FIAT Exam

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vinnyrinaldi's picture
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Joined: 2011-04-26

Everyone has mentioned a few brief notions in regards to the FIAT exam.  Most of the posts were from a few years back so I wanted to check in and get the point of view from someone who has recently taken the test (2010 or 2011). Not that I am worried, but just want to prepare and brush up basic math skills.  Have the test n Friday at Merrill Lynch and I am looking to make a career change into a FA position. Any thoughts/insights would be greatly appreciated!

amancu33's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-05

Just came across your post.  Did you end up taking the exam?  I have one scheduled for next week.  Not really worried about it either but any insights to the content of the test would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks. 

mx597turbo's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-22

I took the exam a couple weeks back and it is extremely easy. 30 questions: 10 basic math, 10 basic finance, 10 economics. No calculator. It took me less than 30 minutes. I scored 29/30.

amancu33's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-05

Nice.  Thanks for the info.  Did you receive or accept an offer yet?

mx597turbo's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-22

Nope, didn't get hired by ML. My advice if you really want to job is to point out you have a HNW network.I was told straight out that I didn't have the right kind of network to be successful at ML. Not being negative, or putting the place down. Just telling it like it is.

thanasi's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-12

I'm scheduled to take the exam on monday, can you explain in some more detail what would be wise to refresh on as far as financial and mathematic knowledge goes?Thank you,Tommy

amancu33's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-05

Just took the test today and passed.  Not sure what I scored but doesn't really matter at this point.  On to the personality test.  It wasn't that it was hard but I kept second guessing myself as it has been a while since I have done math without a calculator.  I can tell you to brush up on adding and multiplying fractions and mixed fractions.  Also you need to know how to add, multiply, and divide decimals.  There were also questions on the effects of inflation and some government policy questions.  There was actually a FIFO/LIFO question on the test which suprised me.  Brought me back to my college accounting classes.  All in all not difficult.  I didn't know the exact answer to some of the questions but took educated guesses and it worked out alright.  Took me about 40 minutes to take.  It was a little un-nerving going into a test not knowing the material it covered but you only need to score 17 out of 30 to pass so it's wasn't that bad.  Hope this helps. 

thanasi's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-12

Thank you so much, I really appreciate you taking the time to post your experience.Tommy

Duke00's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-28

Hello,I am taking the FIAT test this upcoming week and am curious about the economic and finance portions of the test. I haven't taken any economics classes in five years. Does anyone know what government policies are on the test? What kind of questions were on the finance portion? Thanks.

Lionheart's picture
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Joined: 2009-08-08

I just took the test this afternoon. Definitely brush up on decimals and fractions. I think that I did pretty well, but I can't be sure until I get the phone call. Multiplying and dividing fractions, percentages, and decimal/fraction conversions). 

Duke00's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-28

I just took the test this afternoon as well and was told I passed before I left. Honestly, I made several educated guesses on the econ section and wasn't too sure if I even passed. I did though, I'm sure you did just fine is you think you did well. Good luck man! Let's keep in touch

Lionheart's picture
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Joined: 2009-08-08

Sounds good. I had an interview with Waddell & Reed this afternoon and they showed me my scores on their Insurance, 7, and 66 compentency tests and the lowest score was 92%. I don't imagine that I aced W&R and bombed ML's. 

Duke00's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-28

What did you think of W&R? I took their aptitude tests, which I thought were a lot easier, then went in for an interview. The guy I interviewed with didn't seem very interested in getting to know me and mostly talked about what I would do, and why he is good at what he does. It was really cheesy and I never went back. ML is much more structured... at least the office I went to.

Lionheart's picture
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Joined: 2009-08-08

I had a very good experience at W&R. There is definitely less structure than ML, and there is a distinct difference in professionalism as evident by the decor, the receptionist, and of course the office attire. The training that W&R presented seemed like preschool compared to what ML offers, and even though I knew that I would have to pay for my own licenses and testing, I didn't realize that they outsourced it. My natural market does not consist of very many HNW individuals, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear that W&R did not have a $100k or $250k requirement like ML, but there is also ZERO salary. I've been straight commission since 2004 so that doesn't really bother me, but I thought that most of these companies paid a salary while they trained you. I guess that's the difference, W&R doesn't really train you. I was also asked a couple of strange questions about how much time I would be willing to dedicate to the job, and what other jobs I planned to have, or businesses I planned to run while working there. I guess that this is a part-time gig for some? Not at all what I expected. He mentioned that one of the non-performing 1st year guys does not work Mondays or Fridays. I was pretty shocked when he told me that. Is this a job or a hobby?I haven't ruled them out completely, but I don't think that is where I want to be. I knew that I want to see what other companies have to offer so I returned a call to Mutual of Omaha, and sent feelers to Mass Mutual and Edward Jones this evening. I interviewed at NWM a couple of years ago so I am aware of the training and benefits packages that are out there.  This is where I want to be, and I just need to find the right fit. Keep me posted on your progress as well. 

