It’s Settled: SEC Shortens Regular-Way to T+2

If you’ve ever traded securities or studied for a securities licensing exam, then you’ve probably come across T+3. No, it’s not an herbal supplement or an embarrassing medical procedure. Continue reading

If you’ve ever traded securities or studied for a securities licensing exam, then you’ve probably come across T+3. No, it’s not an herbal supplement or an embarrassing medical procedure. T+3 refers to the regular-way settlement period for most securities transactions. This means that securities must be paid for and delivered by three business days from the trade date. T+3 also means you don’t become the owner of record of a security until three business days after you purchase it.

Well, add T+3 to the list of things that have gone out of style. Effective May 30, 2017, the SEC will shorten the regular-way settlement period to two business days. And so will begin the age of T+2, which is intended to “increase efficiency and reduce risk for market participants,” according to SEC Acting Chairman Michael Pinowar.

This shorter settlement period for the trading of secondary market securities has been discussed by the SEC for years. The change is expected to lower margin requirements for clearing agency members, reduce liquidity stress when markets are volatile, and harmonize settlement with European markets, which moved to T+2 in 2014.

This settlement period will not apply to every securities transaction, though. T+2, like T+3 before it, will apply to:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Municipal securities
  • Exchange-traded funds
  • Mutual funds traded through a brokerage firm
  • Unit investment trusts
  • Limited partnerships that trade on an exchange

The securities industry moves fast. Don’t get left behind! Visit www.solomonexamprep.com or call us at 503-601-0212 for more information about the latest securities exam preparation and education.

Solomon has helped thousands pass their Series 6, Series 7, Series 24, Series 26, Series 27, Series 28, Series 50, Series 51, Series 52, Series 53, Series 62, Series 63, Series 65, Series 66, Series 79, Series 82, and Series 99.

Announcing the Release of the Solomon Exam Prep Android Mobile App!

With the release of the Solomon Exam Prep app, you have full mobile access to your Solomon study materials with the click of a button. Continue reading

Do you need to take a securities licensing exam?

Do you wish you had more time to study?

With the release of the Solomon Exam Prep Android app, you have full mobile access to your Solomon study materials at the click of a button.

  • Easier and quicker—Just click the Solomon Exam Prep icon on your phone to be taken directly to your account.
  • Access all your materials—The app provides full site functionality and access to your study guide, exam simulator, audiobook, and video lecture.
  • No typing on tiny keyboards—Don’t worry about typing in a web address! Our app will take you right where you need to be.

Move into the future of mobile securities exam prep with the Solomon Exam Prep app!

To download the app, please visit: goo.gl/IkNceh

Solomon Exam Prep has helped thousands of financial professionals pass their FINRA, NASAA, and MSRB licensing exams, including the Series 6, Series 7, Series 24, Series 26, Series 27, Series 28, Series 50, Series 51, Series 52, Series 53, Series 62, Series 63, Series 65, Series 66, Series 79, Series 82, and the Series 99.

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New Securities Trader Qualification Exam (Series 57)

FINRA recently announced that it plans to file a proposed rule change with the SEC to replace the Equity Trader Limited Representative Exam (Series 55) with a new exam to be called the Securities Trader Qualification Exam (Series 57). Continue reading

Exam Alert FINRA recently announced that it plans to file a proposed rule change with the SEC to replace the Equity Trader Limited Representative Exam (Series 55) with a new exam to be called the Securities Trader Qualification Exam (Series 57). FINRA will file this proposed rule change in conjunction with the national securities exchanges proposed rule changes to similarly replace the Proprietary Trader Qualification Exam (Series 56) with the Securities Trader Qualification Exam (Series 57). In preparation for the Series 57—a merger of the Series 55 and Series 56—FINRA will conduct a detailed job-analysis survey to gather information from individuals currently Series 55 and Series 56 registered regarding their present roles and responsibilities to ensure that the Series 57 exam accurately covers their day-to-day job functions.

You can read the official announcement on FINRA’s website: http://www.finra.org/industry/information-notice-033115

Personal Finances and Your Registration

Customers sometimes ask whether a poor credit rating or a personal bankruptcy could negatively impact their ability to get licensed to work in the securities industry. Here is some information about how your personal financial situation may affect your registration process … Continue reading

Customers sometimes ask whether a poor credit rating or a personal bankruptcy could negatively impact their ability to get licensed to work in the securities industry. Here  is some information about how your personal financial situation may affect your registration process.

First an important caveat: this is not legal advice and, as an education company, Solomon Exam Prep provides this information for educational purposes only. Please consult with a compliance professional to identify and address any issues regarding your situation or your state’s regulations. Always check with your compliance department regarding compliance issues.

1. Be sure to disclose relevant information on Form U4.

Form U4 is the registration form for broker-dealer agents and investment adviser representatives. It asks several questions about your history, including some on your finances. Such questions include whether you or a company you controlled have been subject to a bankruptcy within the past ten years. Answer these questions completely and honestly! Failing to disclose this information could jeopardize your ability to work in the securities industry–it could result in a statutory disqualification.

2. You may be denied registration based on insolvency.

If the state securities administrator discovers that you are insolvent (meaning that you can’t pay your debts), they may deny your registration if they feel that it is in the public’s interest.

