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.

Laboring Toward Completion: The Fate of the Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has been subject to more back and forth than an Olympic table tennis match. Will it go into effect? Will it be repealed? Or will it merely be delayed? The answer seems to change from day to day. Continue reading

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Update: On March 1, 2017, the Department of Labor proposed a 60-day delay of implementation of the fiduciary rule. The DOL will allow a 15-day comment period before determining whether to finalize the delay.

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The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has been subject to more back and forth than an Olympic table tennis match. Will it go into effect? Will it be repealed? Or will it merely be delayed? The answer seems to change from day to day. While some groups work toward implementation of the rule, other groups fight against it, questioning whether the Department of Labor even has the authority to issue such a rule.

The fiduciary rule would require financial professionals to put an investor’s interests first—that is, to meet a fiduciary duty—when providing investment advice regarding covered retirement plans.

Let’s look at a brief timeline of the life of the fiduciary rule so far:

February 23, 2015: President Obama called for the Department of Labor to move forward with the creation of rules to limit conflicts of interest regarding investor retirement accounts.

April 14, 2016: The Department of Labor proposed the fiduciary rule, intended to begin implementation on April 10, 2017.

February 3, 2017: President Trump issues an executive order directing the DOL to review the fiduciary rule.

February 8, 2017: A federal district court judge in Texas upheld the Department of Labor’s authority to issue the fiduciary rule.

February 17, 2017: A federal district court judge in Kansas upheld the Department of Labor’s authority to issue the fiduciary rule.

When President Trump issued his executive order, he ordered the Secretary of Labor to provide an “economic and legal analysis” of the rule to answer the following questions:

  • Will it reduce investors’ access to a variety of retirement services, offerings, product structures, or other information or advice?
  • Has it disrupted the retirement services industry in a way that could harm investors?
  • Is it likely to increase the amount of litigation in the industry and thereby cause an increase in prices for investors?

If the Secretary of Labor determines that the answer to any of these questions is yes, it must revise or rescind the rule.

However, many firms are proceeding with their plans to implement the fiduciary rule whether or not the rule as it now exists goes into effect.  For example, Merrill Lynch has said it will no longer offer commission-based brokerage IRA accounts. Instead, the firm will offer level fee investment advisory services regardless of the outcome of the fiduciary rule.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts reached out to over thirty leading finance companies, and the overall response from the companies that responded was that they support the fiduciary rule and are prepared to implement it. For example, TIAA wrote, “Putting our clients’ best interests first is a core value at TIAA and, accordingly, we support a best-interest standard,” and Fidelity noted that the firm is “fully prepared to comply with the rule if and when it becomes applicable.”

So even though we don’t know what will be the ultimate fate of the DOL fiduciary rule, it’s safe to say that it has already begun to change the face of the financial industry.

For more information about the DOL fiduciary rule, see our earlier blogpost: https://solomonexamprep.com/news/finra/ready-or-not-here-it-comes-the-dol-fiduciary-rule-2/.

 

Solomon Exam Prep Partners with PreLicense.com!

Solomon Exam Prep is pleased to announce that PreLicense.com has chosen to partner with Solomon Exam Prep to provide an online study program for the Series 6 and Series 63 qualification exams. Continue reading

series-6Solomon Exam Prep is pleased to announce that PreLicense.com has chosen to partner with Solomon Exam Prep to provide an online study program for the Series 6 and Series 63 qualification exams. PreLicense.com’s new Series 6 and Series 63 courses include the Solomon study guide,
practice quizzes, and full-length practice tests.

“We are honored that PreLicense.com has chosen Solomon Exam Prep to partner as their securities exam prep partner,” said Jeremy Solomon, co-founder of Solomon Exam Prep. “A securities exam is not just a regulatory requirement, it’s also an important learning experience. We look forward to educating many more individuals through this series-63exciting partnership.”

