Thursday, March 29, 2012

How do I set up my own RIA?

Most people taking the Series 65 exam are going to work for an investment adviser, but some are actually setting up their own RIA/registered investment advisory firm. Either way, first understand that passing the Series 65 exam is just a pre-requisite. If you pass the Series 65, you can then apply for a license from your state. IARs (investment adviser reps) register with a Form U4; investment advisers register via Form ADV. Criminal and regulatory disclosure is provided on both forms, and this is where it all goes wrong for a handful of people, as you might have seen from other blog posts. For example, some people pass the exam with flying colors but then have to answer "yes" they were convicted of a felony, or convicted of a misdemeanor involving money or dishonesty. For some, this is a game-over.
Of course, most of you have no criminal or regulatory issues, so you can go ahead and take the Series 65 exam all on your own, knowing that the test is really the only issue. Use a U10, pay your money, buy your materials and study, then schedule your exam and pass it.
That would be Step 1.
If setting up your own RIA, you should also be focusing on all of that, and many people choose to use compliance consultants to do so. RIA Registrar includes our materials in their package to folks setting up RIAs. Google them if interested. Our exam materials, btw, are at


  1. If barred by Finra can you still take 65 and setup own Ria?

  2. Anyone can take the Series 65 exam by filing a U10. If barred by FINRA, your application could be denied by any state Administrator for that reason alone.