The Series 66 license is required to work as an investment advisor in the United States. To obtain it, you must pass a rigorous exam covering methods of delivering investment advice and other topics. Below, we’ll tackle what the exam is, what exactly it covers and how you can best prepare.
What is the Series 66 Exam?
The Series 66 exam is designed to assess your ability to provide investment advice as a professional in the financial services industry. Officially called the Uniform Combined State Law Examination, it’s offered by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). It’s administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
To take the exam, your employer can register you by using the Form U-4 or the Form U-10. Here are the exam’s particulars:
The Series 7 exam is a co-requisite to the Series 66 exam. In other words, you must take both at the same time unless you already took and passed the former.What Does the Series 66 Exam Cover?
The content of the series 66 exam revolves around providing investment advice. So expect to be tested about the functions and risks of different investment vehicles. You’d also have to understand regulations affecting the investment space as well as their treatment under the tax code.
The test’s content breaks down like so:
Following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, NASAA updated exam questions to reflect changes in the tax code. These updates were first rolled out in January 2019. However, the structure listed above represents these changes.Taking the Series 66 Exam
After registering, you’d take the Series 66 test at one of the Prometric testing centers. You don’t have access any kind of reference material while taking the test. However, you’d be provided with a basic calculator, a white board and dry-erase pens.
Some questions require the use of charts, graphs and other graphics.Studying for the Series 66 Exam
The experts suggest you set aside 75 to 100 hours of study time before taking the test. Most people with full-time jobs can break this down into four to eight weeks of study sessions. This doesn’t mean cram and try to memorize the test. You’re going to need to dive into the material in depth and understand the concepts thoroughly. Many of the questions are designed to trick you, so this is critical to passing.
And because of the complexity behind these points, you’re also going to need a quiet and well-lit place to study. Sometimes, you’d also have access to free videos and other reference material before the big day.
There are several study materials out there dedicated to the Series 66 exam, so do your research and make sure you’re getting the best. And keep in mind that the test underwent major changes in January 2019 to reflect the new tax laws. So ensure you have updated material.
Also, check to see if you have access to instructors and classes near you. Regardless of what study material you decide to resort to, make sure you take it seriously. This means read the book cover to cover. The Series 66 exam is not the kind you can just skim a reference book for a little bit.
So read for the context of the book and take practice questions to reinforce this knowledge. Take as many as you can. Aim for at least 100 per section to get a taste of how the test makers approach each subject.
To further your career as an investment advisor, you’re going to need your Series 66 license. To get it, you have to pass the Series 66 exam, which covers a wealth of topics from the regulations you would need to abide by to the inner workings of the investment vehicles you may recommend. The exam also deals with the client relations you may have. So make sure you study strategically by diving into the context of the content being presented rather than simply memorizing points.Tips on Taking the Series 66 Exam
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