For more information about the Series 6 or Series 63 exams, or any other securities licensing exams, go to SolomonExamPrep.com or call 503-601-0212.

Study Question of the Month – November 2016

This month’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available!

***Submit your answer to info@solomonexamprep.com to be entered to win a $10 Starbucks gift card.*** Continue reading

Congratulations to Tony P., this month’s Study Question of the Month winner! 

See the answer below!

***Submit your answer to info@solomonexamprep.com to be entered to win a $10 Starbucks gift card.***

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Question (Relevant to the Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66)

Nigel is a successful agent of a Canadian broker-dealer in Manitoba. The firm he works for has no offices in the U.S., and he has no interest in moving to the U.S. One of his biggest clients, Beatrice, is in temporary residence in Minnesota settling her mother’s estate. Nigel wants to keep Beatrice as a client but he is not registered in the U.S. and doesn’t know if he can continue to work with Beatrice under the current situation. What is your advice?

A. Nigel needs to bite the bullet and move to the U.S. where he can register in Minnesota and continue to transact business for Beatrice, including possibly reinvesting any proceeds of her mother’s estate.

B. Nigel cannot continue to transact business for Beatrice, since he is not registered in Minnesota and does not want to move to the U.S.

C. Nigel can transact business for Beatrice without problems. Canada and the U.S. have a reciprocity agreement that allows such international business relationships.

D. Nigel can transact business for Beatrice after he obtains a limited registration in Minnesota.

Answer: D. If the Canadian firm does not have offices in the U.S. state (which it does not), and the client is from Canada and is temporarily in that state (which Beatrice is), and had a relationship with the Canadian broker-dealer before entering the state (which Beatrice did), then an agent or broker-dealer may use a limited registration. Nigel has a good many hoops to jump through to get that limited registration, but because Beatrice is a big client, you would advise him to do so.

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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SEC Announces IA Recordkeeping Rule Amendments

Put your records where your mouth is—that’s the message the SEC is sending to investment advisers. Continue reading

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Put your records where your mouth is—that’s the message the SEC is sending to investment advisers.

The regulatory agency has amended Advisers Act rules to require investment advisers to keep records of all documentation that shows “performance calculations or rates of return.” This includes any communications that a firm receives as well as copies of any communications that it sends.

The change will make it easier for the SEC to identify misleading claims made by investment advisory firms.

The SEC has also made changes to Form ADV, including:

  • Revisions to require additional info about such things as the firm’s separately managed accounts business
  • A revision that requires IAs to provide a list of web address for all their social media pages
  • Amendments that allow private fund adviser entities that operate a single advisory business to complete registration by filing just one Form ADV

SEC Chair Mary Jo White says that these changes “will provide investors and the Commission with a better understanding of the risk profile of each adviser and the industry as a whole.”

The amendments will be published in the Federal Register, and they will become effective 60 days after publication. Advisers are required to begin complying with the amendments no later than October 1, 2017.

Updated Series 63, 65, and 66 Materials Now Available!

On July 1, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) updated the Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 exams. That means new material was added to the tests—material you need to know if you want to pass. Continue reading

On July 1, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) updated the Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 exams. That means new material was added to the tests—material you need to know if you want to pass.

That’s where Solomon comes in. We updated our Series 63Series 65, and Series 66 Study Guides and Online Exam Simulators so our customers don’t have to worry about being left behind by these changes.

Here are a few of the new topics:

• Exceptions for foreign broker-dealers
• Broker-dealer supervision of agents
• Prospectus delivery requirements
• Types of customer accounts
• Broker-dealer and agent commissions
• Cyber security and data protection
• Outside securities accounts
• Due diligence for broker-dealers
• Regulation A amendment
• Regulation D amendment

You can purchase each Exam Study Guide with our industry-leading Online Exam Simulator as part of our Essentials Study Package.

For a limited time, Like us on Facebook to get a coupon code for 10% off packages!

Want more information? Call 503.601.0212 or go to SolomonExamPrep.com.