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Investment Planning (AF4)

The objective of Investment Planning (AF4) is to develop in depth financial planning skills related to investments and the management of investment portfolios. 

The default Enrolment option for this unit includes:

  • Latest version of the core learning content, in digital format only.
  • Additional revision aids.
  • Assessment entry.

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For Investment Planning, the qualities that mean you are effective with clients are many and varied. Knowledge, the ability to express yourself clearly and people skills are all equally important. 

In the exam it is your technical knowledge of investment planning and its focused application to practical situations that counts. You therefore need excellent technical knowledge, strong analytical skills, the ability to write clearly and concisely, and you must be able to perform within a tight timescale. As the application of knowledge is so crucial, it is considered that the case study approach to learning is highly appropriate in preparing for the Advanced Diploma. For each case study in this workbook a full model answer with learning points is provided.  

The examination requires candidates to demonstrate that they are capable of advising clients whose overall levels of income and capital require a more sophisticated range of advice than is normally prepared by a Diploma/Certificate level adviser.  

Building a successful career in personal finance 

Investment Planning (AF4) builds on existing knowledge enabling advisers to develop specialist planning capabilities and offer a sophisticated and comprehensive approach to financial management. 

Please note: It is assumed that the candidate already has the knowledge gained from a study of unit R02 Investment principles and risk or equivalent and/or J10 Discretionary investment management. 

Summary of learning outcomes 

At the end of this unit, candidates will be able to evaluate the complex needs of clients and recommend appropriate solutions based upon detailed understanding and analysis of the: 

  1. Economic environment and its impact on investment performance and investment decision making;
  2. Features, risks and returns of direct financial investments
  3. Features, risks and returns of collective investment products, including alternative investments
  4. Individual company performance and company accounts
  5. Types and measurement of risk and returns
  6. Main principles governing how to construct an investment portfolio, investment styles and the management of risk and return
  7. Range of portfolio management services.


  • 3-hour exam
  • Case study based with 3 compulsory questions
  • 55% nominal pass mark
  • The 2021 pass rate for this unit was 50%

Study material - editions available

Applicable to exam sittings within a 12-month enrolment period. 

Revision aids available

The revision aids available for this unit are listed below. You can find more details about these here.

  • Audio Revision

Note for purchasing revision aids: please make sure you do not already have the revision aid(s) as part of any Enrolment plus purchase.