New to board - training for CFP, CLU

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Jun 2, 2007 1:45 pm

NEW TO FORUM


I am finishing my 3rd year in financial services and have life/health, series 6, 63, 65, 7 and 3 of my CFP modules done. I will sit for the CFP in november if all goes well. Afterwards, I'm prolly going to take some CLU courses.


HS 300 Financial Planning: Process and Environment†
HS 311 Fundamentals of Insurance Planning
HS 321 Income Taxation
HS 326 Planning for Retirement Needs
HS 328 Investments
HS 330 Fundamentals of Estate Planning



I took 300 (easy), 311, 326 (tough for me) and will take 328 this week (doesn't seem hard). What would you say the difficulty level is for 330 and 321? I don't have a CPA or accounting background at all.

Jun 2, 2007 2:07 pm
mdangerlo:

NEW TO FORUM


I am finishing my 3rd year in financial services and have life/health, series 6, 63, 65, 7 and 3 of my CFP modules done. I will sit for the CFP in november if all goes well. Afterwards, I'm prolly going to take some CLU courses.


HS 300 Financial Planning: Process and Environment†
HS 311 Fundamentals of Insurance Planning
HS 321 Income Taxation
HS 326 Planning for Retirement Needs
HS 328 Investments
HS 330 Fundamentals of Estate Planning



I took 300 (easy), 311, 326 (tough for me) and will take 328 this week (doesn't seem hard). What would you say the difficulty level is for 330 and 321? I don't have a CPA or accounting background at all.



Pass rate is about 7%. In 2004, it was only 4%.

Jun 2, 2007 2:31 pm

Don't take Bobby VLP's (very little penis) word. He has an inferiority complex - my mom can verify about the penis size.

Jun 2, 2007 2:49 pm
mdangerlo:

NEW TO FORUM


I am finishing my 3rd year in financial services and have life/health, series 6, 63, 65, 7 and 3 of my CFP modules done. I will sit for the CFP in november if all goes well. Afterwards, I'm prolly going to take some CLU courses.


HS 300 Financial Planning: Process and Environment†
HS 311 Fundamentals of Insurance Planning
HS 321 Income Taxation
HS 326 Planning for Retirement Needs
HS 328 Investments
HS 330 Fundamentals of Estate Planning



I took 300 (easy), 311, 326 (tough for me) and will take 328 this week (doesn't seem hard). What would you say the difficulty level is for 330 and 321? I don't have a CPA or accounting background at all.



I have a degree from a top accounting program, and have been in the business for about 14 years.  I am sitting for the CFP in July.  I found Estate Planning and Income Tax Planning to be pretty challenging, to be honest.

Unless you have a LOT of time to study(say if you're single or at least don't have kids), I would seriously consider whether or not it is realistic for you to finish your remaining classes and also have time to prepare for the actual board exam in November.  It might be more realistic to wait until March. 

Not trying to be a wet blanket, just realistic.  It would not be good to have to re-take the test, after all.

Jun 2, 2007 3:49 pm

i don't have a family, and have a decent academic  background so i'm trying to sit for it in november


what studying method are you using that takes you so long, joe?

Jun 2, 2007 4:30 pm

Ken Zahn is a good prep class.

Jun 2, 2007 5:41 pm
mdangerlo:

i don't have a family, and have a decent academic  background so i'm trying to sit for it in november


what studying method are you using that takes you so long, joe?



I am using the studying method that will allow me to pass the test in July on the first sitting, smart-aleck.  I have a family, and run my own business, so it's taking some time.

If you do not have family responsibilities, the extra time and energy might make it possible for you to pass in November, but it will not be easy.

You asked for an opinion, didn't you?

Jun 2, 2007 7:11 pm
joedabrkr:



I have a degree from a top accounting program, and have been in the business for about 14 years.  I am sitting for the CFP in July.  I found Estate Planning and Income Tax Planning to be pretty challenging, to be honest.

Unless you have a LOT of time to study(say if you're single or at least don't have kids), I would seriously consider whether or not it is realistic for you to finish your remaining classes and also have time to prepare for the actual board exam in November.  It might be more realistic to wait until March. 

