Thursday, July 3, 2014

Don't Make Assumptions

Some exam candidates want quick black-and-white answers. If they read something about "10 years" in terms of the Administrator's ability to deny/suspend/revoke a license, many want to memorize that number and apply it automatically. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way--sometimes people are let into the industry in spite of recent felonies, and sometimes people with certain misdemeanors are kept out indefinitely. The idea is that if you apply for a license and have felony convictions or specific misdemeanor convictions, the state can use those facts to deny your application, unless they decide otherwise. In the textbooks I mention that LLCs are associated with "limited life," unlike corporations . Many exam candidates become uneasy at that statement. Wait--wait! My brother owns an LLC and it doesn't expire on any particular date! That's not quite what we're saying. In an LLC the operating agreement has a section called "Dissolution and Termination." In an LLC of which I am a member, this section states that the whole thing will be dissolved either on the date fixed for termination or by unanimous written agreement by the members. If the LLC were formed to produce a movie, we would dissolve it fairly quickly. On the other hand, if we were Five Guys Burgers and Fries, LLC, we would have no plans to shut down anytime soon, but their operating agreement surely lists certain events that would trigger dissolution of the LLC. Of course, as a private company, that is not information available to the general public, so I will not make the mistake of bothering them with an email. In any case, take in new information slowly and thoughtfully. Avoid jumping to conclusions. Did you just read that you can avoid a penalty, or did you think the text said you could take the money out tax-free? Big difference, right? The exam will exploit our tendency to rush through the questions. Your job is to slow everything down both as you study and as you take--and pass--your Series 65 or Series 66 exam.