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Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Financial Planning 'business' and study update

Still no luck getting my first 'client'. I actually had a couple book a free introductory meeting a few weeks ago, but it turned out that only one of them was keen on the idea of getting financial advice, and their financial position didn't really justify the cost of getting personal financial advice at this time (they had no spare cash flow, living from pay cheque to pay cheque and using an overdraft facility to cover any 'unexpected' expenses, and no significant investments to manage). I ended up just providing them some factual information about budgeting and I'll follow up with them in a few months to see if there are in a position to benefit (and it makes financial sense to pay for) personal financial advice.

I sat the exam for my latest subject (Superannuation) for my Masters degree yesterday - I had got a reasonable 80% on the assignments (worth 50% of the subject total mark), so was hoping to end up with another Distinction overall. Getting an HD would have required an exam mark of at least 90%, and anything over 70% in the exam would be sufficient to get me a D overall. As it turned out the exam was a lot more 'technical' than I'd expected (not much about general principles, strategies or legislation, and lots of very specific case studies about contribution and benefit rule application to specific examples of employee ages and income levels). In practice I'll look up specific rates, caps, thresholds etc. and do my calculations using a spreadsheet, rather than try to rely on 'knowing' the (constantly changing) caps etc. and calculating things on a calculator or 'back of the envelop', so it seemed a bit weird for this subject to have a 'closed book' exam with lots of technical questions, whereas other subjects have been 'open book' exams, even when the exam questions were a lot more general in nature. Go figure.

On the other hand, I doubt the other students will do particularly well on this exam, so if I do OK (scrape through with a Distinction) I'll still get on the "Dean's List" for this year, and remain in the running for a university medal (and a degree 'with Distinction') when I graduate.

Now that my uni studies are over for the year, I need to buckle down and make some serious progress with the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning that I'm also enrolled in for this year. I'd like to get the four courses for that qualification all completed before the next uni semester starts next February.

Once I have completed the ADFP qualification and I've done the taxation course for my Masters degree next semester I'll be able to do the required TASA course (on the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA), and the Code of Professional Conduct) to get my registration as a Tax (Financial) Adviser.

Once I get the ADFP course out of the way I'll be able to decide whether I should try to do two courses each semester in 2020 (to finish off the Masters degree next year), or continue just doing one course each semester. I've recently registered with the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute, so I might be studying to sit the Level I CFA exam next June, in which case it would probably be better to continue just doing one uni course each semester...

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