Posted by The Team at Brand Financial Training on September 14, 2021 in Newsletter
14 September 2021
We are loving the start to September here at Brand Financial Training. The kids are back to school, the sun has been shining (more than it did for the best part of August!), and the crazy busy period for updating all our resources for the 2021/22 tax year is now behind us.
If you purchased the 20/21 versions of our resources* you are entitled to an update free of charge. To request a free update please fill in this form.
We’ll now be turning our attention over the coming months to developing exciting new resources and of course preparing our R06 and AF5 analyses.
The Team at Brand Financial Training
* Note this does not apply to: IF exams whose examinable year ends on 31 Dec; the e-learning videos, which have a 6-month subscription, those resources which have been discontinued, or our R06 and AF5 analysis products.)
Getting to Grips With Statistical Concepts
If you are studying for CII R02, J10 or AF4 exams, then you need to get to grips with some statistical concepts. Our aim in this article is to set out, in hopefully simple fashion, how the use of statistics can help us to understand the level of risk inherent in an investment and how that relates to investment return.
Risk is traditionally understood to be measured by volatility – the rate at which the price of an investment moves up and down.
High volatility = price moves up and down rapidly over short time periods.
Low volatility = price changes very slowly over a long time period.
The most common statistical measure of risk/volatility is Standard Deviation (sigma / σ ) – a standard statistical measure not only relevant to investments. It’s an acceptable measure of risk if the probability distribution of returns is a normal distribution – i.e. where the distribution of expected return is spread symmetrically around the mean (average) and the graph of the distribution is a bell-shaped curve, and investment theory assumes that this is the case.
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.
Our R06 analysis continues to be the must-have resource for candidates taking the R06 exam. We have years of experience in interpreting the case studies and predicting the questions likely to come up in the exam, so let us do the groundwork and help take away some of your pre-exam stresses!
The analysis not only provides possible questions and answers but it provides help with exam technique and includes self-test questions based on the case studies. You will also have access to our lead technical analysis author on our email support day, next Monday. You can access our analysis on our website here – a free taster is also available.
Good luck to all of you sitting R06 next Tuesday!
Available for R01 and R02
…“The R01 videos, study notes, workbook and practice papers were so helpful and made revision a lot more approachable. It really helped me to pass when I failed before! I look forward to using your other materials for the other exams!…
Sarah, DC Pensions Associate Consultant, London
Covering the exam learning outcomes, our modular e-learning packages provide you with 24/7 online access, for 6 months, to videos, a workbook including handouts and self-test questions for each module, and PDFs of the slides used in the videos.
E-Learning is a great alternative to face-to-face training:
No travel required
You can watch the videos as many times as you need – it is not “once only” where vital information can be missed
You receive further support via the workbook with handouts and self-test questions
As the R01 and R02 exams are broken down into modules, you don’t experience overwhelm (and exhaustion!)
Why not try before you buy? Download one of our free tasters:
The AF5 exam is hot on the heels of R06 this autumn. The fact-find is due to be released next Friday (17th) when we will start work on writing our analysis. Unlike the R06 case studies, the AF5 fact-find provides little in the way of narrative, so you’ll be expected to assess the facts yourself. You’ll need to work out what the clients’ aims are so you can focus on the correct areas for your revision. AF5 also requires a deeper understanding of the clients’ needs and how different products and solutions will benefit (or not) the clients.
It’s a lot to take on board, so let us help! Our analysis will assess what the clients’ aims and objectives could be and provide a list of possible exam questions and model answers for each. The analysis package also includes self-test questions and an email support day.
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:
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
..." Continuous, unflagging effort, persistence and determination will win. Let not the man be discouraged who has these. "...
James Whitcomb Riley
Friday 5 Focus on...
"5 Questions in 5 Minutes Every Friday"
Each week, we ask questions relating to one of these topics: Investments, Taxation, Pensions, Protection, or Regulation. The challenge is for you to answer them 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!