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Why Take The Canadian Securities Course CSC Exams?


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As we all know, the best way to prove your brain is really good at thinking is to add as many letters behind your name as possible.

Who knew that saying, “I read a lot of books and periodicals about financial stuff… seriously, here’s an Instagram shot of my bookshelf,” wouldn’t be enough to establish my bonafides in the eyes of certain readers? Apparently I need a little more gravitas, and as we all know, the best way to prove your brain is really good at thinking is to add as many letters behind your name as possible. I’ve already got a bunch of letters from ivory towers (and working on three more that will come with my Masters of Education degree), but that doesn’t really do a whole lot for convincing you guys that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to stuff like buying ETFs using a discount brokerage, mutual funds, robo advisors, stock valuations, or pretty much anything else that might be relevant to most people. Consequently, I’m thinking about trying on the Canadian Securities Course (CSC) for size. Back to School I was talking to Dan Bortolotti of Canadian Couch Potato and Moneysense fame a couple of weeks ago and he mentioned that as part of the new fee-only service he’s a part of, he was taking the CSC course. From what he was saying, and from what I’ve ready online, it sounds like that course is the main obstacle to being able to recommend specific securities to specific people. In other words (and again, this is only from what I could grasp online today – they don’t make it easy to understand btw!) as of right now it is actually against the law for me to answer an email and say, “I think this specific security is right for your portfolio.” Passing the CSC and then possibly one or two other short courses that depend on my province of residence would allow me to answer this question BUT NOT trade on their behalf or anything like that. It also isn’t nearly as prestigious as the CFP and/or CFA designations, but I’m not looking to challenge MBA students for jobs at Investors Group here, so I think this course might actually fit my goals. Related: MMFBT 010 – Dan Bortolotti “The Canadian Couch Potato” Why Would I Take the CSC if I’m Not in the Financial Services Industry? If you’re asking yourself, “Why does this guy want to burn another $1,000 on the altar of more letters behind his name?” then you certainly wouldn’t be the only one. Beyond giving our blogs a little bit of a credibility – something I thought publishing a book with a beer on the cover might do – the CSC might be a nice feather in my cap going forward for a few reasons. First and foremost, it’s never a bad thing to get smarter – especially when you’re writing a blog where you purport to try and help other people. The course might be a cool way to come up with some post ideas I hadn’t thought of before. It would also serve as a nice tool to help me on my quest for a personal finance curriculum in Manitoba – and possibly across the prairie provinces. Having someone that could credibly say they understand the investing world and that can speak both of the incredibly ridiculous and weird sets of terminology associated with finance and education, should be a real asset. More and more I’m coming around to the idea that this might be my real calling the world of education… or it might be writing books about beer consumption, I could go either way. Related: What Do Teachers Know about Financial Literacy? Finally, it might also help me if I decide to do some small-scale investment advice on the side. While I would obviously have to get a CFP designation and give up teaching if I were to pursue that idea full time (something I can’t see at the moment), I believe – and please correct me if I’m wrong in the comments – that the CSC designation and then a couple of subsequent licensing exams would allow me to recommend certain securities and the essential basics of financial advice. I would never pretend to believe that I should give some advice about estate planning/will writing, accounting, small business tax strategies, or any of the more complicated stuff that CFPs are charged with knowing – but I think I could provide a substantial value in a rural environment where financial professionals are thin on the ground, and not cost effective for many people. That’s a little down the road though.

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