NASAA and FINRA raise the bar for the Series 65 and Series 66 Exams

Effective January 1, 2010, the NASAA and FINRA will raise the passing grade for the Series 65, Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, from 68.5% to Continue reading

Effective January 1, 2010, the NASAA and FINRA will raise the passing grade for the Series 65, Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, from 68.5% to 72% and for the Series 66, Uniform Combined State Law Examination, from 71% to 75%.

For more information see
NASAA Website

Study and Test-taking Tips From Memory Research

Research shows that time spent studying is a very important factor in how much you learn. For example, it has been shown that simply reading material Continue reading

Research shows that time spent studying is a very important factor in how much you learn. For example, it has been shown that simply reading material twice, rather than once, greatly improves memory retention. However, time is not the only factor in learning and in preparing for an exam. The quality of time spent studying is also critically important. For example, rather than trying to learn something all at once, try to pace your learning over a longer period of time and take breaks. So called “spaced” or “distributed” learning is much more effective than “cramming” at the last minute. Testing yourself has also been shown to substantially increase long-term recall which means that the more quizzes and practice questions you do, the better prepared you will be for your exam. Finally, studies show that mnemonics help, especially those that create a mental image.

One last word of wisdom: avoid overconfidence at all costs! Studies show it is among the top reasons people do poorly on exams.

NASAA announces important changes to Series 63, 65 and 66 exams

NASAA announces important changes to Series 63, 65 and 66 exams Continue reading

NASAA announces important changes to Series 63, 65 and 66 exams

Series 65: new topics will include capital markets theory and special accounts such as college savings plans, also, the question distribution will change. In addition, the number of questions under Legal, Regulations and Guidelines, including Prohibition on Unethical Business Practices will decrease from 45 to 40.

Series 66: new topics will include capital markets theory and special accounts such as college savings plans, also, the question distribution will change. Specifically there will be fewer legal questions and significantly more questions on Economic Factors and Business Information, Investment Vehicle Characteristics and Client Investment Recommendations and Strategies.

Series 63: no new topics but question distribution will change.

(PDF) More about changes to the Series 63, 65 and 66 exams.

IRS Pension Plan Limits for 2010

Deflation notwithstanding, the IRS has announced that in 2010 the maximum contribution to a 401 (k) and other defined contribution plans will stay Continue reading

Deflation notwithstanding, the IRS has announced that in 2010 the maximum contribution to a 401 (k) and other defined contribution plans will stay the same. Defined benefit limits will also stay the same. See IRS announcement

Series 79 Birthday!

According to FINRA: “Effective November 2, 2009, amendments to NASD Rules 1022 and 1032 require individuals whose activities are limited to Continue reading

November 2 is just around the corner.

According to FINRA: “Effective November 2, 2009, amendments to NASD Rules 1022 and 1032 require individuals whose activities are limited to investment banking and principals who supervise such activities to pass the new Limited Representative – Investment Banking Qualification Examination (Series 79 Exam). Individuals who are registered as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) and engage in the member firm’s investment banking business as described in NASD Rule 1032(i) may “opt in” to the new registration category.”

It’s interesting to note that at this time, FINRA has not announced what a passing score will be. “The passing score for the examination is the minimum number of test questions that a candidate has to answer correctly in order to pass the examination. The Committee, using a standard setting procedure, establishes the passing score for the examination. The passing score is an absolute standard and it is independent of the performance of candidates taking the examination. Since multiple forms of the examination will be administered, the passing score will fluctuate moderately from examination to examination.”

If your firm has not created a Series 79 training program, what can you do to get the new Investment Banking Representative registration?

As per FINRA Regulatory Notice 09-41: “during the six-month transition period (November 2, 2009 – May 3, 2010), new Investment Banking Representative candidates who are in the process of qualifying for the new Investment Banking Representative registration category can take either the Series 79, the Series 7 or a Series 7-equivalent exam. A candidate who takes and passes the Series 7 Exam or Series 7- equivalent exam could then opt in to the Investment Banking Representative registration.

“Series 7 equivalent exams” and registrations are the Limited Representative—Corporate Securities (Series 62), the United Kingdom (Series 17) or Canada (Series 37/38) Modules of the Series 7.