Friday, February 5, 2010

Investment adviser advertising

If you have the Pass the 65 ExamCram Online Test Prep, you may be pleasantly surprised at the testing center when you see questions very similar to what you've studied. Notice how I say "very similar," which is not the same thing as "exactly the same." Yesterday I saw questions using a few terms I've never heard of, and I am simply not able to recall all four answer choices to 140 questions, many of them so long one has to scroll just to read them. And, I only saw 140 questions out of an unknown number in the test bank. I would think there are at least 5,000 questions in that test bank, but I have no way of knowing that. I do know that I've taken the 65 four times over the past 10 years or so, and I only see one or two verbatim repeats across all those trips to the testing center. Then again, I know the style the test questions come in, I know the outline, and I know how to stretch the imagination to anticipate the weird questions that could show up based on what I've seen and on what customers report through the messy process of feedback. So, it's an art form, not a science, but I really think you'll be amazed by two things at the testing center when you take your Series 65 or 66 exam:
1) many of the questions will seem very familiar and
2) many of them won't.
That's why you have to be a good test-taker. You have to use test-taking skills to minimize the mistakes that people often make on questions they really sorta' know, and to maximize the number of right answers you get on questions you really sorta' don't.

Let's enjoy a fun practice question that should look fairly similar to the stuff NASAA throws at you on the Series 65 or 66 exam:

Nancy Needlemeyer taught finance classes at a large university for 11 years and this year started a financial planning business set up as a single-member LLC. Nancy's Series 65 exam requirement is waived upon request by the Administrator, and she files Form ADV with the state promptly and makes payment through IARD. Which of the following may Nancy indicate on her advertising pieces?
A. Stated fees are non-negotiable
B. I have been certified by the Administrator to offer financial planning services in the state
C. I have 11 years in the financial services industry
D. All choices listed

EXPLANATION: if advisory fees are negotiable, that has to be disclosed, and the same is true if the fees are non-negotiable. Regulators don't certify--they accept registrations. She was not in the financial services industry--she was a college professor/instructor/what have you.


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