ESG Investing and DeFi & Digital Assets CE Courses Now Available

Investment Adviser Representatives have two more Solomon continuing education courses to choose from to complete their annual NASAA IAR CE requirement. Continue reading

Solomon Exam Prep has just added two new courses to its Investment Adviser Representative Continuing Education course library! Both courses are approved by NASAA and earn credit towards the new CE requirement for investment adviser representatives (IARs).

An Introduction to ESG Investing

Curious about the increasingly popular form of investing called ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investing? Solomon Exam Prep’s new continuing education course, “An Introduction to ESG Investing,” provides a helpful overview of the topic for IARs.

The course begins with a short history of the ESG movement, including the role that international and domestic governing bodies have played in jumpstarting ESG investing. The different types of ESG ratings are compared and explained. Additionally, the course describes the kinds of ESG securities offered, as well as ways to choose an ESG portfolio that aligns with an investor’s values. Finally, the course lays out the potential risks and benefits of ESG funds and common ESG investment philosophies, such as impact investing and sustainable investing.

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to do the following:
    • Briefly describe the domestic and international roots of ESG investing and how it has grown to become a prominent force for change in the US and EU
    • Identify the characteristics and examples of the types of metrics used to gauge compliance with ESG goals
    • Understand the basic differences between the several types of ESG ratings agencies
    • Describe the common types of ESG securities, such as mutual funds, ETFs and green bonds
    • Identify examples of how states have led the shift in ESG investing
    • Describe the risks and benefits of investing in ESG funds
    • Define basic terms used in ESG investing tactics, such as impact investing and sustainable investing

The Introduction to ESG Investing course is worth one credit for the Products and Practices category. IARs must complete six credits of Products and Practices courses each year, of the 12 total required credits.

DeFi and Digital Assets

If you’ve been hearing terms such as “cryptocurrency,” “DeFi (short for decentralized finance),” and “NFTs” and wondering what all the fuss is about, you’re not alone. Solomon Exam Prep’s new “DeFi and Digital Assets” continuing education course offers a look into the world of digital assets through the lens of fiduciary duty.

The course discusses examples of digital assets such as cryptocurrency, dApps, DeFi Projects, and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). You’ll learn about the function of these digital assets and asset tools, as well as the benefits and drawbacks for IARs and their clients. This includes a discussion of whether IARs have the tools to provide a sufficient suitability analysis on these digital assets for their clients. The course ends with an assessment of the SEC’s regulatory framework for these assets.

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to do the following:
    • Explain the Prudent Investor Rule and identify two factors that are important in presenting a suitability analysis
    • Identify at least one advantage and one disadvantage to using a smart contract-based dApp as opposed to a traditional financial instrument
    • Compare and contrast a normal digital token with an NFT
    • Identify how digital assets present a different kind of transparency when compared with traditional financial instruments
    • Identify three differences in the risk profile of a digital asset compared to a traditional financial asset, including two difficulties associated with assessing risk
    • Explain conflict of interest that occurs due to valuation methods in digital asset portfolios

The DeFi and Digital Assets course is worth one credit for the Ethics and Professional Responsibility category and falls into the ethics sub-category. Out of the 12 total required credits, IARs must complete six credits of Ethics and Professional Responsibility courses each year. Three of these must specifically be ethics courses.

Solomon Exam Prep Investment Adviser Representative Continuing Education program
Solomon Exam Prep IAR CE course platform

About Solomon IAR CE courses

Solomon’s online IAR CE courses are self-paced and accessible on any internet-enabled device. Each course consists of short reading passages followed by quick assessments of 2–4 questions each. This read-and-quiz format facilitates learning and retention.

All Solomon IAR CE courses earn credit towards the Products and Practices or the Ethics and Professional Responsibility categories required by NASAA. Once activated, you have up to 365 days to complete a course. When you finish a course, Solomon reports completion to FINRA, NASAA’s vendor for program tracking.

What is the IAR CE requirement?

