Thursday, May 21, 2009

Constant Change

What I love about the investment industry is that things constantly change. Just when I had woven Oracle into the fabric of several textbooks based on its stubborn anti-dividend policy, I open up my account this morning and see that I've received a darned cash dividend from Oracle! Don't get me wrong--I'll gladly cash the check. It's just that nothing stays the same for very long in this industry. When we get comfortable quoting FDIC coverage at $100,000, the industry raises it to $250,000, but maybe only temporarily. One year the lifetime gift credit is $1 million, next year maybe it's $1.5 million. What does this mean for your exam? Probably nothing. Your exam stays out of the fray by focusing on the concepts that remain the same year after year. Rather than asking you to recite the current lifetime gift credit amount, the exam prefers to see if you understand the concept. Rather than asking if qualified dividends are taxed at 15%, the exam would likely make up its own tax rate and ask you to figure somebody's after-tax return.
So, don't sweat the ever-changing facts connected to the industry yet. You can just study for your exam and worry about staying on top of all the changing rules and realities over the span of your career. And, we publish updates at and if we think it's necessary.


  1. Great info thanks!
    question, I just passed the 65(thanks to you!) and I only plan to manage some family money and I don't know what my next step should be. ie. LLC or not? Also, what forms do I need to send to properly register?

    Sorry about all the questions, I appreciate your time.

  2. No need to apologize--it's a great and important question. I would say this: do not try to set yourself up on your own. The LLC is almost certainly the route you'll go, but you have to set up an IARD account, register the LLC with Form ADV Part 1, create an ADV Part 2, and register any rep's with Form U-4. Rather than go it alone, check out or