Not trying to be a wet blanket, just realistic.  It would not be good to have to re-take the test, after all.


Joe,


What review course are you taking. How are you feeling about the test, and your chances? Do you find the review you are taking is concise?


I am also taking it in July. In the biz 7 years, BS in Accounting, but not totally confident ab0ut my chances for passing the test. I am taking Keir live review, reading the review books now, then 4 sgtraight days in June of live review.  I think there is a lot less fluff in the review books than in the College for FP books, but still there is fluff. At least I hope so. I find there is so much minutia, thresholds, charts, adp and top heavy tests, etc, trusts, trust rules exception to trust rules. I think maybe I'm just to old to learn any more, with all I've learned in the last 7 years.


I am thinking that after the live classroom review, I may sign up for the online review, and use it to work on my weaker areas. The thought of taking this test a second time is making me want to throw up.

Jun 2, 2007 8:30 pm

joe, why are you getting nasty with me? i was being serious



When I said study methods, I meant if you were using audio cds, more textbook eating, cd tests, flashcards, classroom seminars, or study groups with live human beings

Jun 2, 2007 8:46 pm
pratoman:

Joe,


What review course are you taking. How are you feeling about the test, and your chances? Do you find the review you are taking is concise?


I am also taking it in July. In the biz 7 years, BS in Accounting, but not totally confident ab0ut my chances for passing the test. I am taking Keir live review, reading the review books now, then 4 straight days in June of live review.  I think there is a lot less fluff in the review books than in the College for FP books, but still there is fluff. At least I hope so. I find there is so much minutia, thresholds, charts, adp and top heavy tests, etc, trusts, trust rules exception to trust rules. I think maybe I'm just to old to learn any more, with all I've learned in the last 7 years.


I am thinking that after the live classroom review, I may sign up for the online review, and use it to work on my weaker areas. The thought of taking this test a second time is making me want to throw up.



So far I'm not taking a review course.  I think the review courses largely focus on 1.) test strategies and 2.) providing a refresher for folks who had taken the classes over a period of a few years and need to brush up before the exam.  I finished all of my classes in about 20 months, so I don't know that I feel that is necessary.

I took the Boston U./Boston Institute online course, and thought it was pretty good, although the writing on certain modules is pretty bad.  I still have access to the online modules even though I finished the last class a couple of weeks ago.  The final exams for each module are drawn from a large pool of test questions, so I figure that for practice I can keep taking the exams over and over again.  They provide diagnostics that tell you which questions you missed on each exam, so when I see I am weak in a certain area I can go back and review that portion more intensively.  Sometimes I even go back and review the textbooks from the classes if I really feel like I need to bone up on something.

I've also made up notes using 5x7 file cards while I was taking each class.  I think that writing out the information long hand and paraphrasing(where possible) in my own words has helped me retain the material.  If I'm going somewhere that I might expect a little idle time-say to get my oil changed, or taking my kids to the playground at the park, I'll grab one of my "decks" of cards and flip through a few of them when I have time.

I have considered taking the 4 day review class.  But, at the risk of sounding arrogant, I think I could learn/absorb more by taking that same amount of time spread out over a couple of weeks and spending it studying quietly by myself.  I think I'm reasonably intelligent, and will learn faster being able to concentrate and work on areas where I'm weak, rather than plowing through topic by topic in a classroom environment.  But, sometimes I do get a little nervous when I look at the amount of material on the exam, and I might change my mind since there is a local review class in a couple of weeks.  I just am not sure I want to take 4 days away from the office and generally away from my family.

I get stressed and nervous when I focus on things like 1.)  the 60% national pass rate, and 2.) the sheer amount of material that is potentially covered by the exam.

Then I remind myself that after going indy I successfully passed the 24 and the 66 within 60 days, all while moving over my clients.  I've had far more time to prepare for this exam.  And I'm taking it very seriously because I certainly don't want to take it a second time....I completely agree with your sentiments on that count.  I'm going to make sure I pass this sucker, if I have to lock myself in my office for a week or two so I can cram for 12 hours a day, then that's what I'll do.