Investment Adviser Representatives registered in a jurisdiction that has adopted and implemented the NASAA model rule must do annual continuing education. To fulfill the IAR CE requirement, IARs must complete 12 credits of continuing education each calendar year.

To learn more about the IAR CE requirement, visit the Solomon IAR CE FAQs page. Explore Solomon’s entire IAR CE course library – purchase individual courses or a membership to the whole library and complete all your IAR CE in one place.

Disclaimer: NASAA does not endorse any particular provider of CE courses. The content of the course and any views expressed are our own and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASAA or any of its member jurisdictions.

Kentucky Adopts Continuing Education Requirement for Investment Adviser Representatives

Investment Adviser Representatives registered in Kentucky must complete NASAA-approved continuing education courses beginning in 2023. Continue reading

Kentucky is the latest state to adopt the NASAA model rule that requires investment adviser representatives (IARs) to complete annual continuing education (CE). The CE requirement will go into effect on January 1, 2023, for IARs registered in Kentucky.

Michigan and Wisconsin will also require IARs to complete CE starting in 2023.

Other states that are in the process of adopting IAR CE are Arkansas, Nevada, and Washington D.C. If these jurisdictions finalize adoption of the CE requirement in 2022, then it will go into effect in 2023.

The IAR CE requirement went into effect in Maryland, Mississippi, and Vermont on January 1, 2022. As a result, IARs registered in these states must complete CE by the end of this year. The requirement applies to both state-registered and federal-registered investment advisers.

IARs who are required to complete CE must take 12 credits of CE coursework each year. NASAA allows IARs to choose courses they’re interested in, but the courses and course provider must be approved by NASAA.

Solomon Exam Prep is a NASAA-approved CE provider, and all the courses in Solomon’s IAR CE course library earn credits towards the CE requirement. Explore Solomon’s IAR CE courses.

For more information about IAR CE, visit the Solomon IAR CE FAQs or NASAA’s IAR CE FAQs.

Disclaimer: NASAA does not endorse any particular provider of CE courses. The content of the course and any views expressed are our own and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASAA or any of its member jurisdictions.

New Editions of the Solomon Series 63, 65, & 66 Study Guides

If you plan to take the NASAA Series 63, Series 65, or Series 66 exams, the new editions of these Solomon Study Guides are now available. Continue reading

Are you thinking about pursuing a career as an investment adviser representative? Do you need to register in a state as a broker-dealer representative? Or perhaps you’d like to qualify as both a securities agent and an investment adviser representative? If you said “yes” to any of these questions, then you likely need to take either the Series 63, Series 65, or Series 66 exam.

Solomon Exam Prep is excited to announce the release of new editions of Solomon’s Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 Study Guides! Solomon Study Guides present the information you need to know in easy-to-understand language, helpful charts and graphs, and practice questions. You’ll be well-prepared for these exams with Solomon’s updated editions:

    • Series 63 Study Guide, 6th Edition
    • Series 65 Study Guide, 4th Edition
    • Series 66 Study Guide, 5th Edition
What changes with these new editions?

While the core content of the study guides remains the same, some key changes include:

    • New sections on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Marketing Rule
    • New sections on private foundations versus donor-advised funds
    • Updated 2022 tax information

Content updates for these new editions are also reflected in the Solomon Exam Simulator. The online Exam Simulator complements the study guides with thousands of practice questions for the Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 exams. Hone, track, and assess your knowledge by taking unlimited chapter quizzes and full exams to practice what you’ve learned.

What are the Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 exams?

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) created the Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 exams. NASAA represents state securities regulators in North America, with the goal of protecting and educating investors.

The Series 63, Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, is the state law test for broker-dealer representatives. Of the three exams, the Series 63 is the shortest at 65 questions.

The Series 65, Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, qualifies individuals to become investment adviser representatives. The Series 65 exam consists of 130 questions.

Passing the Series 66, the Uniform Combined State Law Examination, qualifies an individual as both a securities agent and an investment advisor representative. However, to register as an investment adviser representative based on the Series 66, an individual must also pass the FINRA Series 7 exam. The Series 66 exam is 100 questions.

