Solomon Exam Prep and NASA launch SIE mission to Mars

In preparation for the October 1 launch of the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam, Solomon Exam Prep teamed with NASA to send Solomon SIE exam study materials to the Red Planet. Continue reading

In preparation for the October 1 launch of the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam, Solomon Exam Prep teamed with NASA to send Solomon SIE exam study materials to the Red Planet.

Unlike other FINRA securities licensing exams, the SIE exam will be open to anyone 18 years or older who is interested in the securities industry. FINRA has not publicly stated whether Martians will be permitted to take the SIE exam but since FINRA is dedicated to “investor protection” and to promoting “market integrity” Solomon takes the position that investors and markets on other planets can benefit from securities education, and the SIE in particular. Solomon has helped thousands of earthlings pass their Series 7, Series 6, Series 65, Series 63, Series 24, Series 50, Series 79 and other securities licensing exams.

Elon Musk has not responded to the news of the joint NASA/Solomon Exam Prep mission.

New MSRB Rule G-42: Duties of Non-Solicitor Municipal Advisors

MSRB Rule G-42, Duties of Non-Solicitor Municipal Advisors, will be effective June 23, 2016, and was recently added to the outline for the Series 50 exam. Continue reading

G-42MSRB Rule G-42, Duties of Non-Solicitor Municipal Advisors, will be effective June 23, 2016, and was recently added to the outline for the Series 50 exam.

The rule requires that municipal advisors meet certain standards of conduct in their dealings with municipal entities, which includes fulfilling two duties: a duty of care and a duty of loyalty.  Though G-42 goes into great detail about municipal advisor responsibilities, the duties of care and loyalty are the basis for everything included in the rule.

In order to fulfill its duty of care, the municipal advisor must:

• Have enough knowledge and expertise to give informed advice to the municipal entity

• Reasonably inquire into all relevant facts before allowing a municipality to proceed on a particular course of action or before giving advice

• Undertake a reasonable investigation to determine that its advice is not based on materially inaccurate or incomplete information

In order to fulfill its duty of loyalty, a municipal advisor must:

• Be honest and act in good faith

• Put the municipal client’s interests before its own financial or other interests

• Not perform municipal advisory activities for the client if its conflicts of interests will prevent it from acting in the client’s best interests

The rule requires municipal advisors to put their municipal advisory relationships in writing “prior to, upon or promptly after” the relationship begins, and requires them to disclose all conflicts of interest in writing to the municipal client.

Finally, Rule G-42 provides a list of specifically prohibited activities and explains how a firm must respond if it inadvertently provides advice to a municipal entity.

The rule was written to conform to the fiduciary duty placed on municipal advisors by the Dodd-Frank Act.

Solomon Exam Prep has helped thousands pass the Series 6, 7, 63, 65, 66, 24, 26, 27, 50, 51, 52, 53, 62, 79, 82 and 99 exams. For more information visit http://www.solomonexamprep.com/

Series 51 Live Class – Portland, OR

Do you need to take the Series 51 MSRB Municipal Fund Securities Limited Principal Qualification Exam? This two-day crash course in Portland, Oregon will help! Continue reading

Series 51 Live Class

Series 51 Exam Study Guide – New Edition

Solomon Exam Prep announces publication of the 2nd edition of The Solomon Exam Prep Guide to the Series 51 Municipal Fund Securities Exam. Written in clear English with practice questions, exercises and visual aids sprinkled throughout, the comprehensive Solomon Exam Prep Guide will get you on track to passing the Series 51 Municipal Fund Securities Limited Principal exam. Continue reading

Do you need to know about qualified tuition plans, arbitrage rules and LGIP tax-exempt status? Do SMMPs, OMSJs, and “otherwise independent persons” sound meaningful to you? If you answered yes to these questions, then you probably work in the municipal fund securities industry and you need to take the MSRB Series 51 exam.

Solomon Exam Prep announces publication of the 2nd edition of The Solomon Exam Prep Guide to the Series 51 Municipal Fund Securities Exam. Written in clear English with practice questions, exercises and visual aids sprinkled throughout, the comprehensive Solomon Exam Prep Guide will get you on track to passing the Series 51 Municipal Fund Securities Limited Principal exam.

According to Solomon Exam Prep President Jeremy Solomon, many underestimate the Series 51 exam because it’s only 60 questions long. Says Solomon: “The good thing about a shorter exam like the Series 51 is that it’s only 60 questions and it doesn’t cover as much material as other securities exams, such as the Series 7 or the Series 65. The bad thing about the Series 51 is that it’s only 60 questions and there’s less margin for error.   What makes the Series 51 particularly challenging is that it covers topics that most individuals, even securities professionals, have little knowledge of: the supervision of municipal fund securities activities. Topics include LGIPs, arbitrage bonds, qualified tuition plans and the regulation of political contributions. That’s why a good text and putting in enough study time are absolutely necessary if you want to pass the Series 51 exam and achieve the Municipal Fund Limited Principal registration.”

