Exam Alert: SEC approves exemption from investment adviser registration for “family offices”

On June 22, 2011, the SEC approved an exclusion for “family offices” from the regulations of the Investment Adviser Act of 1940. The new exemption applies Continue reading

On June 22, 2011, the SEC approved an exclusion for “family offices” from the regulations of the Investment Adviser Act of 1940.  The new exemption applies to a company that only provides advice to “family clients,” is wholly owned by “family clients,” and does not hold itself out to the public as an investment adviser.  “Family clients” include family members, key employees, and certain other clients.

Family offices were typically covered under the exemption for advisers with fewer than 15 clients, but that exemption will be removed under Dodd-Frank changes.

Relevant to the Series 7, 6, 65, 66, 63, 24 and Series 26 exams.

Source: SEC Release 2011-134

Exam Alert: FINRA pushes back implementation date for higher customer care standards

FINRA has changed the date on which its new know-your-customer and suitability rules will take effect. The new effective date is Continue reading

FINRA has changed the date on which its new know-your-customer and suitability rules (previously mentioned in this exam alert) will take effect.  The new effective date is July 9, 2012.  FINRA has also answered questions from firms about the new rules; the questions and answers may be found here.

http://www.finra.org/Industry/Regulation/Notices/2011/P123702

Exam Alert: SEC proposes rule to change standards for “qualified clients”

The SEC has proposed a rule to increase the dollar amount thresholds for “qualified clients” (clients that may be Continue reading

The SEC has proposed a rule to increase the dollar amount thresholds for “qualified clients” (clients that may be charged performance-based fees by an investment adviser).  The current rule requires a qualified client to have $750,000 in assets under management or $1.5 million in net worth.  Under the proposed rule, these thresholds will be increased to $1 million in assets under management and $2 million in net worth.  This revision is required to occur by July 21, 2011. Relevant to sections 4.3.3 of the Series 24 exam, as well as the Series 63, Series 65 and Series 66 exams.

http://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/2011/ia-3198.pdf

Exam Alert: SEC to nationalize exam program

According to the Wall Street Journal, the SEC is putting the finishing touches on a new uniform manual for its examiners. The WSJ states that the SEC expects Continue reading

According to the Wall Street Journal, the SEC is putting the finishing touches on a new uniform manual for its examiners.  The WSJ states that the SEC expects that the new manual will nationalize the agency’s examination program, allowing for uniform processes and procedures across all regional offices.  The SEC intends to distribute the manual to examiners in 30 to 60 days and to the public in 30 to 90 days (as of 2/8/11), according to the WSJ.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704364004576132231587877342.html

Exam Alert: Private advisers must register with the SEC

Effective July 21, 2011, investment advisers to most private funds (hedge funds and private equity funds) must register with the SEC. Previously, these Continue reading

Effective July 21, 2011, investment advisers to most private funds (hedge funds and private equity funds) must register with the SEC.  Previously, these advisers had been exempt due to the “private adviser”” exemption.  The Dodd-Frank Act replaces this exemption with narrower exemptions for certain advisers, including advisers that exclusively advise venture capital funds and private fund advisers with less than $150 million in assets under management in the United States.

http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/dodd-frank/hedgefundadvisers.shtml

Exam Alert: FINRA to hold broker-dealers to a higher standard of customer care

Effective October 7, 2011, broker-dealers must adhere to stricter know-your-customer and suitability standards than before. The new rules require Continue reading

Effective October 7, 2011, broker-dealers must adhere to stricter know-your-customer and suitability standards than before.  The new rules require that consideration be given to a customer’s age, investment experience, time horizon, liquidity needs and risk tolerance, in addition to factors that were already required to be considered (other holdings, financial situation and needs, tax status and investment objectives).  These new requirements are similar to the fiduciary standard used by investment advisers. Relevant to the Series 7, Series 66, Series 24, Series 62 and Series 79 exam.

http://www.finra.org/Industry/Regulation/Notices/2011/P122779

Registration Alert: Oregon Investment Advisors Must File Electronic IARD

As of January 1, 2011, new and renewing investment advisory firms and investment advisor representatives must file electronically through the Continue reading

As of January 1, 2011, new and renewing investment advisory firms and investment advisor representatives must file electronically through the Investment Advisor Registration Depository (IARD). Also, as of January 1, 2011, in Oregon it is mandatory to file the new Part 2 of Form ADV.

Exam Alert: NASAA develops list of “Best Practices”

A 2010 NASAA review of broker-dealers found that the three most common compliance problem areas were failure to follow supervisory policy, Continue reading

A 2010 NASAA review of broker-dealers found that the three most common compliance problem areas were failure to follow supervisory policy, advertising and sales literature, and suitability issues. NASAA developed a list of ten best practices and released them in October of 2010.  The recommendations focus on suitability, exception reports, supervisory procedures, and communications.  Relevant to Series 6, Series 7, Series 63, Series 65, Series 66, Series 24, Series 26, Series 62 and Series 79. The list can be found here: http://www.nasaa.org/NASAA_Newsroom/Current_NASAA_Headlines/13382.cfm.

Solomon Exam Prep Publishes New 2010 Audio Guides for the Series 6, Series 63 and Series 65 Exams

According to a 2009 Northwestern University study published in the journal SCIENCE, listening to audio can deepen and strengthen memory and Continue reading

According to a 2009 Northwestern University study published in the journal SCIENCE, listening to audio can deepen and strengthen memory and learning – even when one is sleeping.  

Solomon Exam Prep is excited to announce publication of new and fully updated 2010 editions of our bestselling PASS THE 6, PASS THE 63 and PASS THE 65 audio training guides for the FINRA Series 6 exam and the NASAA Series 63 and 65 exams.

A happy customer wrote: “Thanks to Linda’s lively voice, I learned the material quickly and passed the Series 65 with flying colors. The humor is great. It was fun to listen while driving, and it was easy to absorb the information—just like being taught by an entertaining young professor!”

Linda Franklin is the voice of Solomon Exam Prep and reads all of our audio books. Listen to an excerpt of the Series 65 audio book here:

Does her voice sound familiar to you? If you’ve ever called our office, you’ve probably spoken with Linda since she also answers the phone around here!

Has an audio book helped you pass an exam? Tell us about it! Email info@solomonexamprep.com

NASAA and FINRA Raise Passing Score on Series 63 Exam

Effective January 1, 2010, NASAA and FINRA will raise the passing grade for the Series 63, Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, from 70% Continue reading

Effective January 1, 2010, NASAA and FINRA will raise the passing grade for the Series 63, Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, from 70% to 72%. The new raw passing score will be 43 out of 60.

NASAA Memorandum Re Passing Scores for Series 63, 65 and 66 Exams