Solomon Exam Prep President and Co-founder, Jeremy Solomon, points out that there has been a rise in the number of investment adviser representatives, along with a shift towards firms registered as both broker-dealers and investment-advisers.

“At Solomon, our data show that more and more individuals are taking NASAA exams, especially the Series 65 and Series 66. With new editions of Solomon Study Guides for these exams, we continue our strong track record of helping thousands of financial professionals achieve their career goals by passing these important NASAA qualification exams.”
Jeremy Solomon
Solomon Exam Prep President and Co-founder

The Solomon Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 Study Guides are available as digital subscriptions, with a hardcopy upgrade option. The guides can be purchased individually or in a package with accompanying study products. Customers also have access to free tools and resources, including Solomon Study Schedules in digital and pdf format, which help students master the exam material with maximum efficiency.

Additional study products for the Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 exams include Audiobooks, Video Lectures, Flashcards, and Live Web Classes. To learn more about Solomon Exam Prep’s study materials for these exams, visit the Solomon website.

NASAA Ending Most Online Testing for Series 63, 65, and 66 Exams

If you’re planning to take the Series 63, Series 65, or Series 66 exam after March 31, 2022, testing online will not be available for most candidates. Continue reading

Starting April 1, 2022, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) will no longer offer the option to take the Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 exams online. Online testing for these exams will only be available for candidates who provide medical proof that they cannot take exams in testing centers.

If you’re currently scheduled to take a NASAA exam online on or before March 31, 2022, then this announcement does not apply to you.

However, if you have an online appointment for any dates after March 31, it will be canceled. In this case, you can either submit an accommodation request to FINRA or schedule a new appointment at a Prometric testing center. To learn more about submitting a request for testing accommodations, visit the FINRA Testing Accommodations page.

You can find more information about enrolling for and scheduling the Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 exams on the FINRA Test Enrollment Services System.

  

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Arkansas, Kentucky, and the District of Columbia Move to Adopt IAR CE Requirement

Arkansas, Kentucky, and Washington, D.C. have begun the process to adopt NASAA Investment Adviser Representative continuing education. Continue reading

Arkansas, Kentucky, and Washington D.C. have begun the process to adopt NASAA’s new continuing education (CE) requirement for investment adviser representatives (IARs). If the two states and the District of Columbia adopt the CE requirement by the end of 2022, then it will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

Nevada is also in the process of adopting the CE requirement for IARs. Michigan and Wisconsin finalized adoption of the IAR CE requirement, and implementation will start in 2023 in those states.

The IAR CE requirement is already in effect in Maryland, Mississippi, and Vermont. That means that IARs who are registered in these states must complete CE by the end of 2022. The requirement applies to both state-registered and federal-registered investment advisers.

IARs who are affected by the CE requirement will have to complete 12 credits of CE coursework per year: six credits in Products and Practices and six credits in Ethics and Professional Responsibility, with at least three about ethics. To earn CE credit, courses must be taken from a NASAA-approved vendor, such as Solomon Exam Prep.

To learn more about Solomon’s on-demand IAR CE courses, explore the Course Library.

Disclaimer: NASAA does not endorse any particular provider of CE courses. The content of the course and any views expressed are our own and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASAA or any of its member jurisdictions.

Solomon Exam Prep Launches Investment Adviser Representative CE

Solomon’s NASAA-approved IAR CE courses are now available for investment adviser representatives who must complete the new CE requirement for 2022. Continue reading

Solomon Exam Prep is excited to announce the launch of its Investment Adviser Representative Continuing Education (IAR CE). All Solomon IAR CE courses are approved by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and earn credit to fulfill the new, annual CE requirement for IARs (Investment Adviser Representatives).

About Solomon IAR CE

As a leader in securities exam prep, including the NASAA Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66, Solomon brings the same level of expertise to creating high quality IAR CE content. Course content is delivered in self-paced online modules accessible on any web-enabled device, so you can study when and where you like. Short, engaging modules use a read-and-quiz format that results in higher retention for better learning. Plus, the user-friendly platform allows you to easily jump into the course and start learning.  
 