Duke00's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-28

I was also surprised that W&R doesn't pay for licensing. I wasn't told very much about what the other advisors in the office each day, but it sounds like it management doesn't care unless you don't make the numbers. I've completely ruled our W&R and am still interviewing at ML. I took the personality exam last week and had a 1:1 interview with the resident director yesterday. Apparently I bombed the test in pretty much all areas but he said he sees something much different than what the results told him. I kept getting important phone calls while I was taking the test and I think that may be a big reason why. I had two 1:1 interviews today with the sales manager and another FA. They both told me that they will suggest I'm hired. The resident director said he was impressed I presented them with my business plan when I took the FIAT test and was then instructed to listen to audio clips his assistant sent to me. He told me to make revisions to my business plan if I feel it is necessary or I can hand in the original again. I'm not too if it is a test to see if I'll do what he asks or if I'll stand by what I've done so far, but I decided I'll make revisions.How's the process going so far for you?

Lionheart's picture
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Joined: 2009-08-08

I had my rotational interviews last week. I am meeting with the branch manager this week. The training class starts on July 5th. I don't know what else I need to do after that but I am hoping to be a part of that July 5th class. I'll keep you posted.

FP's picture
FP
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Joined: 2011-06-08

Something I have not seen mentioned other places is that the FIAT is NOT a timed test.  This gives candidates the opportunity to double check their work.

Lionheart's picture
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Joined: 2009-08-08

I had my rotational interviews with Merrill last week on Wednesday. I called Friday and they informed me that their next training class started July 5th. The person that I spoke with also told me that I should/would interview with the branch manager this week. I didn't hear anything so I called back today. It seems that the branch manager has been in New York. She's back but her schedule is full for the next 2 weeks. They offered me an interview July 7th to meet the branch manager, and to discuss my business plan. That of course means that I miss the July 5th start date and instead would have to wait until August to start.I suppose that with her next 2 weeks booked, and then the last week of the month spent gearing up for the July 5th group, the July 7th interview date makes sense. However, what would you take away from this? Did I do something wrong that my interview got pushed back almost a full month? What do you think?

Lionheart's picture
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Joined: 2009-08-08

Hey Duke, did they tell you anything about the benefits, such as when they start. Is it 30, 60, or 90 days after training begins?

Duke00's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-28

That's a good question... I didn't ask. I would assume 90 days at least, but I really don't know. I doubt you did anything wrong necessarily. I bet the branch manager has a lot of appicants to deal with, has to go to NY and still keep the branch running smoothly. It is strange though that it was pushed back like it was and that you will miss the July 5th class. If I were you, I'd find branch's page on the ML site and e-mail the branch manager directly and ask if there is anything you can work out together to increase your chances of making it into the class. I think it'll show that you really care. On my end, things are going extremely fast... I had two more interviews yesterday back to back with one of the top performing FAs and the sales manager. One said he will tell the director I should be hired and the other said he likes what he sees and to expect to hear back very soon. And that I did.I stayed up all night last night writing my new business plan and finished around 6:30a. I was heading over to Kinkos around 11:00a to have it professionally printed and received an e-mail on my way from the woman who manages the PMDP asking me to come in asap because they are on a time crunch and need to finalize their hiring list by Friday.I took four copies of my updated business plan to the office this afternoon and gave them to each person I interviewed with and sent them all e-mails this evening to follow up. So, I interviewed with her and she said I will hear by Friday if I will receieve an offer. She knows I have an interview with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney on Friday morning but I told her I will stop interviewing there if the offer is right. I would just be very persistent with the branch manager and show them this is what you really want. That's what I have done and it has seemed to work so far.

