Update: CPH Certificate Arrives!!!!

CPH Certificate

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Moving Shop…..

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am now done the CPH and I will be moving over to the CFA blog for the next few months.  Follow me over there and take a look at my journey to complete one of the most respected designations in the financial world:

My CFA Experience

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So long CSI……

Hello CFAI!!!!  Well it’s been about 2 months since I started this regulatory binge, and I am officially done with CSI for the short term.  My long-term plans never really involved CSI as a primary educational provider, rather they were required by a lot of institutions as a minimum standard.  I am currently working out the details on how I am going to approach the next 2 years in terms of certification material.  Exams will only get much much harder from this point on.  My next scheduled exam is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1 exam in June.  I have a blog set up for that experience, which I will link to in the final post.  After the CFA I will either, return to the CSI to complete the WME & WME-FPS courses or I will write the FRM designation in November.  Unfortunately, I wont be able to do both, as the FRM designation is largely quant driven and requires minimum of 400 hours study time (nearly double the amount the CFA-L1 requires…..ahhhhhhhhhhhhh).  I will likely be completing this route.  In December of the year I will likely return to the CSI to complete the previously mentioned courses, which are prerequisites for the CFP exam.  This will take me into late Janurary before I am complete both courses.  The WME is a 2 part exam, and the WME-FPS is a one part exam.  So it will be a replica of the CSC/CPH courses I took this January/February.  After that I will study for the CFP exam in June of 2010 and then complete part one of the CAIA exam.  After which I will study for the CFA-L2 and consecutive levels of CAIA.  So a busy two years ahead of me to get all registered and certified for future work.  Starting this June I will be working full time (hopefully) at a research firm in downtown Calgary.  Thanks to everyone who followed along, and good luck to those who are continuing their studies in whatever format.

- Steve

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Exam marks are in….

As usually, the CSI is very prompt at getting exam marks out quickly.  In the three tests I have taken with them, I have never waited past 5 business days.  I don’t think once could always expect this trend to continue, but in my experience, they have been very efficient in this regard.  I was pleased with my mark, as I was well above my goal of 80% in this course.  I didn’t find any of the material hard to comprehend, however, memorizing it at times seemed to be a challenge.  There is a lot fo content in these books that, although may appear to be worth memorizing, are not worth the time invested to do so.  Overall I am happy to be done with the CPH, as I worked hard within the 2 weeks to complete it before I started the CFA program.

Good luck to those of you who are taking the exam in the future.  Study the book thoroughly and you will do just fine.

- Steve

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CSC v CPH

There is surprisingly not a  lot of overlap with the CPH.  Both of these courses are required for regulatory registered status with the provinces, so you are going to have to take each of them.  Take the CSC first, no question about it.  The CPH elaborates on some components from the CSC material, but not a lot.

Key Similarities:

  • Covering margin requirements and procedures
  • Some details about account opening procedures and the NAAF
  • A lot of the information on securities products and securities regulators

Key Differences

  • CSC has a lot more content and a broader emphasis
  • CPH is focused on values, ethics and morality
  • CPH drives deep into each law and the many components of it, almost to the point of utter redundancy and frustration.
  • CSC is general enough to give you a platform of understanding, but no in-depth knowledge of any one topic.

Those are just some of the more apparent similarities I came across.  Overall, the CPH content is much easier to swallow then the broad content covered in the CSC.  People speak of how easy the CPH is.  I wouldn’t call it easy, but I would call it very specialized.  Being that the content is so focused to a particular area (ethics/morals), it is easier to retain information because you always have that content in the background.  Neither course was extremely difficult to pass, but neither was extremely easy to pass either.  As with anything, don’t take it for granted, and approach it as if it was the hardest test you will ever have to take.  Who knows, maybe you will actually learn something.

- Steve

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A quick note about the CPH exam….

If your studying the CPH exam now, take this advice into consideration.  Chapter 1 of the CPH is utilized very heavily.  Memorize the conducts A – E like the back of your hand, and be able to recite the smaller points as well.  Mastery of this chapter is pivotal.  Chapter 7 looks hard, but its relevance in the test is minimal.  Applied Ethics chapter 5 is also extremely important.  Memorize that entire chapter like nobodies business.  Don’t take those two chapters for granted, they will make or break your entire mark.  Do a thorough review of each chapter, but make sure you fully understand the topics covered in chapters 1 and AE: 5.  Just a heads up for those of you who are wondering where the majority of the content on the exam is derived from.

- Steve

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Online Activities Review

Compared with the CSC, the quality of all the online activities in this course were severely lacking.  The same tools found in the CSC could not be found in the CPH and the lack of featured content was apparent everywhere you looked.  Maybe the CSC gave me to high of expectations, but it’s not like the CPH is a small course. It’s a regulatory requirement for registration in Canada!!! You would think it would be given at least the amount of attention to garner a sufficient level of quality in its online section.  With that being said there are some components that are part of the CPH that are not found in the CSC.  I don’t know if I prefer this method of study over some of the more in-depth related CSC resources, but it was an addition I welcomed with the CPH course as a change of direction.

PDF Summary Files

  • Some of the online activities were just .pdf summary files of some of the more complex topics.  For studying sake, saving and printing off these files was a great help.
  • They are well organized, small enough to study from, but broad enough to hold all the relevant content
  • I found reviewing these printed sheets off a day before the exam gave me another perspective on the same content, and a lot of what I read came up on the exam in one form or another.
  • Just a disclaimer: don’t memorize these.  Just because I said it comes up during the exam doesn’t mean memorizing these will guarantee you a pass.

“Heads Up” Review Sessions

  • Another new section focuses on te LOS statements of each chapter
  • It’s virtually the LOS summary section that the CSC provided, just in a more condensed and informal approach.  I considered these resources to be intitially helpful in recalling some of the information I had read, and drilling down further into those concepts I realized I didn’t know very well.
  • LOS statements are always the key to success in any course, don’t take advantage of these.

Other then that, matching words, some exercises and some flow diagrams comprised the remainder of the activities.  Chapters 1 – 9 got some good attention and sufficient resources to give them the emphasis needed for the exam.  Unfortunately, not all chapters were as fortunate.

- Steve

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