Solomon’s on-demand courses can be purchased individually, or through a membership to the entire course library to complete all your IAR CE in one place. The Solomon IAR CE platform helps guide course selection for you so that you know you are taking the right number of credits in the required course categories.  
 
Curious about Solomon’s IAR CE courses? Explore the Solomon IAR CE course library.

Solomon investment adviser representative CE course platform
Solomon IAR CE course platform

IAR CE FAQs (frequently asked questions)

Solomon has compiled some of the most common frequently asked questions about the new IAR CE requirement and how Solomon IAR CE works: 

Why is there a new CE requirement for IARs? 

CE courses are designed to keep a financial professional up to date on industry developments, current regulations, and ethical standards. NASAA received support from state regulators and the securities industry for the creation of a CE program to ensure that IARs, like broker-dealer agents, insurance agents, certified financial planners, and real estate agents, maintain or expand their level of knowledge and competence throughout their careers. 

Who must complete IAR CE? 

Every investment adviser representative (IAR) registered in a jurisdiction that adopts the NASAA model rule is subject to the CE requirement. The requirement applies to all registered IARs of both state-registered and federal-covered investment advisers. IARs must meet the CE requirements of any state in which the IAR is registered. 

When do IARs need to start complying with the CE program? 

Compliance starts in the 2022 calendar year in states that have adopted the model rule with an effective date of January 1, 2022. To view the states that adopted the new CE requirement, see the NASAA website or the Solomon IAR CE webpage. CE credits must be reported by the end of each calendar year. Newly registered IARs must meet the annual IAR CE requirement by the end of the first full calendar year following the year in which they first become registered. 

How many courses do I have to take? 

You have to complete 12 credits of CE coursework per year. Six of the 12 credits must be in the Products and Practices category. The other six credits must be in the Ethics and Professional Responsibility category, at least three of which must specifically be about ethics. The category that each course belongs to is indicated in the Solomon IAR CE course library. All Solomon courses are at least one credit. 

Where can I take NASAA-approved courses? 

NASAA has approved several vendors to provide IAR CE courses, including Solomon Exam Prep. All of the courses in the Solomon IAR CE library have passed an approval process with NASAA and Prometric, the course management vendor. 

How are the courses delivered? 

Solomon Exam Prep’s IAR CE courses are delivered online and are self-paced, so students can study when and where they like. 

Do I have to pass an assessment to complete a course? 

Yes, every course has an assessment that is at least 10 questions in length. In Solomon IAR CE courses, the assessment is broken up into shorter assessments that appear throughout the course, instead of a single assessment at the end of the course. You must pass assessments with a score of 100%, and you have an unlimited number of attempts. You may also be asked to complete a satisfaction survey as part of the course activities.

If I earn more than 12 IAR CE credits in a calendar year, can I carry over extra credits to the next year? 

No, credits earned beyond the 12 required credits do not carry over into a subsequent year. 

What happens if I do not complete the IAR CE requirement by the end of the calendar year? 

You will be required to pay the registration renewal fee, and CRD will set your IAR CE status to “CE Inactive.” This status will appear in the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IADP) and in BrokerCheck. You can continue to do business; however, if IAR CE is not completed by the end of the subsequent year, you will not be able to renew your registration. An IAR that is CE Inactive will hold that status in all states where the CE rule is effective following adoption of the model. If a state has not yet adopted the CE model rule, the CE program will have no impact on the registration status of the IARs registered with that state – the current registration practices will remain the same. 

Do I need to make up missed CE credits? 

Yes. If you complete courses in the current year, those credits will first apply to the previous year if you hadn’t completed 12 credits in the previous year. Once the missing credits for the previous year have been completed, then additional courses taken in the current year will apply to the current year’s requirement. Remember that any excess credits completed in a year will not carry forward to the next year. 

