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Why the CSC?

Sometimes it is difficult to know what questions to ask about the Canadian Securities Course (CSC). To assist you in understanding why two generations of financial services professionals, investors and others have relied on the CSC to provide new career opportunities or just make them better investors, we invite you to take the test.

This test consists of 14 questions.

Q1.  The Canadian Securities Course is recognized as:

  1. a)  A requirement for employment for many jobs within the financial services industry
  2. b)  One of the best ways to get a ‘leg up’ for that coveted job in the financial
             services industry
  3. c)  A foundation course of the Canadian financial services industry
  4. d)  All of the above

Correct answer is d) All of the above.

Over two generations of financial services professionals have used the Canadian Securities Course as a basis for their careers. From its beginnings as a training program for securities industry professionals, the reputation of the Canadian Securities Course has expanded to the banking and mutual funds industries. Today, it is a pre-requisite for many jobs within the industry. Employers frequently use completion of the CSC as a filter when interviewing or selecting prospective employees. New immigrants looking to enter or continue their careers in the financial services industry use the course as a way to build credibility with Canadian financial services employers.

Q2.  What type of career can the CSC lead to?

  1. a)  Investment advisor
  2. b)  Financial Planner
  3. c)  Compliance officer
  4. d)  All of the above

The answer is d) All of the above.

Completion of the CSC is often the first step in pursuit of a variety of financial services careers including those in client facing (front office) roles like investment advisors and financial planners, middle office roles such as those in compliance and risk management and back office roles such as those found in operations departments. In total the financial services industry employs approximately 647,000 people across Canada. You can find out more about the CSC and career paths on our website.

3.  What knowledge will I gain from the CSC?

  1. a)  Learn about the financial services industry, regulatory and market landscape
  2. b)  Learn about the features, benefits and risks of a variety of investment products
  3. c)  Learn about top-down and bottom-up approaches to analyzing stocks and bonds
  4. d)  All of the above

The answer is d) All of the above.

The CSC encompasses some 150 hours of learning providing a comprehensive understanding of the structure and players in the financial services industry, the features, benefits and risks of a vast array of investment products, the two main approaches to analyzing investment securities and techniques and approaches to understanding client needs and setting financial goals. In addition to all that, the CSC will help you to understand industry jargon (top-down and bottom-up analysis) astounding your friends and family.

4.  Of the following age groups which has the greatest percentage of enrolments in the CSC?

  1. a)  Under 25 years
  2. b)  25 to 34 years
  3. c)  45 to 59 years
  4. d)  Over 60

The answer is b) 25 to 34 years of age.

The actual breakdown is as follows:

Age 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-59 60-75
Percentage 14% 39% 25% 20% 2%

it’s almost a 50/50 split between under the age of 35 and over the age of 35. Many CSC takers are experienced employees who either are already working within the financial services industry and looking to enhance their career opportunities or are experienced in another industry and are looking for new careers in the financial services sector. In addition, professionals outside the industry, such as journalists, police officers and consultants, find the CSC provides valuable insight into the industry. Finally, in these challenging economic times the CSC will give investors valuable information to help them ask the right questions of their advisors or make their own investment decisions.

5.  Provide the answers to these math equations and yes you can use a calculator:

Step 1:  (100 - 98) ÷ 98 = a
Step 2:  365 ÷ 90 = b
Step 3:  a x b x 100 = c

  1. a)  c = 8.27
  2. b)  c = 8.0027
  3. c)  c = .06
  4. d)  c = 2.04

The answer is a) 8.27.