FWIW Keir also sells a CD with a question bank on it.  You can configure practice tests with as many questions as you'd like, and also put yourself on a timer to simulate test conditions.  I think that might be what I will do for final preparations.

Whatever it takes man, whatever it takes.

Oh-and if you want to find me the week of July 23rd-don't call the office...look on the golf course.

Jun 2, 2007 8:52 pm
mdangerlo:

joe, why are you getting nasty with me? i was being serious



When I said study methods, I meant if you were using audio cds, more textbook eating, cd tests, flashcards, classroom seminars, or study groups with live human beings



I've detailed my study methods in the other post.  I'm largely using my online course info(Boston Univ./Boston Institute for Finance), and the accompanying textbooks and handmade notecards.  I think buying the flashcards is a waste.  Make them yourself for free, and the act of summarizing and transcribing the material by hand helps you remember it.

I'm not in a study group with others because so far I don't know anyone in this area who is preparing for the July exam.  Plus, I find that when I take on a task like this I work much harder than most, so study groups are frequently a waste...either I end up helping others learn what they didn't study on their own, or sit around listening to people bitch about how hard the material is.  That was my experience in college frequently.  So I work on my own.

I find that formal classroom courses are also not as efficient to me, because the teacher of such a program has to teach to the "average student", and I can absorb it faster by reading and doing problems on my own.  If I have a problem I can email or call my tutor from BU.

I know some of that probably sounds arrogant, but "I yam what I yam."

Jun 2, 2007 9:38 pm
joedabrkr:

FWIW Keir also sells a CD with a question bank on it.  You can configure practice tests with as many questions as you'd like, and also put yourself on a timer to simulate test conditions.  I think that might be what I will do for final preparations.

Whatever it takes man, whatever it takes.

Oh-and if you want to find me the week of July 23rd-don't call the office...look on the golf course.


I have the Keir CD, its helpful. I am almost done with the reading, just took a 100 question test on it, got a 66. Not thrilled with that, hoping with the 4 day review, and a month and a half to go before the exam, I can get better - at least enough to pass. The stuff isnt difficult, its just the sheer volume of material.


Good idea to be on the golf course for a week after the test. I am going back to work for one week, then leaving for 12 days in Aruba. Business will still be there waiting when I get back.

Jun 2, 2007 9:50 pm
pratoman:
joedabrkr:

FWIW Keir also sells a CD with a question bank on it.  You can configure practice tests with as many questions as you'd like, and also put yourself on a timer to simulate test conditions.  I think that might be what I will do for final preparations.

Whatever it takes man, whatever it takes.

Oh-and if you want to find me the week of July 23rd-don't call the office...look on the golf course.


I have the Keir CD, its helpful. I am almost done with the reading, just took a 100 question test on it, got a 66. Not thrilled with that, hoping with the 4 day review, and a month and a half to go before the exam, I can get better - at least enough to pass. The stuff isnt difficult, its just the sheer volume of material.


Good idea to be on the golf course for a week after the test. I am going back to work for one week, then leaving for 12 days in Aruba. Business will still be there waiting when I get back.



Aruba sounds nice, but I don't have a support staff yet...that's high on the agenda after I finish this test.  So, for now no extended trips, but I certainly am willing to work a few half days the week after the test.

Oh, and before y'all start thinking I'm completely arrogant....I suck at golf. 

Jun 2, 2007 9:51 pm

I am an average student and I passed all of them with a couple of weeks of study for each. They were hard!


I studied the answer key to the end of the chapter questions - I think this is what saved me.

Jun 2, 2007 9:52 pm
pratoman:

I have the Keir CD, its helpful. I am almost done with the reading, just took a 100 question test on it, got a 66. Not thrilled with that, hoping with the 4 day review, and a month and a half to go before the exam, I can get better - at least enough to pass. The stuff isnt difficult, its just the sheer volume of material.



Cheer up sparky.  I would guess that 66 is already close to a passing grade, and you have about 7 weeks prep time left.  If you put in a couple hours on average 6 days a week I bet you'll do fine!

Jun 3, 2007 12:08 pm

the keir cds are priceless. Does anyone have the Estate Planning or Income tax planning cd?