Who reports course completion? 

The course provider (i.e. Solomon Exam Prep) reports course completion to FINRA, NASAA’s vendor for program tracking. IARs should still keep a record of their completed courses for their own records. Solomon Exam Prep will distribute a course completion notice, once credits are reported, for this reason. 

Is there a reporting fee? 

Yes, the reporting fee, also known as the roster fee, is $3 per credit hour. For Solomon IAR CE courses, the reporting fee is included in the cost of the course or membership. Solomon submits the reporting fee and course completion information to FINRA, the manager of NASAA’s CE reporting database. 

How do I make sure my completion of the annual IAR CE requirement is shown in FINRA’s CE reporting database? 

The course provider (i.e. Solomon Exam Prep) is responsible for reporting successful completion information to both the IAR and to FINRA. To do this, Solomon must collect the IAR’s CRD number, and first and last names. The IAR is responsible for communicating this information to Solomon when prompted. The IAR is also responsible for ensuring they receive documentation of courses completed and keeping track of the number of CE credits awarded for each course. 
 
For more information about IAR Continuing Education, visit the NASAA FAQs page.

Disclaimer: NASAA does not endorse any particular provider of CE courses. The content of the course and any views expressed are our own and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASAA or any of its member jurisdictions.

Wisconsin Adopts Continuing Education Requirement for Investment Adviser Representatives

Wisconsin is the latest state to adopt the new NASAA continuing education requirement for investment adviser representatives. Continue reading

On January 24th, Wisconsin became the latest state to adopt NASAA’s new continuing education requirements for Investment Adviser Representatives.

Starting in 2022, every investment adviser representative (IAR) registered in a jurisdiction that has adopted the NASAA model rule will be subject to the CE requirement. The requirement applies to all registered IARs of both state-registered and federal-covered investment advisers.

Affected IARs will have to complete 12 credits of CE coursework each year. Six credits must be about product knowledge and industry practices, called Products and Practices CE. The other six credits must be about ethical and regulatory obligations, called Ethics and Professional Responsibility CE, and at least three of these must specifically be about ethics.

For Wisconsin and other states that adopt the CE requirement this year, the requirement will go into effect on January 1, 2023. For states that adopted the CE requirement last year (Maryland, Mississippi, and Vermont), it is currently in effect.

Solomon Exam Prep’s NASAA-approved IAR CE courses will be available soon. To stay informed, visit the Solomon website and join our Continuing Education email list.

Disclaimer: NASAA does not endorse any particular provider of CE courses. The content of the course and any views expressed are our own and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASAA or any of its member jurisdictions.

Solomon Approved as Investment Adviser Representative CE Provider

As a leader in securities exam prep, Solomon Exam Prep will offer courses for IARs to complete the new NASAA IAR CE requirement. Continue reading

If you’re an Investment Adviser Representative (IAR) who will need to complete the new North American Securities Administrator Association (NASAA) IAR Continuing Education (CE) requirement starting in 2022, Solomon Exam Prep is an approved IAR CE provider! Solomon will be launching several of its planned CE courses soon.

What is the NASAA IAR CE requirement? 

Starting in 2022, investment adviser representatives will be subject to a requirement that broker-dealer representatives have long been familiar with: Continuing Education. These courses are designed to keep a financial professional up to date on industry developments, current regulations, and ethical standards. Every IAR registered in a jurisdiction that adopts the NASAA model rule will be subject to its CE requirements. The mandatory CE program will apply to all registered IARs of both state-registered and federal-covered investment advisers. IARs will be required to meet the CE requirements of any state in which the IAR is registered. These requirements mandate: 

    • 12 credits of CE coursework per year. One credit is at least 50 minutes of instruction.
    • Courses may be in person or online.
    • 6 of the 12 credits must be about product knowledge and industry practices. NASAA calls this Products and Practices Continuing Education. IARs who are dually registered as broker-dealer agents are exempt from the Products and Practices CE if they complete their FINRA CE requirements.
    • The other 6 credits must be about ethical and regulatory obligations. At least 3 of these must be specifically about ethics. NASAA calls this Ethics and Professional Responsibility Continuing Education.
So far, the following states have adopted the IAR CE requirement for 2022: 
    • Maryland
    • Mississippi
    • Vermont 


Adoption of the IAR CE requirement is pending in Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin, but implementation may not occur until January 1, 2023. For the latest information on which states have adopted the requirement, see the NASAA website or the Solomon IAR CE webpage

For more information about NASAA IAR Continuing Education, see these FAQs.

