IFS DipFA Exam (date 10/10/13)
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.
Paul Davis, Dip. PFS, Futuretrend Tutor.