The Solomon Exam Prep Guide to the Series 51 Exam, 2nd edition includes:

New and updated MSRB rules, per the latest MSRB exam outline

Expanded arbitrage rebate section

Discussion of A, B, and C shares and breakpoint sales in relation to 529 plans

Expanded sections on transferring funds from other savings vehicles into 529 plans

Expanded discussion of municipal fund securities principal responsibilities

Expanded discussion and examples of the pay-to-play rule

Expanded discussion of out-of-state disclosure rules for 529 plans

Updated suitability section based on new suitability rule and its application

More examples, tables, figures, exercises and practice questions

Solomon Exam Prep has helped thousands of financial professionals pass their FINRA, NASAA, and MSRB securities regulatory exams including the Series 6, 7, 24, 26, 27, 28, 51, 52, 53, 55, 62, 63, 65, 66, 79, 82, and 99. The Solomon Exam Prep training system includes print and digital Exam Study Guides, Online Exam Simulators, Audiobooks, and Video Lectures to address the learning needs of all kinds of test-takers.

Solomon Exam Prep is led by founders Jeremy and Karen Solomon, both of whom maintain a lifelong commitment to advancing learning and education.  Solomon Exam Prep draws from a pool of seasoned educators, practitioners and communicators who are experienced in both investment education and the process of adult learning.

Solomon’s Industry News: September 2015 Edition

Solomon Exam Prep is happy to release this month’s edition of “Solomon’s Industry News.” Continue reading

Solomon Exam Prep is happy to release this month’s edition of “Solomon’s Industry News.” Every month we will send out industry updates from the past month, so you can stay current and up-to-date on everything that is happening here at Solomon Exam Prep and in the industry.

Check out this month’s edition here: Solomon’s Industry News – September 2015.

To be added to our monthly mailing list, please click here.

Bank Loan Disclosures on EMMA

EMMA, the Electronic Municipal Market Access website, now allows issuers to voluntarily share bank loan disclosure information online. Continue reading

EMMA, the Electronic Municipal Market Access website, now allows issuers to voluntarily share bank loan disclosure information online.

EMMA was created by the MSRB to give investors online access to official statements for municipal bonds, as well as other disclosure documents.  By adding the ability for issuers to share bank loan disclosure information, the MSRB is helping to provide investors with more transparency and more information with which to approach the municipal market.

The information can be posted on the issuer’s customized homepage. Getting it displayed is a two-step process. First, the issuer must submit the bank loan disclosure via the EMMA Dataport Submission Portal.  Once the information is submitted, it can be published on the Customized Issuer Homepage by using the Issuer Dashboard.

Investors will find bank loan disclosures and other documentation under the Continuing Disclosure tab on the issuer’s customized homepage.

EMMA is covered on the Series 7, 50, 51, 52, and 53 exams.  For more information about EMMA and the services it provides, please visit: http://emma.msrb.org/aboutemma/overview.aspx

MSRB Announces Creation of Professional Qualification Standards for Municipal Advisors

To qualify as a municipal advisor representative or municipal advisor principal, individuals will be required to pass a new Series 50 exam, which will begin being tried-out in the fall of 2015 to establish the passing score. Continue reading

Exam AlertAs required by the Dodd-Frank Act, effective April 27, 2015, the MSRB will amend its rules in order to create professional qualification standards for municipal advisors. The new rules will create a representative and a principal classification. To qualify as a municipal advisor representative or municipal advisor principal, individuals will be required to pass a new Series 50 exam, which will begin being tried-out in the fall of 2015 to establish the passing score. After the permanent test is in place, individuals acting as municipal advisors will have one year to pass the test.  Municipal advisors who would like to be part of the pilot group may sign up here: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/VAORGMSRB/subscriber/new?topic_id=VAORGMSRB_286.

The amended rules will also eliminate the existing requirement for a 90-day apprenticeship period.

This information came from http://www.msrb.org/News-and-Events/Press-Releases/2015/MSRB-Creates-Professional-Qualification-Standards-for-Municipal-Advisors.aspx

Increase in FINRA & MSRB Exam Fees

Next month both MSRB and FINRA exam fees will increase. Effective April 1, 2015, individuals who register for one of the following exams will be charged the new rates… Continue reading

Next month both MSRB and FINRA exam fees will increase. The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) will raise their development fee for professional qualification exams from $60 to $150. In addition, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) will also raise their exam fees by approximately $5-$15 per exam. Effective April 1, 2015, individuals who register for one of the following exams will be charged the new rates:

[Old rate] new rate

Series 4 – Registered Options Principal [$100] $105

Series 6 – Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative [$95] $100

Series 7 – General Securities Representative [$290] $305

Series 9 – General Securities Sales Supervisor – Options Module [$75] $80

Series 10 – General Securities Sales Supervisor – General Module [$120] $125

Series 11 – Assistant Representative – Order Processing [$75] $80

Series 14 – Compliance Official [$335] $350

Series 16 – Supervisory Analyst [$230] $240

Series 17 – Limited Registered Representative [$75] $80

Series 22 – Direct Participation Programs Representative [$95] $100

Series 23 – General Securities Principal Sales Supervisor Module [$95] $100

Series 24 – General Securities Principal [$115] $120

Series 26 – Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Principal [$95] $100

