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Thread: Study Guides vs. Official Texts. Heeeelp.

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    Study Guides vs. Official Texts. Heeeelp.

    Obviously, this is REALLY late in the game. But anyway, I'm wondering if study guides can be a good substitute for the official texts listed on the syllabus at http://www.casact.org/admissions/syl...x.cfm?fa=exam2 . Are study guides more of a supplement, or can they be substituted for these? And, if so, are they better or worse than using the original texts?

    If they can be substituted (and please answer the above question before this one), which one would you recommend? From what I hear, ASM and Actex seem to be the top selections. Which one is better, in your opinion? ASM costs a bit more, but that's all I've figured out so far.

    Thank you much, everyone.

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level IV Poster binky_4me's Avatar
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    well, the problem is the study guides for exam fm/2 haven't incorporated a thorough explaination of the derivatives market info yet. i use the actex manuals and the sections about the relevant chapters from the text are basically written as a summary. so if you're starting from scratch you're gonna need the text, if this is a topic you are already clear on then the study manual is a summary refresher type.
    binky

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by binky_4me View Post
    well, the problem is the study guides for exam fm/2 haven't incorporated a thorough explaination of the derivatives market info yet. i use the actex manuals and the sections about the relevant chapters from the text are basically written as a summary. so if you're starting from scratch you're gonna need the text, if this is a topic you are already clear on then the study manual is a summary refresher type.
    I think you will find that the sections on derivatives in my ASM manual have been written on a "stand-alone" basis, i.e., you can study this topic without using McDonald. But since I'm the author, I can't be completely objective about this, so I invite students who have used the manual to comment.
    FSA, MAAA, EA and CEO of Actuarial Study Materials - www.studymanuals.com

  4. #4
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    Study Guides

    I find the ASM study guide for FM to be quite thorough. It provides a concise but complete explanation of the topics. I bought the McDonald textbook but am currently using the ASM manual on its own to learn the material.
    There ain't no easy way out.

    -Tom Petty

  5. #5
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    All of the material on FM was new to me and I found that the ASM manual is a very good substitute for textbooks on topics other than Derivatives Markets. I have both Theory of Interest and Mathematics of Investment and Credit textbooks but haven't opened either one since I got the ASM manual. For the Derivatives Markets topics, I found that the ASM manual was much better to read BEFORE using the text as a solid introduction. I don't think I would have gotten as much out of the DM text if I hadn't completed the ASM material. Since the DM text is needed for MFE, it is a worthy investment.

    **I have the 5th edition of ASM. I do not know how different it is from the 6th edition.

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