AF4 Investment Planning - Q3 2020

Monday, 07 September 2020
9:00 am
    • John Trayner

COVID-19 Update

In view of the on-going uncertainties regarding easing of lockdown restrictions and any resultant practicalities, this event will be held via video webinar.

If you have any questions please contact Susan Stamp at

Please note we have deferred the start date of the AF4 course so that all modules will take place in September.

Module 1

Monday 7 September 2020 9.00 am - 5.00 pm

Module 2

Part 1 - Monday 14 September 2020 9.30 am - 1.00 pm

Part 2 - Tuesday 15 September 2020 9.30 am - 1.00 pm

Module 3

Tuesday 29 September 2020 9.00 am – 5.00 pm

This three-module course aims to significantly improve delegates' chances of passing their AF4 exam by developing an understanding of the key technical points that are likely to be tested.

It is also suitable for those taking a further examination, J10 - Discretionary Investment Management, as the learning content is very similar to AF4, although candidates taking J10 only may prefer to book our two-module course here.

The programme will consist of three modules to give delegates more time to build up their knowledge and understanding.

Led by John Trayner, a CII Approved Trainer, each of the three modules will provide a full 6 hours’ CPD. The cost of this three-module course is £195 for CII/PFS members (£255 for non-members).If you would like to join us for this event, please click on the Book Now button below. (Please note, to benefit from the discounted rate, you will be required to provide your membership number at the time of booking.)

Payment can be made by credit/debit card or you can request an invoice to pay offline by cheque or BACS transfer. Credit/debit card payments can only be accepted online at the time of booking and not afterwards.

Course Dates and Objectives
The dates of this course are set out below. By the end of each module, delegates will be able to:

Module 1 - Monday 7 September 2020 - Asset classes

  • understand the characteristics and risks of the main asset classes
  • solve compounding, discounting and rate of return calculations
  • understand the key performance measures of a bond and be able to use these in assessing its suitability for an investor
  • identify the main economic factors that affect the suitability of bonds for investors
  • understand the difference between technical and fundamental analysis in assessing the suitability of a share for an investor
  • calculate and interpret the main data from a company’s Profit and Loss Account and Balance Sheet
  • understand how internal company and external economic factors can affect the suitability of a share for an investor
  • understand and analyse a share’s Standard Deviation and Beta
  • understand the factors in assessing whether to invest in property
  • understand the principles of futures and options

Module 2 - Monday 14 September 2020 and Tuesday 15 September 2020 - Portfolio Construction and Performance Review

  • understand the principles of Modern Portfolio Theory including Capital Asset Pricing Model
  • identify how portfolio construction can mitigate risk including the differences between systematic and non-systematic risk, correlation and Efficient Frontier
  • understand the characteristics of the main investment strategies
  • understand the difference between open ended and close ended funds including Hedge Funds, Exchange Traded Funds and Real Estate Investment Trusts
  • understand the concept of benchmarking
  • understand the characteristics of “non-main stream” investments such as CFDs
  • accurately calculate the Holding Period Return, Money Weighted Period Return, Time Weighted Period Return and identify when it would be appropriate to use each
  • understand the concept of Alpha
  • accurately calculate and interpret the main risk related returns, Sharpe Ratio and Information Ratio
  • analyse the performance of a portfolio and identify the cause of under or over performance

Module 3 - Tuesday 29 September 2020 - Consolidation and Revision

  • understand any remaining elements of the syllabus that were not covered in the previous two sessions
  • have identified any areas of potential weakness in their knowledge and had the opportunity to revise these
  • understand what examiners will be looking for to award high marks in candidates’ answers for the written AF4 examination.

Other information

Please note that these webinars will be run using Zoom technology and you may need to install relevant software onto your computer, tablet, etc in order to follow the webinars.

Full joining instructions will be sent to delegates ahead of the first session.

About our speaker
John has over 40 years’ experience in insurance and financial services. Not surprisingly most of his former employers no longer exist because of mergers and takeovers. For example he joined Leeds Permanent Building Society in 1986 and at retirement was working for Lloyds Banking Group even though he’d never changed employers! The last 15 years were spent in the training department specialising in professional exams.

Not wishing to spend retirement watching daytime TV he decided to become a freelance trainer specialising in helping people to pass the CII’s Financial Services exams.

John is a Chartered Insurance Practitioner and a Fellow of both the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Personal Finance Society.


CII Accredited

This demonstrates the quality of an event and that it meets CII member CPD scheme requirements.

6 hours' CPD can be claimed for this event if relevant to your learning and development needs.

It is recommended that you keep any evidence of the CPD activity you have completed and upload copies to the recording tool as the CII may ask to see this if your record is selected for review. Details of the scheme can be viewed online at