If you got the right answer - you just calculated the rate of return on a 90 Day Treasury-Bill (T-Bill) purchased at $98 and worth $100 on maturity. Here how it’s done:

Step 1:  percent discount on the purchase price: (100 – 98) ÷ 98 = 0.0204.
Step 2:  restates the 90 day investment in terms of a year: 365 ÷ 90 = 4.0556.
Step 3:  puts it all together by multiplying the amounts and stating it as a percentage: 0.0204 × 4.0556 × 100 = 8.27%

The CSC is not a math course. Yes some math is required but at a level that you would encounter in high school. Even if your math skills are rusty all you really need is a comfort level with the basic math functions of multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. Furthermore, you are encouraged to use a financial calculator both in your studies and in your exam. If calculators scare you, we have developed an e-tutorial that gives step-by-step instructions so that you are an expert in no time.

6.  In order to sell mutual funds in Canada, you must have:

  1. a)  Graduated from a post secondary institution
  2. b)  Worked in a financial institution for two years
  3. c)  Completed a licensing exam such as the CSC or IFC
  4. d)  Anybody can sell mutual funds

The answer is c) Completed a licensing exam such as the CSC or IFC.

For many entry jobs in the financial services industry you will be expected to offer mutual funds to your customers in order to assist them in reaching their financial goals. In Canada there are approximately 90,000 persons registered to sell mutual funds. In order to sell mutual funds in Canada you are required to pass a qualifying exam such as the Canadian Securities Course or the Investment Funds in Canada course and be employed or sponsored by the mutual funds company.

Mutual funds are sold by approximately 150 firms in Canada, such as the chartered banks, credit unions, mutual funds companies, brokers or investment advisors, independent financial planners and advisors. Many of the leading financial services company brand names have mutual funds as part of their products offerings. Names such as: Royal Bank of Canada, Dundee Management, TD Waterhouse, Investors Group, etc.

7.  To get a job as an Investment Advisor and sell securities for your clients, you must have:

  1. a)  A Masters degree in commerce or finance
  2. b)  Work for a bank
  3. c)  Apprentice with a broker
  4. d)  Have successfully passed the Canadian Securities Course

The answer is d) Have successfully passed the Canadian Securities Course.

In addition to the CSC, you will need to complete the Conduct and Practices Handbook Course. Investment Advisors generally have a university or college degree or diploma. Other qualifications for the position are an ability to network and work with clients to establish a trusting relationship. In Canada, there are approximately 21,000 who have jobs where they are approved to trade and advise clients in securities . All of them have taken the CSC.

As of March 2009, there are 217 firms licensed to trade in securities in Canada. These firms range in size from small boutique firms to national brands such as TD Waterhouse, CIBC Wood Gundy, Scotia MacLeod, RBC Dominion Securities, BMO Nesbitt Burns, Edward Jones and others

8.  What are the job prospects from now to 2015 for the financial services industry?

  1. a)  0% growth
  2. b)  Annualized growth of 0.5% to 1%
  3. c)  Negative growth
  4. d)  Annualized growth of 3%

The correct answer is b) Annualized growth of 0.5% to 1%.

The Government of Canada Human Resources and Skills Development branch estimates that growth in the financial services industry will be approximately 0.7% annually to 2015. While this prediction predates the current economic situation, we believe that once the economy is back on track the fundamentals for growth remain unchanged. The study identified that growth will be fuelled in part by the financial services needs of an aging population. The shift to servicing the investing needs of this huge segment of the population who are beginning their retirement years will require the financial services professional to have higher levels of investing and financial planning expertise and knowledge. Skills learned initially in the CSC.

9.  In a company that has gone bankrupt or is shutting down, who is the first group of stakeholders to get paid when any remaining company assets are distributed?

  1. a)  Holder of mortgage on company property
  2. b)  Preferred shareholders
  3. c)  Common shareholders
  4. d)  Company debenture holders

The correct answer is a) Holder of mortgage on company property.

After paying the mortgagors from the remaining funds, the company would pay debenture holders, preferred and only then common shareholders. As an investing professional or as an investor you need to be aware of the risk of each security and invest according to your client’s or your risk tolerance. The Canadian Securities Course covers each of these investment vehicles in depth in terms of risk, volatility and expected returns.

