6May/160
Study Question of the Month – May 2016

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 7Series 62 and Series 82): Which of the following is not true of commercial paper?

Answers:

A. It is used to cover an issuer's short-term needs such as payroll and inventory

B. It typically matures in less than 90 days, but it can have a term as long as 397 days.

C. It is generally issued in lots of $100,000, but they can be sold at a discount in the primary market

D. Highly rated commercial paper is generally considered safe enough to be purchased by money market funds, but it is rarely purchased by retail investors.

Check back at the end of the month for the correct answer & full rationale!

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

4Apr/160
Study Question of the Month – April 2016

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 6, Series 7, Series 24, Series 26, Series 62, and Series 82): Which of the following would most likely be classified as a branch office?

Answers: 

A. The floor of a registered exchange

B. A vacation home where the registered representative works for 45 business days a year

C. A customer service office where no sales activities are conducted

D. A location used primarily for non-securities activities and from which 25 securities transactions are effected a year

Correct Answer: B. A vacation home where the registered representative works for 45 business days a year

Rationale: A branch office is any location where one or more associated employees is in the business of soliciting or effecting (but not executing) the purchase or sale of any security.

A location outside of a primary residence, for example, a vacation home, is considered a non-branch location as long as it is used for securities business fewer than 30 business days per year.

The floor of a registered exchange is also considered a non-branch office if it is where a member firm conducts business with public customers.

Other examples of non-branch offices include:

  • Any location that is used primarily to engage in non-securities activities and from which the associated persons effect no more than 25 securities transactions in any one calendar year (provided that any retail communication identifying such location also sets forth the address and telephone number of the location from which the associated persons conducting business at the non-branch locations are directly supervised)
  • Any office location established solely for customer service and/or back office type functions where no sales activities are conducted

Congratulations to Alexa M. this month's Study Question of the Month winner!

2Nov/150
Solomon’s Industry News: November 2015 Edition

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 - November 2015.

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

23Oct/150
New Series 82 Exam Study Guide

9781610070874 cov.inddThe securities world is constantly changing, and Solomon Exam Prep works to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date exam materials on the market.  Our brand new 2nd edition of The Solomon Exam Prep Guide to the Series 82 Limited Representative – Private Securities Offerings Representative Exam features 100 new practice questions, new visuals and examples, and expanded material on subjects throughout the book, including:

      • Updated FINRA rules
      • Regulation A+
      • Regulation D
      • Money market instruments
      • Insider trading
      • New suitability rules
      • Taxation

and much more that you will need to know to pass the Series 82 and sell private placements.

The Series 82 is a difficult exam, but with our guide you will approach the test fully prepared and be ready to enter the private securities industry with knowledge and expertise.  As Solomon Exam Prep President Jeremy Solomon says, “The increase in the numbers of people taking the Series 82 has mirrored the rise in the sale of private securities.  The Series 82 isn't as extensive as some other FINRA exams, but it is not an easy exam for most test-takers.  That's because three-quarters of the exam is on the regulation of securities and handling customer accounts, topics many professionals in the world of private placements may not be familiar with.  Becoming familiar with securities industry rules and laws generally means reading and practicing, something busy securities professionals often have difficulty finding the time for. That's why Solomon study materials are so valuable -- they make the process highly efficient and guide test-takers to success.”

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.

14Oct/150
FINRA Enacts New Rule 2040 on Payments to Unregistered Persons

Exam AlertFINRA Rule 2040 became effective August 24, 2015.  It replaces NASD Rules 2420 and 1060(b).  This change affects the Series 6, 7, 24, 26, 27, 28, 62, and 82 exams.

FINRA Rule 2040 explains that an entity must register as a broker-dealer in order to receive commissions and fees for a securities transaction, unless it is a transaction that does not require registration.  FINRA does not explicitly outline which transactions do not require registration, but it states that member firms can make this determination on their own by:

  • Relying on releases, no-action letters, and interpretations from the SEC
  • Requesting a no-action letter from the SEC
  • Seeking a legal opinion

Rule 2040 further states that retired representatives may continue to be paid commissions on customer accounts if the representative and member have agreed upon the continuing payments before retirement.

