes as a guide it helped me to condense a lot of this information quickly."...
Mandy Saunders, Verifier
Updates to CII Study Texts
Are you aware 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 make this easier for you, we have collated the most recent CII study text updates.
The CII's new examinable tax year 2018/19 for all financial services exams started on 1 September 2018. We have now updated all our resources for financial services exams so any purchases made from now on will be relevant to exams sat on or after 1 September 2018.
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;
information on recent updates to the CII study texts.
Here are the blog posts you might have missed since our last newsletter:
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..." If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it. "...
"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!