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Dip in FP - Kaplan, Pinnacle, RG146 or Integrity?

Discussion in 'Financial Planning Study Group' started by joed, 10th Jun, 2011.

  1. joed

    joed Member

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    Hi,
    I have been considering doing the Diploma in FS (Fin Planning), by distance education (as hve 2 young kids).
    I have been considering following providers : Kaplan, Pinnacle, RG146 (I heard Integrity being mentioned in the forum).

    Has anyone studied using any above provider, and how would you rate them?
    In terms of support and study material (how hard/ straight-forward to understand)?

    And approx. how much time is needed per module for the same? [I was interested in RG146 (rg146.edu.au), but their course length is only 10 months , compared to others giving 2 to 4 years for the same, so was bit concerned if that was enough time. I will be studying after a really long gap, have 2 young kids and am also looking to start part-time work soon]

    Would really appreciate any feedback.
    Thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 10th Jun, 2011
  2. aikodani

    aikodani Aikodani

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    Same Boat

    I'm having a baby in September, and I want to study DFS(FP) on-line before and after the birth as I'm not working at the moment.

    I'm weighing between Pinnacle and Kaplan at the moment.

    I know that pinnacle is cheaper than Kaplan but Kaplan is better known and has great resources available. Kaplan provide a larger variety of financial courses and the Diploma in Financial Services (Financial planning) can be completed within a five year period, or 60 hours per subject, 4 subjects. Also, it can be self paced so you can choose to finish it earlier or you can choose the trimester option. An optional workshop for each subject is available but not compulsory. Exam practice's can be done on the website and its all very easy to navigate. The site also allows you to download learning outcomes for each subject.

    so far I'm leaning towards kaplan, its not as expensive as university, but not as cheap as Tafe courses... all the information is readily available on the website. and SEEKlearning recommend them.

    I'm still looking into other RTO's at the moment and I'm interested in what people who have studied this course think about the different providers.
     
  3. joed

    joed Member

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    Thanks 4 your reply and info!

    I read in some thread about Kaplan course material being cumbersome?
    Since most of the people in this forum seem to be doing it with Kaplan, any thoughts from some of them about how easy Kaplan's course material is to understand? (For a person from a non-finance degree?)

    And is the 60 hrs reqd per subject for those from finance background only?
    Thks
     
  4. builder2818

    builder2818 Well-Known Member

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    It can seem a little cumbersome (Kaplan) but it really isn't too hard to grasp the concepts. Think about it as if you were seeking financial advice and what you would expect to find out from a financial planner and what knowledge they should know themselves.

    I came from a construction background and I used to work 50-60 hours a week, I am married and have a baby daughter. I started late September and I will be finished in about 2-3 weeks.

    I went overseas for 3 weeks at Christmas time and I had shoulder surgery in January and had to be in a sling (my writing hand) for 4 weeks. I think it comes down to how much you want to do this. I was super keen in the beginning and was knocking over a module in 6 weeks but I now work in the finance industry and it isn't financial planning and I really wouldn't like to be a planner anymore so I am finding this last subject a bore but I have paid for the course so I will finish it - will give me a better standing when applying for uni in a few months time (then the challenge will begin juggling the workload).
     
  5. aikodani

    aikodani Aikodani

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    60 hours

    The 60 hours is a recommendation to any student studying the course, the first exam sit for each subject is supposed to be done by or before six months. so in that case 60 hours / 6 months = 10 hours of study per month. Its just a study guideline for anybody taking the course. I will probably finish much earlier than six months for each subject. The best thing is its self paced and you can take the exam at any time as long as its before 6 months. Also, the assignment for each subject is meant to be completed within 4 months. This ensures you finish the diploma within the five year period. This applies to Kaplan only, I do not know how the other RTO's (such as Pinnacle) have their courses set out.
     
  6. joed

    joed Member

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    Hi builder2818,
    Thanks a lot 4 ur detailed reply. :)

    One question -If you have still not finished the diploma, and you came from a construction background, so how did you get into the finance industry?

