Tuesday, August 11, 2009

License Exams

A customer just wrote an email that touches on some issues many candidates also face. She wrote:

Since things are so competitive right now, I thought I'd pass the tests that don't require sponsorship and then worry about the 6 or 7. I'm also working on getting my CPA. Is the 65 a better choice? If I pass the 65 I don't need to pass the 7? I guess my understanding was that ultimately to be licensed I'd need the 6 or 7. Thanks for clearing up the confusion for me. And thanks for the books-they are very helpful!

RESPONSE: to work as an investment adviser representative, you need to pass the Series 65 or 66 exam in order to then register with the state(s). It makes no difference to the state regulators which exam you pass--you just have to have passed one of them within the past 2 years when you register as an IAR or set up your own advisory firm. You're right that you can self-sponsor for either the Series 65 or Series 66 exam, but remember that the Series 66 exam only works if you also have or get a Series 7. While a Series 65 would allow you to register as an IAR or RIA all by itself, the Series 66 would do nothing for you until you pass the Series 7. But, if you do pass the Series 7, you'll be glad you took this route, as opposed to passing the Series 65, then later passing the Series 7 to become a securities agent plus the Series 63, the state law exam. The Series 7 and 66 provide the shortest path to becoming an IAR and a securities agent.

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