FINRA is giving the securities industry a facelift. In an effort to reduce redundant exams and to attract more people to the industry, FINRA has ordered a nip and tuck of its licensing exams. Starting October 1, 2018 FINRA’s makeover will come most obviously in the form of the new Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam. The 75-question SIE will test basic securities industry knowledge including products, the structure and function of the securities industry, the regulatory agencies and their functions, and regulated and prohibited practices.
FINRA’s facelift isn’t just skin deep. It’s a complete overhaul of the current representative exam structure. After slicing back layers of the old system to make room for the new SIE exam, FINRA determined that it needed to eliminate seven of the 16 representative level registration categories. The remaining nine representative exams – Series 6, Series 7, Series 22, Series 57, Series 79, Series 82, Series 86/87 and Series 99 — will become specialized knowledge exams focused on a particular registration category; FINRA is calling these nine “top off” exams. Sponsored applicants will be permitted to sit for the top-off exams after passing the SIE and landing a job in the industry.
Unlike every FINRA exam before it, the new SIE exam will not require sponsorship. This means that anyone aged 18 or older who wants to take the SIE exam will be permitted to sit for it. A job with a FINRA member firm will not be required. Passing the SIE will be valid for four years.
Solomon Exam Prep, known for its industry-leading test prep materials and high pass rates, just released SIE study materials for firms wishing to get a head start on their SIE programs. The SIE won’t just help FINRA recruit more people; it will also help firms grow their network by offering candidates an early and powerful educational knowledge base. For firms wishing to stay ahead, providing an early opportunity to study for the SIE exam will put them miles ahead of firms that wait.
Solomon is one of the first companies to release study materials for the SIE exam. President and founder of Solomon Exam Prep, Jeremy Solomon, articulated the importance of the SIE exam:
“The SIE exam is going to change the entire structure of the securities industry,” Mr. Solomon said. “Our goal is to provide students with the tools and resources they need to pass the exam and land a job in this dynamic profession.”
Bob Morris, Chief Compliance Officer for Sussex Securities, agreed that the SIE will change the industry. Morris argued that the change is for the better.
“I think it will be a positive thing for more candidates [to enter the industry],” Mr. Morris said. “It is for beginning, entry-level, candidates. They won’t need sponsorship. Sponsorship is the biggest block to Wall Street. The SIE doesn’t have that.”
Mr. Solomon elaborated that preparing for the SIE exam now is a great way to develop a thorough understanding of the securities industry. Solomon Exam Prep is popular amongst securities professionals for many reasons. One of those reasons is the way the materials are written, breaking down complex topics into laymen’s terms.
Linde Murphy, Chief Operating Officer at M.E. Allison & Co., Inc., vouched for Solomon Exam Prep.
“We work with Solomon Exam Prep on several of the Series,” Ms. Murphy said. “Their study materials have gotten us across the finish line. I appreciate that [with Solomon Exam Prep] I can call in and they know who I am. I am not just a number. When you start your search for study exam materials I encourage you to talk to Solomon Exam Prep and review their materials before making your decision.”
Ms. Murphy explained that the SIE exam will allow more people to enter the securities industry. But she added that studying for the SIE is going to be a challenge, as with any licensing exam.
“From my perspective bringing a new person on board to the securities industry is a big hill to climb,” Ms. Murphy said. “Solomon’s SIE materials have given us a path to follow. It doesn’t move too fast but it keeps us moving. Solomon’s SIE material gives the basics but it also challenges the studier as well.”
Mr. Morris used Solomon Exam prep to pass several licensing exams. Mr. Morris explained how taking licensing exams is difficult without proper study materials.
“I dread taking exams. And some of the [licensing] exams are very stressful. It is all about preparation.” Mr. Morris said.
Mr. Morris explained that, for him, that preparation included Solomon Exam Prep.
“[Study materials] help you stay organized,” Mr. Morris said. “Jeremy’s materials are very organized and give you a methodology to study for and pass the exams. They give you confidence. And [Solomon’s study materials] helps speed and they help you recognize some of the questions on the test. They give you an advantage.”
Dante Fichera, President of Independent Investment Bankers, reiterated Morris’ endorsement of Solomon Exam Prep. Mr. Fichera’s candidates must pass FINRA’s Investment Banking Representative Qualification Exam (Series 79) and the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam (Series 63).
“I consider Solomon Prep Exam a business partner in helping our registered investment bankers become licensed,” Mr. Fichera said. “I highly recommend Solomon to our candidates, a solid solution for passing the Series 79 and Series 63. The Solomon Team is friendly and helpful and [their materials are] very reasonably priced.”
The SIE exam will be an introductory exam, testing students on their knowledge of the securities industry, and will pave the way for students to take specialized top-off exams to further their growth in the industry.
Solomon Exam Prep invites you to visit our website. The SIE study materials are available in the popular Essentials Study Package or for individual purchase.
Interested in setting up an SIE program? Contact Jeremy Solomon, President, at email@example.com or by calling Solomon Exam Prep at 503-601-0212.