I’ve been very enthusiastic these first few weeks of studying, and have successfully reviewed chapters one and two. I’ve kept track of the hours I’ve dedicated to the CTP textbooks so far:
• Week 1: 7.5 hours
• Week 2: 15 hours (8 on the weekend)
• Week 3: 15 hours (5 on the weekend)
One of my first goals was to determine the most productive times for me to study. I’m able to get up in the mornings and study for nearly an hour before I leave for work. I find at this time I’m most alert and energetic. When I come home from work, I’d rather get some exercise for a change of pace. Finally, after dinner, I can put in more time. Of course, the weekends give me a lot of extra time, although my wife and I are trying to dedicate one day a week to getting out of the apartment and spending time together.
Chapter 1: The Role and Organization of Treasury Management
This is the expected introductory material, such as the role and organization of treasury management, ethics, and predictable org structure. I’m hoping it’s not necessary to know the specific details of every finance role – the text provides a very detailed level of information on each role. However, it seems the roles would differ from one organization to another, especially depending on the organization’s size.
To guide my review of each chapter, I’ve begun copying important points into a study notebook, which I hope to use for review, assisted by the texts later on. I’ve found that the Q & A section at the end of each chapter doesn’t always provide a direct answer to the question asked. Some responses are useful, but others just repeat the relevant paragraph from within the chapter, which doesn’t help with further understanding.
Chapter 2: Financial Regulatory Environment
The level of detail describing US compliance and regulation entities has surprised me. It’s entirely centred on US regulation, and there’s a lot of it. It would be more useful for me currently if it had a broader focus, emphasizing global trade and finance, and examining the role of governments in international trade.
The acronyms are a little overwhelming, especially because most of them are completely new to me. I think this will be a challenging chapter for someone unfamiliar with the US banking system, myself included. The amount of memorization required has slowed down my progress – and, frankly, my enthusiasm. Reaching the end of chapter 2, I’m realizing that copying and re-phrasing the key points from the textbook chapters into my study notebook is too time consuming for the value I’m getting out of it. I think I’ll need to find other study techniques, especially considering that memorization is not my strongest skill.
As a side note, I enjoyed studying the US Federal Reserve map, probably because of the movie Catch Me If You Can, and the autobiography it’s based on. In the book, Frank Abagnale describes how he decoded the Federal Reserve map and used his knowledge of it to improve his success at passing bad checks!