Finally, Rule 2040 (c) states that members may conduct transactions with foreign finders as long as certain requirements are met, including:

  • The member firm is sure that the finder does not need to register as a broker-dealer in the U.S. and the compensation arrangement doesn’t violate foreign law
  • Neither the finder nor the customer is a U.S. citizen, and both live abroad
  • Customers receive a document disclosing the compensation paid to the finder by the member firm
  • Customers acknowledge receipt of this disclosure to the member firm in writing, which the firm retains and keeps available for inspection
  • Confirmation of each transaction indicates that a finder’s fee is being paid by written agreement

Source: Regulatory Notice 15-07

3Oct/150
FINRA Institutes Rule 2241, Replacing NASD Rule 2711 and NYSE Rule 472

Exam AlertOn September 25, 2015, FINRA implemented a new rule regarding the relationship between investment banking personnel and research analysts. FINRA rule 2241  replaces NASD Rule 2711 and NYSE Rule 472. NASD Rule 2711 was created to prevent investment bankers from pressuring research analysts at the investment bank to write favorable research reports about securities that the investment bank was distributing or planning to distribute.

The new rule is similar to the rules it replaces with a series of changes that will be implemented to further promote objective and reliable research.

The new rule requires member firms to establish, maintain and enforce written procedures regarding conflicts of interest between research analysts and other people within the firm (e.g., personnel from investment banking, trading and sales). The written policies and procedures should allow analysts to produce objective and reliable research that reflects their true opinions about the securities they are evaluating. The policies and procedures should prevent firms from using research to manipulate or condition the market.

Rule 2241 prevents investment banking personnel from reviewing research reports for factual accuracy before publication. This practice was allowed in the previous rule. Also, firms must specify in their policies and procedures if and when non-research personnel would be allowed to review a research report before publication. If such prepublication review by non-research personnel is permitted then a firm’s written policies and procedures must specify under what circumstances that would be necessary and appropriate. Under the new rule, a FINRA member firm’s written policies and procedures must prohibit pre-publication review of research reports by a subject company (i.e., an issuer) for purposes other than fact-checking.

The new rule says that firms must establish information barriers to ensure that research analysts are insulated from the review, pressure or oversight of other personnel, such as investment banking, sales, and trading. The rule also extends the prohibition on retaliation, preventing employees from retaliating against a research analyst for writing an unfavorable report.

Interestingly, the rule 2241 reduces the quiet periods for IPOs to 10 days for all underwriters and dealers involved in the IPO (it was formerly 40 days for managers and co-managers and 25 days for underwriters and dealers). The quiet period has been reduced to three days for managers or co-managers on follow-on offerings. During a quiet period, firms may not publish or distribute research reports about the issuer, and research analysts may not make public appearances about the issuer.

The new rule continues to prevent investment-banking personnel from supervising research analysts or exerting any influence over analysts’ compensation. In addition, research analysts may not participate in the solicitation of investment banking business. Moreover, research analysts may not communicate with a customer or prospective customer about an investment banking transaction in the presence of the firm’s management or investment banking department personnel. Similarly, investment-banking personnel are forbidden from directing a research analyst either to participate in soliciting investment-banking business or to communicate with a customer or prospective customer about an investment banking transaction.

Note: In 2012, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act loosened constraints on research analysts for emerging growth companies (EGCs), defined as businesses with less than $1 billion in revenue. Specifically, the JOBS Act prohibits regulators from imposing a quiet period on EGCs. This means that research analysts from an underwriting firm that participated in an emerging growth company’s IPO may make both public appearances and distribute research reports during the quiet period. If the company is an emerging growth company, a research analyst may attend a pitch meeting, but not participate in soliciting investment-banking business.

