Weekend Reading: Outdated CFP Curriculum Edition

I’ve spent the past two weeks studying hard for part three of the four-course CFP certification program. Learning the program online through the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning is fine, I don’t mind learning online, but I’m frustrated by some of the outdated material.

This course is about strategic investment planning and includes gems like technical analysis, financial derivatives, and labour sponsored investment funds. There’s also an entire unit dedicated to royalty trusts and income trust taxation, even though the federal government eliminated most of those tax advantages back in 2011.

And you know the material hasn’t been updated in more than a decade when examples include Canada Savings Bonds that paid 8.5 percent. Here’s another pre-internet reference:

I should wrap-up all four courses by the end of June and be ready to write the FPSC Level 1 Examination for its next sitting in November. Wish me luck.

This week’s recap:

On Monday I wrote about buying cars and asked whether you prefer to buy new or used vehicles.

On Wednesday Marie offered 15 ideas to help make the most of your Costco membership.

And on Friday we had a guest post from Mike, aka The Dividend Guy, about some mistakes investors make when deciding whether or not to buy a stock.  See, we’ll still publish dividend investing articles even though I’ve switched to indexing. Come back, Bernie, come back!

Which bank has the best suite of credit cards? I answer this question (and rank the big five banks) over on my Rewards Cards Canada blog.

Weekend Reading:

Jamie Golombek, managing director with CIBC Wealth Advisory Services, answers this age-old debate: if extra funds were available, would you invest or pay off debt?

Mark Seed from My Own Advisor says there are worse problems to have than paying higher taxes in retirement because you’ve saved too much.

In the Financial Post, Jonathan Chevreau explores whether RRSPs are even relevant anymore with the rising power of the TFSA.

Chevreau also compares whether the retirement grass is greener in the U.S. or in Canada.

Barry Choi at Money We Have looks at the times when you should avoid your RRSP.

Cory Papineau gives some insight into what you can expect from CPP and OAS when planning your retirement income.

Preet Banerjee is back with another video blog – this one explains how an RRSP contribution reduces your taxable income:

Accountant Dan Wesley offers some tips for claiming child care expenses.

Alan Whitton at Canajun Finances is suffering from bill notification overload, which is one reason why have the majority of my bills on auto-pay.

Sandi Martin says that cooking at home to save money will still cost you in other ways.

iShares expanded its core ETF line-up, including a rival to Vanguard’s VXC. Dan Bortolotti explains the new offerings here.

Michael James explains how currency exchange works in an investment portfolio using Norbert’s Gambit.

Negotiating your salary, asking for a raise, leveraging LinkedIn and networking. Jason Hull has you covered with the ultimate guide to managing your career.

Call it the “sharing economy,” the “gig economy,” or “precarious employment” — more and more workers today are acting as freelance agents, unable to rely on the job security and benefits of full-time employment.

Downtown Josh Brown reveals the biggest threat to your portfolio. Hint: it’s not China, or the price of oil, or what the Fed is going to do with interest rates.

Rob Carrick gets a lot of questions about money buts says if you want to know whether you’ve saved enough you should ask a financial planner.

Adam Mayers says the Internet of Things – the connectivity of common devices – holds promise for car insurance.

Finally, Mayers explains how it all might unfold if GTA housing unravels.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

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  1. Barry @ Moneywehave on February 21, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Thanks for the mention and good luck on your test!

    I made a minor contribution to my RRSP but will most likely not make anymore moving forward.

  2. My Own Advisor on February 21, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks for the mention and good luck on the exam Robb!


  3. Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet on February 21, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks for the mention Robb, the outdated material must be frustrating but good luck on the exam!

  4. Michael James on February 21, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Good luck with the CFP courses. I’ve seen the materials. I’d have to call the presentation style tedious.

  5. Sean Cooper, Financial Journalist on February 21, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Good luck, Robb! You’d think someone would spend an hour updating rates of return. Pretty pathetic.

  6. Benjamin on February 22, 2015 at 9:04 am

    I, too, find it frustrating with the outdated materials. I am taking part 2 on estate planning and the links they provide are dead links. On top of that, the discussion board to get help is always down and ‘under construction’. Good luck on your exam!

    • Echo on February 22, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      Hi Benjamin, I’ve noticed that too about the discussion boards being down all the time. Feel free to drop me a line if you want to compare notes.

      • Benjamin on February 22, 2015 at 4:08 pm

        Thanks Robb, I will. My exam is coming up in March. Is the exam similar to the sample one? Any tips? Thanks!

  7. MiaJ on February 22, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    I agree with you that some of the materials are outdated. Considering the fact that these sites (Canadian Institute of Financial Planning) expect such high standards from their students, it’s not returned by keeping up with important up to date information. I found that I could never complete the courses because I lost confidence in the courses.
    Just my opinion and my experience!
    Good luck with your exam, you will succeed!

  8. Alan W. (BCM) on February 23, 2015 at 6:33 am

    I think you have it there with the autopayment, but then I have to watch my bank balance carefully, so that I keep getting free banking too, all very complicated. Thanks for the inclusion this week, and bundle up, it is COLD out there!!

  9. Rodney Farrell on February 23, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Tax exam March 7. Lifetime capital gains exemption…sometimes it’s 750K, others it’s updated to 800K. It’s mixed up in both the text and the answers to some of the assessments. No way to tell what will be used on the exam…CIFP has been very frustrating…good luck

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