Solomon IAR CE Courses

Solomon Exam Prep will soon be launching its on-demand IAR CE courses, which will be available individually or as part of a full membership to the entire course library. IARs who are required to complete CE in 2022 will be able to take all the required 12 credits of CE coursework via the Solomon website.

Solomon has helped thousands of IARs pass their NASAA licensing exams with our innovative learning system, including the Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66. We are extending the same level of commitment to delivering quality IAR CE courses, and we look forward to supporting IARs as they navigate this new CE requirement.
Photo of Jeremy Solomon
Jeremy Solomon
Solomon president and co-founder

Disclaimer: NASAA does not endorse any particular provider of CE courses. The content of the course and any views expressed are our own and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASAA or any of its member jurisdictions. 
 

Be sure to get the latest updates about Solomon’s IAR CE courses by joining our email list! Sign up on the  Solomon website here or click the button below.

Solomon Poll: Inflation Expectations for 2022

What are inflation and inflation expectations, and why are they important? Learn what these terms mean and the results of the latest Solomon poll. Continue reading

Can you predict what the economic future of the U.S. will be next month? How about next year? If you’re not sure, Solomon Exam Prep suggests you look at leading indicators, which are economic measures that have been found to anticipate a change in the economy. They are also tested subjects on securities licensing exams such as the FINRA Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and the NASAA Investment Adviser (Series 65) exam. 
 
One important leading indicator is inflation. So, we asked Solomon LinkedIn followers to predict whether the rate of inflation in 2022 will increase, decrease, or stay the same. According to the poll, a whopping 81% of respondents believe that inflation will increase in 2022. Ten percent predict that inflation will stay the same, and nine percent think it will decrease.  
 
For securities licensing exams, leading indicators are important to understand because they are believed to have predictive power, and therefore, allow economists to see what the economic future may hold. That is why Solomon Exam Prep study guides for the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE), Series 7, Series 65, and Series 66 all discuss inflation. So, what exactly is inflation and why does it occur? 

What is inflation and why does it happen?

Inflation means an increase in the prices of goods and services and a decline in the purchasing power of a currency. It can be understood as a part of business cycles, which are fluctuations in the economy. A business cycle has four phases. The first phase, expansion, is characterized by an increase in economic activity and above-average economic growth. In this phase, the production of goods rises and unemployment falls. Lenders make credit more available because they believe businesses and people will be able to repay their loans. Available credit means lower interest rates, which fuels expansion, resulting in more jobs. 
  
The expansion phase feels good because jobs are plentiful, and wages rise. But a risk of the expansion phase is the possibility of inflation because increasing wages and available credit tend to boost prices.  Inflation can result when demand for goods and services outstrips their supply. This usually occurs near the end of an expansionary phase, when too much money is chasing too few goods. Inflation can occur because of:

    • High consumer confidence in the economy
    • An economy that has reached its production potential
    • Excess money in the economy
    • Increases in wages and other production costs, such as a rise in commodity prices

What does inflation mean for investors?

With rising prices come rising interest rates. For example, if the cost of living is increasing at 5%, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), investors will be unwilling to purchase a bond paying 4% and lose purchasing power. Lenders will need to raise interest rates to keep up with inflation. 
  
In an inflationary environment, investors may be less inclined to make long-term investments. The possibility that a long-term bond or other long-term investment will not keep up with inflation may drive investors to short-term and variable-rate bonds. Unfortunately, to grow, many businesses, especially capital-intensive companies such as oil and gas refineries, airlines, and telecommunications companies need to borrow for the long-term. As a result, an inflationary environment can reduce business investment and cause an economic downturn.