Source: Regulatory Notice 15-30

This alert applies to the Series 7, Series 24, Series 79, and Series 82.

25Jun/150
Exam Alert: FINRA Provides Guidance on Communications

Exam Alert

On May 22, 2015, FINRA issued guidance concerning communications with the public. Here are some notable points from the guidance.

  • Non-promotional communications (i.e. communications that do not promote or recommend a specific product or service) do not need to be filed with FINRA
  • Electronic forum posts are considered retail communication, but are specifically excluded from filing requirements
  • Template updates do not need to be filed with FINRA if all that changed was statistical information
  • Various non-material changes to previously filed communications do not require refiling the communication
  • A reprinted article does not need to be filed with FINRA
  • Promotional items that only have the name of a mutual fund are not considered "advertisements" under Rule 482
  • If a firm includes mutual fund performance in a retail communication or correspondence, they must also include the fund's expense ratio
  • Firm must file retail communications regarding registered business development companies
  • A Series 26 registration does not permit a principal to approve retail communications concerning a business development company. The principal must have a Series 24, Series 9/10, or Series 39 registration instead.

Sources:
Regulatory Notice 15-17: Guidance on Rules Governing Communications With the Public
FINRA Rule 2210 Questions and Answers

This alert applies to the Series 6, Series 7, Series 9/10, Series 24, Series 26, Series 39, Series 62, Series 82, and Series 99.

9Jun/150
Exam Alert: FINRA Revises Public, Non-public Arbitrator Standards

Exam AlertEffective June 26, 2015, FINRA will alter its rules regarding who will be considered a public or non-public arbitrator. The change will make it so that any arbitrator who has worked in the financial industry for any period of time will be considered a non-public arbitrator. Also, arbitrators who represent investors or the financial industry as a significant part of their business will be considered non-public arbitrators, but may become public arbitrators after a cooling-off period. The cooling-off period lasts five years if they were disqualified from being a public arbitrator based on their own actions. The cooling-off period lasts two years if they were disqualified from being a public arbitrator based on someone else's actions.

Source: SEC Approves Amendments to Arbitration Codes to Revise the Definitions of Non-Public and Public Arbitrator

This alert applies to the Series 6, Series 7, Series 24, Series 26, Series 27, Series 28, Series 62, Series 79, and Series 82.

10Mar/150
ARCHIVED POST Testimonial Tuesday: March 10, 2015 Edition

"I passed the Series 82 on my first attempt using Solomon's Exam Study Guide and Online Exam Simulator. The unlimited number of times I took the quizzes and exams with feedback was why I passed."    -Murad Karimi

 --- Read more reviews here: Solomon Exam Prep Reviews ---

3Mar/150
ARCHIVED POST Study Question of the Month – March

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 7, Series 24, Series 27, Series 62, Series 79, Series 82, and Series 99):

Jenny is an employee of a broker-dealer. She is a receptionist at the firm and is not a registered representative. She would like to purchase shares in an IPO that she has recently heard about at her office. Which of the following BEST describes her participation?

Answers:

A. Jenny may purchase shares of the IPO on the same basis as other customers.

B. Jenny is prohibited from purchasing shares of the IPO, but her spouse who she supports may purchase shares on the same basis as other customers.

C. Jenny may purchase shares of the IPO as long as the purchase quantity doesn't exceed 200 shares.

D. Jenny is prohibited from purchasing shares of the IPO.

Correct Answer: D. Jenny is prohibited from purchasing shares of the IPO.

Rationale: FINRA Rule 5130 - Restrictions on the Purchase and Sale of Initial Equity Public Offerings - prohibits a member firm (broker/dealer) from selling shares of an IPO to an account in which a “restricted person“ has a beneficial interest, subject to certain limited exceptions. All employees of a broker-dealer are considered “restricted persons“ under the rule.

Congratulations! This month's winner is Alexandra K.

Weekly study questions are from Solomon's industry-leading Online Exam Simulator.

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