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 50 Permanent Exam Outline Released

The MSRB recently announced that the Series 50 permanent exam will be available starting on September 12, 2016. The Series 50 pilot exam, which was a precursor to the permanent exam, was available from January 15, 2016, to February 15, 2016, and helped to set the permanent exam passing score of 71%. Continue reading

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The MSRB recently announced that the Series 50 permanent exam will be available starting on September 12, 2016.  The Series 50 pilot exam, which was a precursor to the permanent exam, was available from January 15, 2016, to February 15, 2016, and helped to set the permanent exam passing score of 71%.

In preparation for the release of the permanent exam, the MSRB updated the Series 50 outline to reflect current rules.  Specifically, the following references were added to Function One of the outline:

  • Rules governing activities of municipal advisors (for example, professional qualification, fiduciary duty, and recordkeeping)
  • Rule G-20 (“Limitations on Gift Giving”), as it applies to municipal advisors
  • Rule G-37 (“Pay to Play” Rule), as it applies to municipal advisors
  • Rule G-42 (“Duties of Non-Solicitor Municipal Advisors”)

The MSRB also removed the reference to Rule G-32 (“Disclosure in Connection with Primary Offerings”) from Function One, most likely because this is more relevant to brokers, dealers, and municipal securities dealers than it is to municipal advisors.

Additionally, Function Two of the outline now refers to “rating agencies” instead of the “major three rating agencies.”

Finally, the MSRB added three new sample questions at the end of the outline to replace sample questions 2, 3, and 4.

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 SolomonExamPrep.Com or call 503.601.0212.

Study Question of the Month – June 2016

This month’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available! Relevant to the Series 50. ***Submit your answer to info@solomonexamprep.com to be entered to win a $10 Starbucks gift card.*** Continue reading

Congratulations to Jessi B., this month’s Study Question of the Month winner!

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.***

Study Question

Question (Relevant to the Series 50): Charles lives in Concord, New Hampshire, and buys a bond issued by that city. What is most likely true of this bond?

Answers: 

A. It is an AMT bond

B. It is a GO bond

C. It is a special tax bond

D. It is a triple tax-free bond

Answer: D. It is a triple tax-free bond.

Rationale: Because Charles lives in the municipality that issued the bond, the bond will be tax-exempt at the federal, state, and local level, hence the name “triple tax-free.” 

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

MSRB Series 50 Pilot Exam Becomes Permanent

Today, the MSRB announced that the permanent Municipal Representative Qualification Exam (Series 50) will be made available on September 12, 2016. On that day, a municipal advisor will be able to open a 120-day examination window for a municipal advisor representative. Continue reading

prod_bkSEP50Today, the MSRB announced that they will make the permanent Municipal Representative Qualification Exam (Series 50) available on September 12, 2016. On that day, a municipal advisor will be able to open a 120-day examination window for a municipal advisor representative.

Also, anyone who took the Series 50 pilot exam was notified today whether or not they passed. Individuals who took the Series 50 pilot but did not pass will have an extended exam window of one year (September 12, 2016 – September 12, 2017) to retake the exam one time for free.

Other relevant Series 50 exam information:

  • The permanent Series 50 exam will have 100 questions.
  • The passing score of the permanent Series 50 exam will be 71%.
  • Students taking the permanent Series 50 will have 3 hours to take the exam.
  • The fee to take the Series 50 exam will be $265.
  • If you took and passed the Series 50 pilot exam and you stop working for a municipal advisor, your Series 50 qualification will remain valid for two years.
  • The MSRB is providing a one-year grace period during which individuals will be able to take the municipal advisor representative exam while still engaging in municipal advisory activities. That means that municipal advisor representatives are not required to have the Series 50 qualification until September 12, 2017.
  • Municipal advisor representatives may indicate that they passed the Series 50 exam but suggesting that passing the Series 50 makes you more qualified than someone who hasn’t could be misleading and might get you in trouble with the MSRB or the SEC.
  • The Series 50 content outline is being updated and will be made available on the MSRB web site by July 1, 2016.

Solomon Exam Prep is updating its Series 50 materials based on customer feedback and based on regulatory and MSRB exam outline changes. Solomon Series 50 pilot students who did not pass the Series 50 pilot exam, will receive another 180-days of access to their Solomon Series 50 study materials. Please contact us either by phone at 503.601.0212 or via email (info@solomonexamprep.com) to have your account reset.

Follow us to keep up-to-date with all Series 50 updates and news!

