My Top 10 Tips
As we near completion of my first 10- week tutorial program, these are my insights into studying and revising for the FASEA Financial Adviser exam. I hope this helps those studying for the June exam sitting.
  1. Realize that what is required to pass an exam doesn’t always equate to what is required to run a successful advice practice that works in the best interests of their clients. Having said that, there are a few rules in the Corporations Act that I am tipping the majority of advisers won’t know. Trust me, when you find them you will realize they are critically important. I am not going what they are. Let me know when you find them and I will confirm or otherwise
  2. Remember that this a FASEA exam and the Code of Ethics is the FASEA centrepiece as far as this exam is concerned, so much so that FASEA expressly states that “So, even if you follow the steps set out in section 961B of the Act, you may still not have complied with the duty under the Code to act in the client’s best interests.”  So know it by heart and understand the interpretations provided in the explanatory statement
  3. When you revise, use the recently released FASEA reading list as your reference source but also be sure to follow, topic by topic, the FASEA exam curriculum published in PSA006 Examination Policy dated Feb 2019
  4. Work at your revision on a regular basis. Do at least two 1-hour study sessions each week and take notes. Writing some notes often helps commit information to memory and provides a summary to look at later.
  5. Get together with other advisers, either in your office or licensee group. A collaborative group effort really does add a new dimension to this type of study.  In the first 6 weeks of my tutorial program I was the guide and tutor. Now that has changed. In the final 4 weeks it is totally a collaborative group effort. My role now is only to challenge and test knowledge in a variety of FP scenarios
  6. Start your study early. When revising the Chapter 7, AML /CTF, privacy etc, my view is that none of it in isolation is particularly difficult.  The problem is that there is such an enormous amount of it. After that, the challenge becomes applying it to various scenarios
  7. If you are like me, you may find legislation incredibly hard to read. Read the Corporations Act in conjunction with the ASIC regulatory guides where possible. The Guides are ASIC’s expectations and interpretations of the law, written in plain English.  Also I also refer you to Corporations Act s912A(c) – “Comply with the financial services laws”.  This is a catch-all provision that widens your knowledge requirements past Chapter 7
  8. There may be a generous sprinkling of technical content to deal with in the exam but my view is that it will still be an exam about doing the right thing in a variety of FP scenarios and ethically challenging situations. Of course, the concept of ‘doing the right thing’ is not just about the new code of ethics. It includes licensee & advice provider conduct and disclosure obligations as well as all of the other laws that must be obeyed
  9. The recently published FASEA exam practice question is an indication of question format and an example of applying the rules (and doing the right thing) to various circumstances. It is still my view that you should expect other subject matter outlined in the FASEA exam curriculum
  10. Finally, I have heard so many advisers tell me that they are just too busy to devote the time and effort necessary to pass this exam. My response is that come 1 January 2021, you will have plenty of time after you are removed from the adviser register. By whatever means you intend to get through this exam ….. START!

To all those sitting the adviser exam, go there with confidence, and good luck!

Best wishes

Gary