10.  People who successfully complete the Canadian Securities Course are:

  1. a)  B. Comm., BBA or MBA graduates
  2. b)  High School Graduates
  3. c)  Liberal Arts and Science Graduates
  4. d)  All of the above

The correct answer is d) All of the above.

Graduates of the CSC come from a wide range of educational backgrounds. The course is designed at the reading level used by many of the major newspapers. You don’t have to be a business or commerce major either. Surveys of our graduates indicate that only 20% of CSI students have majored in commerce or business either at the undergraduate or post graduate level. Approximately 25% have high school and some college education. Another 32% have some university or are graduates with a bachelor levels degree in subjects such as liberal arts and social sciences.

11.  Over the past few months the Bank of Canada has lowered the banking rate in order to achieve which of the following?

  1. a)  To lower the inflation rate
  2. b)  To boost economic growth
  3. c)  To increase the value of the Canadian dollar in foreign exchange markets
  4. d)  All of the above

The correct answer is b) To boost economic growth.

The Bank of Canada lends to commercial banks so that they can lend to corporations and consumers. By providing cheap money, corporations and consumers will be encouraged to spend on goods and services thus creating capital investments and employment.

At a time of low Bank of Canada lending rates, as a financial services professional you would likely advise your clients to put their money in short term investments. As the economy begins to recover, this would be a signal to invest in long term investments such as stock and bonds.

12.  What is the key to successfully completing the CSC?

  1. a)  Setting a study time table and sticking to it
  2. b)  Doing the online activities found in the online modules
  3. c)  Contributing questions and answers to the discussion boards
  4. d)  All of the above

The correct answer is d) All of the above.

The CSC is designed to enrich and support your learning experience. In addition to the textbook, either PDF or hard copy, there are online lessons which are designed to guide your learning. Each lesson identifies key concepts to assist you in focusing your reading of the text, as well as, online activities which will help you to learn and apply the key concepts. In addition, many lessons contain discussion boards which provide an opportunity to ask our academic advisors questions about the content or for you to learn from your fellow students by seeing the questions they have about the course content. Our academic advisors can be contacted either through the discussion boards or via email. Their commitment to you is an answer within 1 business day.

13.  What are some of the benefits of distance learning with CSI?

  1. a)  Flexibility to study at your own pace
  2. b)  Access to exam sittings
  3. c)  You can start your program today
  4. d)  All of the above

The correct answer is d) All of the above.

You can enroll today and have access to your online materials generally within the hour. How fast you cover the course material is then up to you. Exam sittings are offered in 65 exam centres across Canada and 10 centres around the world in places such as: New York City, London, Hong Kong, Seoul, and locations throughout the Caribbean. In any one month there are approximately 300 exam sittings globally. For those living outside of our regular exam centres or requiring special consideration due to learning or physical challenges, we will work with you to find a time and place most appropriate. CSI has arranged for special exam sittings on all continents and in countries such as India, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay, South Africa and France.

14.  Length of time to complete the course will depend on the following:

  1. a)  Your current understanding of the material based on your educational background,
             work experience and/or interests
  2. b)  Time required to read the textbook at a level to understand and to be able to apply
             the concepts
  3. c)  Completion of the online activities and review of discussion boards, frequently asked
             questions, etc.
  4. d)  All of the above

The correct answer is d) All of the above.

Based on these factors, we estimate that the course is 130 to 190 hours of study. To assist you in managing your time we have broken the course into 23 lessons and two exams. In looking at completion rates we find that the median time to complete the course is comparable to two semesters of a post secondary course or 6 months. Based on this we suggest that you should complete a lesson a week.

We also understand that a lesson a week may not always be possible. Your enrolment period is one year with the option of extending your course for another year provided you have not exceeded the maximum exam attempts.

We hope that the questions in this test have answered most of your questions about the Canadian Securities Course (CSC).

Enrol in the CSC today and take the next step towards earning this coveted credential.

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