What are inflation expectations?

To return to the Solomon LinkedIn poll – does it matter what people think will happen with inflation in the future? The short answer is yes, and there’s even a term for this: inflation expectations. Inflation expectations refer to the rate at which people and businesses expect prices to rise in the future. Inflation expectations are important because they can actually affect the real rate of inflation. For example, if everyone expects prices to increase by two percent over the next year, then businesses will likely raise their prices by two percent or more, and workers will want comparable salary increases.  
 
If the Solomon LinkedIn poll results are any indication, inflation expectations for the next year are that prices will increase. Do you agree that 2022 will see a rise in the rate of inflation? Comment below to share your thoughts on the topic. 
 
Follow Solomon on LinkedIn for more polls, industry updates, study tips, and more!

How to Pass the NASAA Series 65 Exam

What is the Series 65 exam and how should you prepare for it? Read Solomon Exam Prep’s guide to the NASAA Series 65 exam. Continue reading

What does the NASAA Series 65 allow me to do?

The Series 65, also known as the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, qualifies individuals to give investment advice for a fee. Investment adviser representatives (IARs) use their knowledge to give financial advice and help clients build investment portfolios. IARs might provide general investment advice or recommend a client to invest in a specific security. IARs can also manage client accounts and supervise other IARs.

The organization that creates the test—the North American Securities Administrators Association, or NASAA—works to protect investors in every state, territory, the District of Columbia, Canada, and Mexico. Requiring investment adviser representative candidates to pass the Series 65 is a key tool in the NASAA’s investor protection arsenal. Regulators want to make sure people who are giving investment advice in their state or jurisdiction are competent and will behave legally and ethically.

About the Exam

The Series 65 exam consists of 130 scored and 10 unscored multiple-choice questions covering the four sections of the NASAA Series 65 exam outline. The 10 additional unscored questions are ones that the exam committee is trying out. These are unidentified and are distributed randomly throughout the exam. NASAA updates its exam questions regularly to reflect the most current rules and regulations.

Note: Scores are rounded down to the lowest whole number (e.g. 71.9% would be a final score of 71%–not a passing score for the Series 65 exam).

Topics Covered on the Exam

The NASAA divides the Series 65 exam into four sections:

The Series 65 exam covers many topics including the following:

    • Economics
    • Financial reporting
    • Quantitative methods
    • Risks
    • Cash investments
    • Fixed income
    • Equities
    • Pooled investments, such as mutual funds, ETFs, and REITs
    • Derivatives
    • Alternatives
    • Annuities and other insurance-based investments
    • Client types
    • Client profiles
    • Capital market theory
    • Portfolio management
    • Taxes
    • Retirement plans
    • ERISA
    • Special accounts, such as college savings plans
    • Trading securities
    • Performance measures
    • State and federal securities acts and regulations
    • Ethical practices and fiduciary obligations

Question Types on the Series 65

The Series 65 exam consists of multiple-choice questions, each with four options. You will see these question structures:

Closed Stem Format:

This item type asks a question and gives four possible answers from which to choose.

Which of the following actions might the Federal Reserve take if it wishes to stimulate the economy?

    1. Buy Treasuries
    2. Raise the discount rate
    3. Raise the bank reserve requirements
    4. Raise the margin requirements
Incomplete Sentence Format:

This kind of question has an incomplete sentence followed by four options that present possible conclusions.

A recession is a protracted period of decline in the national economy, typically defined as:

    1. More than two quarters of decreasing GDP
    2. More than two quarters of decline in the housing market
    3. More than two quarters of shrinking M1
    4. More than two quarters of a falling PPI
“EXCEPT” Format:

This type requires you to recognize the one choice that is an exception among the four answer choices presented.