    Do people consider taking you in when you have finished just 1 or 2 subjects? I haven't really seen any ads online where they specify a part diploma will be considered? So how do you find such opportunities?

    Thanks!
     
  7. joed

    joed Member

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    Govt funding

    Thanks for breaking it up so nicely:)

    I am now considering RG146 training Aust(Wish they had a better name!) as they consider I may be eligible for the VIC govt funding, which would drastically reduce my fees.
    Also, they don't charge for 1st resit of an exam or assignments. You only get charged on the 3rd attempt. (I think in Kaplan you've to pay for any resits of exam/assignments?)

    Being in a single income family, cost does matter for me.

    And also they have couple of students who won the ParaPlanner and student awards couple of yrs back, so I suppose their quality should also be good?

    Anyway, waiting for Kaplan to get back to me about any available gvt funding before I make final decision.
     
  8. aikodani

    aikodani Aikodani

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    SEEKlearning

    I spoke to somebody from seek learning and they told me I wont get any government fee help because the course is not expensive enough... oh and the prices of the kaplan courses are going to rise next month due to the new financial year. so pressures on to make a decision it seems.

    I might keep looking around for a better solution if that's the case.
     
  9. builder2818

    builder2818 Well-Known Member

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    I was in management in the construction industry but it wasn't for me....I love watching and trading financial markets and it has been a passion of mine for a number of years. So I thought what better way to work in a job in something you love? I chose FP originally because u don't need a degree in the industry but i find it very uninteresting - trying to sell products to clients you think is going to make them financially secure. I don't believe in 98% of the products advisers try to flog to people.

    The job I managed to get was a fluke I guess. I was sending cover letters and resumes to any job I thought I could do and in the end I got sick of writing the cover letters and would just randomnly send my resume to any job I saw and I just happened to get a call from one and had two interviews and got the job. Some people won't look at you without the diploma but this company I work for is massive and there are people who haven't got their RG146 yet and there are also people working along side me in the same position with finance degrees and commerce degrees.

    I find it funny that the people I speak to who have done the degrees don't know **** about the financial markets and yet just because they have the paper it immediately means people like us who want a start always come in second. I look at jobs for construction with starting salaries of $120k plus that I used to do and think how easy it is but if a person from the finance industry was looking at it - they'd be thinking "I don't know how to do any of that". Recruitment companies talk up the jobs too much.
     
  10. joed

    joed Member

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    VIC gvt funding

    Ok.
    I have more or less decided to go ahead with RG146 Trng as of now. from what I've read on their site, testimonials, students with awards,etc, they seem to be good as well. (And I've not heard anything negative on this forum so far). I've just sent in paperwork rgdng VIC gvt funding (it's only for those in VIC, and only form VIC based RTOs), so let's see when it gets approved.

    All the best while u make your decision.:)
     
  11. joed

    joed Member

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    Thanks for your honest reply:)
    I too am quite interested in the financial markets, and hence decided to go into financial planning .
    From what I've read a bit on this forum, I'm not too sure if I really want to be a financial planner now(bcoz of the sales aspect). I'm considering more of a technical role like a para-planner or get into fund mgmt, etc . It depends on how I find this course, and the opportunities that I come across after that !:)

    If I may ask, now that u r no longer interested in FP, what area are u considering?
     
  12. builder2818

    builder2818 Well-Known Member

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    An analyst or fund management role. FP is a useless career (was going to say profession but it's far from that). 98% of the advisers I have to deal with at work are hopeless - can't set up their clients accounts properly - making blatant mistakes and I have never heard a client say a good thing about their advisers. Their lackies are just as bad. They phone up and ask for info on their clients accounts and the stupid lackies don't even know who the advisers name on the accounts are that they're enquiring about.

    I consider a good adviser someone who can swindle the most money out of people - like Storm Financial. But I find it most amusing that they are trying to bring in big reforms to the industry. I believe FP will be a dying industry - people these days are more investment savvy. Why would someone with a couple of 100k want to listen to some Wally in a silly bank tie earning $50k a year on how to manage their money?

    you have a company like AMP recruiting massively for people to join their Horizons program. You spend 3 months learning crap so you are well equipped to hit the phones all day cold calling people hassling them about possibly investing with them or rolling over their super to AMP.