Lionheart's picture
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Joined: 2009-08-08

Did they give you advice on your business plan? Did they suggest revisions? I made a business plan based on what I read here and I gave it to them at my rotational interview. They were very impressed. However, I was told that my interview with the BM would involve going over my business plan, and I was wondering if I should make any changes. 

Duke00's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-28

My process has been different for me. I first met with the resident director of the office who is esentially the branch manager. The office I am trying to work in is really big though and has a lot of employees. He said he was impressed that I had a business plan and wondered how I knew I needed to do one. He told me to listen to some audio clips from a former ML employee named David Mullen and then go back over my business plan and decide if I need to make any changes/add things.I took it in the way that I need to do something different and that there were some key parts missing. I completely changed the lay out of the entire business plan but kept my mission statement, and my two year financial goals at the end the same. There isn't a predetermined format for how any business is to look, just suggestions. I followed David Mullen's discussion topics of how to build a million dollar practice, changed the names, and elaborated on what he talked about and how I will execute my plans. My format is: mission statementwhy me?natural marketniche markets and tacticsgoals and numbersmonitoring performancegetting the appointmentshandling rejection (this is an important part)the appointmentturning prospects into clientstwo year financial goalsdaily routineI even made a title page with a Malcolm Gladwell quote I like and then inserted the ML Bull logo at the bottom. I printed five copies on thicker paper and put them into plastic book sleeves at Kinkos. I printed five because I went back to each person that interviewed me and gave them a copy. I figure it can't hurt.

Lionheart's picture
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Joined: 2009-08-08

Where did you find these David Mullen audio clips? 

Duke00's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-28

It was a secured link they sent me. His name is David Mullen and this is the site his material is on:http://www.learntactix.com/His book: http://www.amazon.com/Million-Dollar-Financial-Services-Practice-Becoming/dp/0814480527 

thanasi's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-12

I took the FIAT on a Monday, they told me I had passed after about 5-10 minutes and I had 3 interviews after that. Economics questions had to do with fiscal and monetary policy as well as inflation and such. Finance was simple percentage gains and stock purchase calculations and math was fractions and decimals.My interviews were with a PMD coach, one with the region office director and one with a successful FA in the office.. the last one told me that I was going to get an offer but that he wasn't supposed to tell me, then I left.I got the personality test via email within an hour and took it later in the day, I got a call while I was taking the personality test asking me to come back the next day (Tuesday), they didn't specify why.The next day I walked in and shook the regional office director's hand as he congratulated me and then I completed about 10 minutes worth of paper work and  they told me I would recieve the official offer with details via email.Got it about a week later and declined.BTW I never had an official business plan nor was I asked for one, all I had was an outline of where and who I would prospect and a few goals which I only used as a reference to speak on (they never saw it). I also brought a list of questions for them, half the questions posted on here should be either asked during the interviews or told to you.

bmadd's picture
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Joined: 2011-06-17

Just took it this past week.  A little harder than I had expected but not overwhelming. 30 multiple choice; online; scratch paper and pencil only; no calculator; no option to go back and review your answers.  Once you advanced the screen to the next question, you could not go back.Sample question:  if the current CPI is 2.62 and it rises x% this year and y% next year, what is the final CPI.Sample question:  what is the decimal equivalent of 1 millionth Sample question:  50 shares of a stock are bought at $x/share and 50 more shares at $y/share.  Then all shares are sold for $3,250.  What was the rate of return?Sample question:  If Joe Broker earned 3x as much in the fourth week of the month as he did in the other three, what fraction did he earn in the fourth week:  3/4; 3/7; 4/7; 5/7.Sample question:  equal shares of stock were bought at $a, $b, $c, and $d.  What would the next purchase need to be so the average cost per share was $x.Monetary and fiscal policy (what causes expansion vs contraction) were economics.  If I had it to do over again, I would have found my sixth grader's worksheets and practiced long-division using decimals.  No joke.  It is the simple things that twist you up.

FADavo's picture
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Joined: 2011-06-27

bmadd wrote: 

Amber_M's picture
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Joined: 2011-12-26

You have to take a test to own the new Abarth?

sam558's picture
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Joined: 2012-10-25

it's important to know ISDN basics not only for your particular exam, but for job success.ISDN is used between two Cisco routers that have BRI or PRI interfaces.

http://www.testluck.com/199-01.php

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