Friday, October 12, 2012

What Kind of Questions Are on the Series 65 or Series 66?

Are you comfortable with a question like this?

The definition of "expected return" would relate to which of the following?
A. Sharpe ratio
C. Beta
D. Term life insurance

Okay, step one--what kind of return does one expect from a life insurance policy that has NO CASH VALUE?
None--eliminate Answer Choice D just because it's kind of smart alecky and sticks out like a sore thumb. Okay, Beta doesn't really try to predict, and isn't a "return" measurement. It just tracks the movement of one part of the index with the overall index--is MSFT more volatile or less volatile than the overall index it belongs to? About even, as it turns out, which is not the point--the point is, eliminate Answer Choice C. Excellent, now you're sitting 50-50. Unfortunately, this is where many of my tutoring clients blow it. They're tired now, cranky. They don't LIKE the Series 65 or Series 66. Uh-huh. I didn't like reading all the new crap from Dodd-Frank, but it seemed to be part of my job description, so let's stop wasting time here and get the job done. What is the Sharpe ratio? It's a risk-ADJUSTED return measurement. It measures the return that's already happened, adjusting it for the risk encountered. It can't possibly be predicting an EXPECTED return, right? So, even if you can't recall the definition of  CAPM (which is kind of lame, actually, but who cares), you simply eliminate Answer Choice A, and you win. CAPM measures expected return in a very interesting way--google the formula for extra credit. Need Series 65 Questions? Series 66?

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