Sep 18, 2011
On Life, Love & Learning - in Singapore
It's one of the papers in the Capital Markets & Financial Advisory Services (CMFAS) series. There are 13 exams in total, but nobody needs to take all of them.
Which exams you take depends on whether you want to work as, say, an insurance agent; a financial adviser or a stockbroker. You sit for the relevant papers, you pass and then you can apply for the necessary licence.
However, I am not planning to be an insurance agent (nor a financial adviser, nor a stockbroker). I don't need to take the paper. I am taking it just for fun. Yes, it's something I could mention in my resume, but the real purpose is just to challenge myself; explore an area outside my own work scope; and learn something new.
The paper requires a fair amount of studying and preparation. You need to read and get familiar with what securities firms and their employees can or cannot do, when carrying on their business on the Singapore stock exchange. Topics covered include preventive measures against market manipulation; the rules on handling customers' assets; variation margin calculations for stock futures etc.
Considering my work and family commitments, I do feel a little proud of myself. Firstly, for having signed up for the CMFAS exam at all. And secondly, for having mustered up the discipline, in the past month or so, to regularly sit down and study on the weekends. Whatever may happen on the exam day, I feel that I have already gained.
One unexpected side benefit is that I've been able to be a positive example, to my children, on good studying habits. When they sit down to study, I sit down with them. And I tell them, "Now, we are all going to be quiet and study properly for one hour, okay?".
They are little kids. They tend to get distracted easily. But when they see Daddy sitting down at the same table and studying hard, they feel motivated to do the same. Because now we are all really in the same boat, sailing along together. They try to do the little things that I do, like highlight key points in the textbooks; make short notes and so on. And they try to look as serious as I do, when studying.
As I look at their earnest little faces, I'm secretly laughing and smiling inside myself. They're adorable. I love being a father. : )