    Unfortunately for the FP, their silly cash flow projections do not work. More the fool for the people who get suckered in to their lies.
     
  13. Tee

    Tee Member

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    Hi Joed,

    I'm not in the FP industry yet however I'm hoping to get into it soon.

    I know you have been looking around the forum and are a bit turned off at the sale side of it, but I just wanted to say to take everyone's advice but you really won't know exactly what happens until you get there.

    It's not all about selling. My PILs have seen an advisor and they said he didn't try to sell them a single thing. Yes, he mentioned products, but at no time did they feel pressured to buy anything. Different jobs will be different, some will be hardcore on selling, others wont. But again, this is just my take and from what I've heard.

    Similarly, I can tell you lots I don't like about accounting (my current job), tell you not to go into it, but at the same time the person next to me might tell you how wonderful it is.

    Just some food for thought :)
     
  14. aikodani

    aikodani Aikodani

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    Integrity

    I've been looking at lots of different RTO's, so far Integrity is the best one for pricing. They do not charge re-submit fees or an extra fee for the skills assessment.

    Also, Has anybody heard of AAMC (Australasian Academy of Mentoring and Coaching) They offer package deals, but I'm not sure about any hidden costs. Through them: *Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning) FNS50804 (DFS 1) = $997.00. That seems pretty cheap compared to other RTO's offering the same course.
     
  15. joed

    joed Member

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    Thanks for that , tee:) You're right about diff jobs will be diff. And I guess with the current push to take away trail commissions, and instead just pay fee for service, the hard core push on prods may come down.

    Anyway, I'll go ahead with the diploma, and then see what opportunities come my way, and what direction I'll go in later.
     
  16. joed

    joed Member

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    Hi Aikodani,
    1 thing to consider with AAMC-
    Is it the whole diploma $997, or just DFS1? (As the full diploma actually consists of 4 subjects)?

    Integrity seems to be cheaper (did u chk pinnacle?). But with Gvt funding, rg146.edu.au works out better.

    Also, rg146.edu also don't charge extra for the skills assessment, or resubmit fees for the 1st time. (i.e no charge for 2 attempts at all assessments, unlike most of the others)
    And 1 more thing, if you join full diploma, they also provide 1 year Free profsnl dev subscpn & Free Assocn membshp (something 2 consider if u were interested in those xtra stuff?)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 17th Jun, 2011
  17. aikodani

    aikodani Aikodani

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    Your right The AAMC course is only DFS 1, so really, its not very cheap.

    As for integrity, they too offer some cool stuff if you enrol in the full diploma, eg training in financial planning software. they don't have skills assessment fees or resubmit fees, and they also offer the government funding guarantee. If I'm not able to get that I can choose to enrol in each subject separately. Its only $450 per module. So I'm thinking I'll go with them. that's a little cheaper than RG146 if i do it that way.

    I didn't like pinnacle much because they don't offer any extra courses apart from the financial planning diploma and advanced diploma. And I think they are more expensive than integrity overall.

    For now though, I've decided to start my study after my baby is born, this way I can figure out if I'll have enough time for it. This post has been great for helping me make a decision. :)
     
  18. joed

    joed Member

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    Hi aikodani,
    Glad you found this post helpful :)

    But me having had 2 kids, I would think that it may be better to start your study Before the bub is born. And prob finish 1 or 2 subjects before you start a diff phase in ur life?
    Unless of course you are working at the moment and don't have much time for study at the moment.

    Just some food for thought from a mum with 2 kids! :)
     
  19. AsxBroker

    AsxBroker Well-Known Member

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    Hi Joed,

    It'll be interesting to see how the commission rebate places handle the end of trail commissions.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  20. joed

    joed Member

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    Joined RG146 Trng Aus

    My Vic Gvt funding got approved. I've now enrolled with RG146 trng Aus for my Diploma. Waiting to receive my course material and get started :)

    Thaks to all of you who have contributed to this thread!
    Has been quite informative. Quite glad I found this forum:)