AM Strategies

Haven’t seen a thread on on strategies for the AM session so I thought I’d start one.

Any thoughts?

don’t spend forever calculating the return requirement, it is not as many points as you think. Do your best at one quick shot and move on. You can really blow alot of time trying to get that calculation just right.

Be succinct in your answers, say the bare minimum but include buzz words. READ CAREFULLY… do not miss a question by reading too fast, or misinterpret one. Most importantly do all 3 past years mornings in a timed environment at a BARE MINIMUM to become proficient, if you don’t you will fail.

  1. Keywords

  2. Show your work / reasoning. Write out the key formulas you are using.

  3. Start with your strongest arguments / points you are most sure of

  4. Clearly label your answers / work. If doing a multiple step problem, number the steps.

  5. Just speculating here: Individual / Institution IPS will probably be 1/3 - 1/2 the test. Definately will be some simple portfolio calculation questions (think corner portfolios, rebalancing portfolio with futures, etc). I also think the morning is where they will test attribution and trading cost questions. Maybe GIPs, but I think that will probably be an afternoon item set. 1/3 of the test will be random & off the wall.

  6. Nail the afternoon session

What about strategies for reading thru the case? How to minimize time while capturing the important stuff?

Also when it says, show calculations, do you also write out the formula?


I am thinking to start paper backwards.

After taking these actual AM sessions, I have realized the first two ques (generally IPS ones) take the longest time…even after writing it there is no clearity whether you have rightly discerned Risk tolerance etc (seriously all other constraints including return objective are still seems to be objectively understood just except this risk objective).

Last few questions are short ones, more of templates based, more chances of giving you max. credits. If you have completed your course & revised well. Chances are pretty good of getting full marks.

What you guys think??

I also plan to work the latter half of the questions first. Getting bogged down on the first couple of IPS questions and not having enough time to finish is a sure path to disaster. Need to avoid putting myself in that position.

And I totally agree with Rahuls about how difficult it is to know whether you have correctly determined the overall risk tolerance. Willingness vs ability at times seems so subjective, although I’m beginning to suspect a bias toward below-average. Or at least I plan to err on the side of caution.

the calculation of return (whether it be after tax, before tax, etc) has historically been worth around 8 points.

My advice is do not spend 30 minutes trying to figure out the return when you can spend that time more wisely (with higher percentage of gaining points) on other questions.