3. You may be denied registration based on your financial history.

FINRA may deny your registration based your answers to the questions on Form U4. This means that FINRA could deny your registration if:
-you or a company you controlled have been subject to a bankruptcy within the past ten years
-a bonding company denied, paid out on, or revoked a bond for you
-you have unpaid legal judgments or liens

4. You may be denied registration for having a poor credit history.

Having a poor credit history could result in your registration being denied. Regulators may require applicants to submit balance sheets, and the information on such sheets will be factored into the overall decision of whether to approve or deny your application.

5. Your application for registration will not be automatically accepted if you have financial issues that are required to be reported on Form U4.

If you report financial problems on your application, it will not be automatically accepted. Instead, it will be transferred to a manual review process.

6. Once you are registered, you may lose your registration due to poor credit, bankruptcy, or insolvency.

Even if you are already registered, you are still required to report certain events by updating Form U4, and your registration is still subject to review when you do so.

7. You may be able to get registered even if you don’t have a spotless financial history.

Regulators are looking out for your customers and they want to collect all relevant information so they can stop problems before they start. They will only deny your registration if they feel it is in the public’s interest.

If a checkered financial history fit with other red flags, such as a criminal record or a history of regulatory violations, then a denial would be more likely. However, an isolated financial incident would be less likely to cause regulators to deny a registration. Regulators look at each case individually.

Note that regulations vary by state, and that in some states regulators will not look at your credit rating when evaluating your application. Certain regulators may also allow you to send your information before you apply, so you can see whether they would accept your application. For more information, contact your state securities administrator. Contact information may be found on the NASAA’s website.

Reminder: this is not legal advice and is provided for educational purposes only. Please consult with a compliance professional to identify and address any issues regarding your situation or your state’s regulations. Always check with your compliance department regarding compliance issues.

 

Sources:

Form U4

Form U4 Instructions

“Why Bad Credit Is Bad For Financial Careers”

Exam Alert: SEC identifies concerns, good practices regarding nonpublic information

On September 27, 2012, the SEC identified situations ripe for abuse of inside information at broker-dealers so that industry professionals will know what to avoid. The SEC also provided examples of good policies put in place at some broker-dealers that minimize the risk of insider trading violations. Continue reading

On September 27, 2012, the SEC identified situations ripe for abuse of inside information at broker-dealers so that industry professionals will know what to avoid. The SEC also provided examples of good policies put in place at some broker-dealers that minimize the risk of insider trading violations.

 

Potentially problematic situations include the following:

-Lots of informal, undocumented interaction between departments with MNPI (material nonpublic information) and sales/trading departments that could abuse that information

-Having senior executives that supervise multiple departments and could spread MNPI from one department to another without oversight, due to being “above” the information barriers

-Lack of review of situations where MNPI is provided from one department to another for business purposes

-Lack of review of trading in customer and affiliate accounts

-Lack of review of situations where MNPI is received from an outside source

 

Effective practices included:

-Having a system that distinguishes MNPI based on source or type of information (possibly even having individualized reports specific to certain pieces of information)

-Expanded review of potential misuse of MNPI, including looking at trading in swaps, loans, components of pooled securities (such as UITs and ETFs), warrants, and bond options

-Monitoring access to electronic sources of MNPI to see which employees access the information

-Monitoring access levels granted via key cards and computer networks to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to restricted areas

 

Source: SEC Issues Report on Brokerage Firms’ Handling of Confidential Information (SEC Release 2012-200)

This alert applies to the Series 24, Series 26, Series 6, Series 7, Series 55, Series 62, Series 79, Series 82, Series 99, Series 63, Series 65, Series 66, and Series 56.

Exam Alert: Test takers with limited English proficiency must submit a form to FINRA to receive extra time

Effective September 1, 2012, FINRA will implement a new policy for providing additional time to people with limited English proficiency on qualification exams and on Regulatory Element Continuing Education sessions. The new policy requires that people requesting additional time must submit an LEP Request Form to FINRA and receive confirmation from FINRA that the form has been processed before scheduling the exam or Continuing Education session. Continue reading

Effective September 1, 2012, FINRA will implement a new policy for providing additional time to people with limited English proficiency on qualification exams and on Regulatory Element Continuing Education sessions.  The new policy requires that people requesting additional time must submit an LEP Request Form to FINRA and receive confirmation from FINRA that the form has been processed before scheduling the exam or Continuing Education session.

This new policy replaces the current policy covering people who speak English as a second language.  Test center personnel will no longer be authorized to provide additional time to people who speak English as a second language or to people with limited English proficiency.

A person is considered to have “limited English proficiency” if they “(1) do not speak English as their primary language; and (2) have limited ability to read, speak, write and understand the English language.”

Further details on the new policy may be found on FINRA’s website.

Sources:

FINRA Information Notice 8/1/2012

Candidates with Limited English Proficiency (FINRA website)

This alert applies to all FINRA-administered exams.  This includes (among others) the Series 24, Series 26, Series 6, Series 7, Series 55, Series 62, Series 79, Series 82, Series 99, Series 56, Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66.