Series 27 – Financial and Operations Principal [$115] $120

Series 28 – Introducing Broker-Dealer Financial and Operations Principal [$95] $100

Series 37 – Canada Module of S7 (Options Required) [$175] $185

Series 38 – Canada Module of S7 (No Options Required) [$175] $185

Series 39 – Direct Participation Programs Principal [$90] $95

Series 42 – Registered Options Representative [$70] $75

Series 51 – Municipal Fund Securities Limited Principal [$95] $105 + $150 = $255

Series 52 – Municipal Securities Representative [$120] $130 + $150 = $280

Series 53 – Municipal Securities Principal [$105] $115 + $150 = $265

Series 55 – Limited Representative – Equity Trader [$105] $110

Series 62 – Corporate Securities Limited Representative [$90] $95

Series 72 – Government Securities Representative [$105] $110

Series 79 – Investment Banking Qualification Examination [$290] $305

Series 82 – Limited Representative – Private Securities Offering [$90] $95

Series 86 – Research Analyst – Analysis [$175] $185

Series 87 – Research Analyst – Regulatory [$125] $130

Series 99 – Operations Professional [$125] $130

 

This information came from http://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/rule_filing_file/SR-FINRA-2015-006.pdf and http://www.msrb.org/~/media/Files/SEC-Filings/2015/MSRB-2015-01.ashx?la=en

MSRB Rule Changes: Series 51, 52, and 53

The MSRB has added two new rules effective July 9, 2014. They are Rule G-47 (Time of Trade Disclosure) and Rule G-48 (Transactions with Sophisticated Municipal Market Professionals). MSRB has also amended Rule G-3 (Classification of Principals and Representatives) and Rule G-19 (Suitability), effective September 30, 2014. These four changes coordinate MSRB rules with FINRA rules and remove regulatory redundancies. Continue reading

The MSRB has added two new rules effective July 9, 2014. They are Rule G-47 (Time of Trade Disclosure) and Rule G-48 (Transactions with Sophisticated Municipal Market Professionals). MSRB has also amended Rule G-3 (Classification of Principals and Representatives) and Rule G-19 (Suitability), effective September 30, 2014. These four changes coordinate MSRB rules with FINRA rules and remove regulatory redundancies.

MSRB Rule G-3.  MSRB narrows the definition of Limited Representative – Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products (Series 6). Under FINRA rules, a Series 6 license only allows individuals to be involved in the purchase and sale of funds and variable products. The new MSRB rule will now be consistent with the FINRA rules. Representatives who want to participate in broader activities, such as underwriting, research and investment advice must now take and pass the Municipal Securities Representative Qualification Examination (Series 52).

Amended Rule G-3 also eliminates the designation of Municipal Securities Financial and Operations Principal (FINOP). Since municipal securities dealers that require a FINOP are also FINRA members and since FINRA has similar FINOP requirements, Rule G-3 eliminates the redundancy by removing its separate FINOP designation.

MSRB Rule G-19.  MSRB’s amended suitability rule conforms to FINRA’s own recent changes to its rule. Specifically, the amended rule recognizes three components to a broker-dealer’s suitability obligations. First, a broker-dealer must understand the complexity and risks of a security or investment strategy and consciously decide its suitability for at least some investors. Second, it must reasonably believe that a recommendation is suitable for a particular customer based on the customer’s personal and investment profile. Third, when a broker-dealer has control over a customer account, it must reasonably believe that a series of recommended securities transactions are not excessive.

MSRB Rule G-47.  This new rule requires broker-dealers to disclose to its customers all material information about a transaction and the security at or prior to the time of trade. Information is considered “material” if a reasonable investor is likely to consider it important in making an investment decision. Disclosures must include a complete description of the security and any facts important to assessing the potential risks of the investment.

MSRB Rule G-48.  Rule G-48 exempts broker-dealers from any obligation to disclose material information to customers who are sophisticated municipal market professionals (SMMPSs). It also exempts broker-dealers from informing an SMMP that the price of a secondary market agency transaction is fair and reasonable, as long as the broker-dealer has not recommended the transaction or exercised discretion as to its execution. Finally, Rule G-48 exempts broker-dealers from the obligation to perform a customer-specific suitability analysis for an SMMP.

Solomon’s Industry News: June 30, 2014 Edition

Solomon Exam Prep is happy to release this month’s edition of “Solomon’s Industry News.” Continue reading

Solomon's Industry News Header

Solomon Exam Prep is happy to release this month’s edition of “Solomon’s Industry News.” Every month we will send out industry updates from the past month, so you can stay current and up-to-date on everything that is happening here at Solomon and in the industry.

Check out this month’s edition here: Solomon’s Industry News 06/30/2014.

To be added to our monthly mailing list, please click here.