All of the following are tools that the Federal Reserve uses to implement monetary policy except:

    1. Open market operations
    2. Discount window lending
    3. Altering bank reserve requirements
    4. Altering the value of the dollar
Fill-in-the-Blank Format:

This question type has a missing word or phrase, which you must select from the four options provided.

A situation in which short-term securities pay higher yields than long-term securities is considered a(n) _____ yield curve.

    1. Normal
    2. Inverted
    3. Flat
    4. Barbell
Complex Multiple-Choice (“Roman Numeral”) Format:

For this question type, you see a question followed by two or more statements identified by Roman numerals. The four answer choices represent combinations of these statements. You must select the combination that best answers the question.

A stronger dollar benefits which group?

    1. U.S. exporters
    2. U.S. importers
    3. U.S. investors who want to invest in foreign assets
    4. Overseas investors who want to invest in U.S. assets
    1. I and II
    2. II and III
    3. III and IV
    4. I and IV

This format is also used in items that ask you to rank or order a set of items from highest to lowest (or vice versa), or to place a series of events in the proper sequence.

Order the following from lowest to highest:

    1. Broker call rate
    2. Federal funds rate
    3. Prime rate
    4. Discount rate
    1. I, IV, III, I
    2. III, II, I, IV
    3. IV, III, I, II
    4. II, IV, I, III

How to Study for the Series 65

Follow Solomon Exam Prep’s proven study system:
    • Read and understand. It’s simple: read the Solomon Study Guide, carefully. The Series 65 is a knowledge test, not an IQ test. Many students read the Study Guide two or three times before taking the exam. To increase your ability to focus while reading, or as an alternative to reading, listen to the Solomon Audiobook, which is a word-for-word reading of the Solomon Study Guide.
    • Answer practice questions in the Solomon Exam Simulator. When you’re done with a chapter in the Study Guide, take 4 – 6 chapter quizzes in the Solomon Online Exam Simulator. Use these quizzes to give yourself practice and to find out what you need to study more. Make sure you read and understand the question rationales. When you’re finished reading the entire Study Guide, review your handwritten notes once more. Then, and only then, start taking full practice exams in the Exam Simulator. Aim to pass at least six full practice exams and try to get your average score to at least an 80; when you reach that point, you are probably ready to sit for the Series 65 exam.
Use these effective study strategies:
    • Take handwritten notes. As you read the Study Guide, take handwritten notes and review your notes every day for 10 to 15 minutes. Studies show that the act of taking handwritten notes in your own words and then reviewing them strengthens learning and memory.
    • Make flashcards. Making your own flashcards is another powerful and proven method to reinforce memory and strengthen learning. Solomon also offers digital flashcards for the Series 65 exam.
    • Research. Research anything you do not understand. Curiosity = learning. Students who take responsibility for their own learning by researching anything they do not understand get a deeper understanding of the subject matter and are much more likely to pass.
    • Become the teacher. Studies show that explaining what you are learning greatly increases your understanding of the material. Ask someone in your life to listen and ask questions. If you don’t have anyone, explain it to yourself. Studies show that helps almost as much as explaining to an actual person (see Solomon’s recent post to learn more about this strategy!).
Take advantage of Solomon’s supplemental tools and resources:
    • Use all the resources. The Resources folder in your Solomon student account has helpful information, including a detailed study schedule that you can print out – or use the online study schedule and check off tasks as you complete them.
    • Watch the Video Lecture. This provides a helpful review of the key concepts in each chapter after reading the Solomon Study Guide. Take notes to help yourself stay focused.
  • Good practices while studying:
    • Take regular breaks. Studies show that if you are studying for an exam, taking regular walks in a park or natural setting significantly improves scores. Walks in urban areas or among people did not improve test scores.
    • Get enough sleep during the period when you are studying. Sleep consolidates learning into memory, studies show. Be good to yourself while you are studying for the Series 65: exercise, eat well, and avoid activities that will hurt your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

You can pass the NASAA Series 65! It just takes work and determination. Solomon Exam Prep is here to support you on your journey to becoming a registered Investment Adviser Representative.

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