Tag Archives: dipfa factfind exam

DipFA Factfind Exam Tips: How can I analyse protection needs of a family?

The DipFA factfind exam set for Jan 12th 2017 is fast approaching. Our lead tutor Betul Cuninghame explores some concepts worth considering here:exam analyst

When recommending protection policies, always imagine the effects of the financial risks on the family and think in detail. It is not a good practice to see only one aspect of such risks and making recommendations on that basis. Recommending  life cover equal to the mortgage debt only without giving any extra money for other costs after death may not suffice!

EXAMPLE: the death of a parent may mean that:

  • no more income will come from that parent,
  • mortgage is no longer affordable;
  • it may result in repossession due to non-payment of mortgage
  • repossession may bring homelessness to the remaining members of the family
  • the other parent will lose his/her job to look after the children etc.
  • funeral costs and other costs to be paid from the other parent’s income or savings until s/he gets grant of probate – s/he can’t access any savings of the deceased until s/he gets grant of probate, resulting in costly bills to be paid by other means.

All these risks require careful analysis and proportionate amounts to overcome financial issues after the events. Having a life cover just equal to the mortgage debt will only pay off the mortgage but it will not leave any money for the other costs after death of that parent e.g. funeral costs, legal costs (probate), bills to be paid (one parent’s income may not be sufficient to pay the whole household bills) etc.

So, either

  • increase the lump sum amount to cover these extra costs and to provide income with the remaining amount OR
  • have another cover to supplement the life cover: e.g. Life cover to pay off the mortgage as well as a FIB to provide income to cover all these extra costs after the death of one parent.

You should be able to decide what amount of cover would be appropriate and justify it in your reports.

For more help and support with your upcoming factfind exam see how we can help you at our dedicated DipFA Training web site

IFS DipFA Fact Find exam 7th July 2016

The Fact Find for the next exam has just been released, and there is plenty to get your teeth into!rp_finance-role1-300x200.jpg

What is covered?

The fact find covers a wide variety of topics, such as;

  • Inheritance Tax Planning
  • Final Salary Pensions
  • Investment Planning
  • Ethical Investments

and more, all to be researched and then written up in a 3 hour exam.

As always, there may also be areas or information missing or incomplete, which you will be expected to spot and account for, followed by some amendments on the day.

What does the exam look like?

Remember, the exam is there to test your knowledge, understanding, and crucially the application of that knowledge to the client’s situation and needs.

You will have to write or type out a full Suitability Report from scratch in three hours.  Whilst the report may not fully resemble a ‘real life’ report, (it is after all an exam) that is a tall order.

A good thing to remember is that you need to explain your recommendations, and why they are suitable for the clients, even if it seems ‘obvious’.

How should you prepare?

Research and Practice!

Reading and studying the required areas covered in the Fact Find is essential. Web searching the basics and then following up with the IFS Study Topic Folders is useful for most candidates.

Then once you have formulated some solid recommendations practice delivering your report in the 3 hour limit.

Remember though that anything can come up as an amendment on the day if the subject is in the syllabus!

Where can I get help?

For those looking to gain extra support on top of the IFS help and guidance, Futuretrend are running online courses and a one day course in London on 11th June 2016

However you choose to study, Good Luck to all those engaging with this exam!

Paul Davis

IFS DipFA Fact Find exam date 03/07/14

Some pointers…exam analyst

The Exam due for the July sitting provides a fairly complex financial planning scenario, based on the needs of a fictional Mr and Mrs Osbourne

Many of the issues present in the exam are very similar to “real life” scenarios so the IFS have provided a suitable exam challenge for students looking to qualify as financial advisers.

However, as in all fact find exams, regardless of how “life like” or not the exam is, the scenario is actually there to test your knowledge, and crucially, the application of that knowledge, to the client’s circumstances, needs and objectives.

This blog summarises some of the key issues students will need to consider for this exam, and some pointers that students may find useful to review and refresh themselves of in addition to other study – this blog is not a comprehensive guide to the exam but should get you started.

As always, a solid understanding of taxation is required.  Anyone not fully clued up on the tax treatment of income and investments should immediately head to the IFS Study Folders (issued by the IFS when they started the DipFA course), and look up the Taxation folder.  This is particularly crucial as Mrs Osborne is a higher rate taxpayer and both clients have assets.

Additionally some specific areas to consider are;

Retirement planning including ‘final salary pension’ schemes

Needs based Protection planning including reviewing existing policies

Share Incentive Plans

This is most definitely not a comprehensive list, and of course don’t forget, anything in the syllabus can be considered relevant for the exam.  The amendments on the day can cover any issue covered in the Study Folders, or related to these areas.  Students would be well advised to at least review the sections of the Study Folders for areas of advice they are not familiar with prior to the exam itself.  According to recent Examiner’s reports, many students are missing out on marks as a result of not sufficiently addressing the amendments on the day.  If there are gaps in your knowledge compared to the syllabus, you run the risk of being caught out!