Series 50 Materials – Now Available!

Solomon Exam Prep has been diligently preparing study materials for the Series 50 exam since the MSRB’s announcement of its new Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Exam. We are happy to announce that our Series 50 study materials are now available to give you plenty of time to study before taking the pilot exam! Continue reading

Series 50 Study PackageSolomon Exam Prep has been diligently preparing study materials for the Series 50 exam since the MSRB’s announcement of its new Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Exam. An initial pilot exam will be taking place from January 15, 2016 – February 15, 2016. We are happy to announce that our Series 50 study materials are now available to give you plenty of time to study before taking the pilot exam!

Solomon Exam Prep is happy to offer both an Exam Study Guide (digital w/ hardcopy to follow, available for pre-order now) and Online Exam Simulator for the Series 50 exam. You can purchase all the tools you will need to pass in our Series 50 Essentials Study Package and save 10%!

We encourage those needing to take the new Series 50 exam to take the Series 50 pilot exam. This is a great opportunity to take the new exam without any penalties for a failure – the enrollment window is open until January 14, 2016. For more information on the Series 50 pilot exam, see the MSRB website.

We will continue updating our Series 50 materials as the exam becomes more established during and after the pilot exam, and we look forward to helping you pass!

Series 50 Pilot Exam – Register Soon

The MSRB has announced that the Series 50 pilot exam will be available to test-takers from January 15, 2016, to February 15, 2016. Registration for the exam begins on September 21, 2015, and closes January 14, 2016. Continue reading

The MSRB has announced that the Series 50 pilot exam will be available to test-takers from January 15, 2016, to February 15, 2016.  Registration for the exam begins on September 21, 2015, and closes January 14, 2016.

The pilot exam is a precursor to the Series 50 permanent exam, which will be the qualifying exam for municipal advisors. Those who pass the Series 50 pilot exam will not be required to take the permanent exam.

The fee to take the exam is $265. Municipal advisor professionals can be enrolled by submitting Form U10 on the FINRA website. Test-takers will receive their results in the mail 2-3 months after taking the exam. The MSRB does not currently have a projected passing score for the pilot exam, but Gail Marshall, MSRB Associate General Counsel – Enforcement Coordination, says that the passing score for the Series 50 permanent exam “will be determined using the American Psychological Association’s Standards for Education and Psychological testing” and that the process will be supervised by an expert psychometrician.

The pilot exam will contain 120 multiple choice questions, and will begin with a thirty minute tutorial that explains how to take the computerized test. Test-takers will have four hours to take the Series 50 pilot. Although the Series 50 content outline will continue to change as rules are updated, according to the MSRB, there are no expectations that the content outline will change between the pilot exam and the permanent exam.


Series 50 study materials now available: https://solomonexamprep.com/series50

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

Series 50 Pilot Exam

The Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Exam (Series 50) is designed to test the minimum standards required of municipal advisor representatives and municipal advisor principals, two new classifications created when the MSRB revised Rule G-3 to meet the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Continue reading

The Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Exam (Series 50) is designed to test the minimum standards required of municipal advisor representatives and municipal advisor principals, two new classifications created when the MSRB revised Rule G-3 to meet the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  The exam covers basic knowledge of the internal workings and regulations of the municipal advisory system.  The MSRB intends to develop an additional exam for municipal advisor principals, but as of this writing no further information about the principal-level examination has been released.

The Series 50 will initially be rolled out as a pilot exam, and it will be available to anyone who works in a municipal advisory capacity.  The pilot exam is designed to help the MSRB evaluate its bank of test questions and determine an appropriate passing score.

There are a few good reasons to volunteer to take the pilot exam.  If you pass the pilot exam, you are not required to take the permanent exam.  While there is a fee for the pilot exam, if you do not pass, then your fee for the permanent exam will be waived the first time you take it.

Additionally, if you fail the permanent exam, you must wait thirty days before taking it again, and after your third attempt you must wait 180 days before another attempt.  However, the pilot exam will not count against these attempts.

And last but not least, a failure on the Series 50 pilot exam will not go on your CRD record.

Test takers will be allotted half an hour for an exam tutorial and four hours for the exam itself.  The exam will contain 100-125 questions, which will be drawn at random from the Series 50 question database.  You will be notified of your results about three months after taking the exam.

To register for the test, visit Pearson VUE at www.pearsonvue.com/finra or Prometric at www.prometric.com/finra.


Series 50 study materials now available: https://solomonexamprep.com/series50

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