The Fact Find presents us with a scenario for a Mr and Mrs Franey. In my opinion the scenario in this exam is not a million miles removed from any number of real life cases that many Advisers may have seen during their career.
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 about specific parts of the IFS DipFA Study Folders 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.
In this scenario, the clients have exposure to income tax and national insurance as both an employee and as a sole trader. A solid understanding of the rules relating to Income Tax and National Insurance (N.I.) is essential. Anyone not fully clued up on these basics for both employed and self employed clients should immediately head to the IFS Study Folders (issued by the IFS when they started the DipFA course), and look up Topic 2 and Topic 3 in the Taxation folder. Also be aware of N.I. Contributions once over State Retirement Age.
Additionally, in preparation for one of our courses, some of the required subject specific areas to consider for further study are;
- Defined Benefit (Final Salary) pensions. See Retirement Topic 5.3.2
- Needs Based Protection Planning. See Protection Topic 9
- Investment Advice. See Investments Topic 14
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 Exam Workshops, or on the remote support option.
Paul Davis, Dip. PFS, Futuretrend Tutor.