Further support can be found by booking attendance at one of Futuretrend’s DipFA courses.

Paul Davis, BA (Hons); Cert Mgmt (Open); Dip. PFS .

 

Some pointers for IFS DipFA Factfind Exam 10/10/13

exam analystby Paul Davis

IFS DipFA Exam (date 10/10/13)

Some pointers…

The Fact Find presents us with a fictional scenario for a Mr and Mrs Clark.  In my opinion the scenario and advice requirements in this exam are actually fairly close to many “real life” cases that many Advisers may have seen during their career.  Additionally, the Fact Find presents a number of challenges for students, mainly around the retirement objective and the interest only mortgage, amongst others.

However, regardless of how life-like or not Students may feel the scenario is; it is of course actually there to test your knowledge, and crucially, the application of that knowledge to the client’s circumstances and the suitability of your advice.

This blog summarises some of the key issues students will need to consider for this exam, and some pointers that students may find useful to review and refresh themselves of in addition to other study – this blog is not a comprehensive guide to the exam but should get you started.

As always, a solid understanding of taxation is required.  Anyone not fully clued up on the tax treatment of income and investments should immediately head to the IFS Study Folders (issued by the IFS when they started the DipFA course), and look up the Taxation folder.  This is particularly crucial as Mr Clark is a high earner.

Additionally, in preparation for one of our courses, some of the required subject specific areas to consider for further study are;

  • Mortgage Advice around re-mortgaging and the suitability of interest only mortgages
  • Inheritance Tax Mitigation
  • Retirement Planning
  • Protection Advice
  • Investment and Portfolio Planning

This is most definitely not a comprehensive list, and of course don’t forget, anything in the syllabus can be considered relevant for the exam.  The amendments on the day can cover any issue covered in the Study Folders, or related to these areas.  Students would be well advised to at least review the sections of the Study Folders for areas of advice they are not familiar with prior to the exam itself.  According to recent Examiner’s reports, many students are missing out on marks as a result of not sufficiently addressing the amendments on the day.  If there are gaps in your knowledge compared to the syllabus, you run the risk of being caught out!

Further support can be found by booking attendance at one of Futuretrend’s Dipfa courses, or  requesting info about the remote support option.

Good Luck.

Paul Davis, Dip. PFS, Futuretrend Tutor.

It’s been quite a while!

Yes. It’s been a while since our last blog.
This always happens at this time of the year.
The new academic year means new syllabuses.
New courses added to the portfolio.
New material to be written.
New trainers to induct.
And so we have had our hands completely full.
Pressure is beginning to ease so you can expect that normal blogging duty will resume soon.

New things to look out for…

CeMAP 2012/13 Academic year material now completed. So for those looking to do CeMAP distance learning can rest assured we will only be sending them current material.

DipFA Coursework and FactFind Training has been going very well. We’ve been closely monitoring the success rates of our students and can only recollect a few that have not passed! We have our new tutor , Paul, to thank for that! He really cares about the students and provides them with a lot of aftercare support. The rave reviews he has been getting are extremely well deserved.

Stocks, Shares and Investments courses and our Day Trading Forex programme has been running smoothly under the management of Umar. He has brought a very practical slant to the courses and his post course mentoring is just first class. It’s no wonder people are queueing up to join his classes.

We’ve also been working hard on a Business Analysis course which is scheduled to kick off October 28th. For this we have recruited the services of a very senior Business Analyst at Amazon. We get so many Software Testing Analysts looking for a career progression route…and for most – this is it!

Our Software Testing Essentials course has had some new additions to it. We’ve added an extra day on to the course thereby incorporating Test automation into the programme.

We now have beginners to advanced WordPress courses ranging from the basics (using WordPress.com) to intermediate and advanced levels using wordpress.org and all the benefits of flexibility to looking at how to build your own themes and understanding the php code that allows you to customise your wordpress site even more.

We are also trialling the ACA qualification for those looking to gain Adobe accreditation in either Photoshop or Dreamweaver.
A goal for the Adobe Certified Associate certification is to address the real world, entry-level skill expectations for web communication, rich media communication, and visual communication.

This certification is a credential that validates entry-level skills needed to plan, design, build, and maintain effective communications by using different forms of digital media.

The qualification is open to anyone who takes our Adobe Photoshop Next Step Course and Adobe Dreamweaver Next Step course.

So as you can see there’s lot’s to look forward to at Futuretrend this academic year.