The majority of people who obtain the series 6 license will be required to pass the exam by their employer. Often times as a condition of employment, individuals are required to obtain the series 6 license to function in their job. The firm’s compliance department, home office or HR will notify individuals directly or through their managers as to the time frame for taking the exam. Insurance companies, banks and limited broker dealers all require their agents to obtain the series 6 license
A series 6 license will allow you to transact business in open end investment company products and closed end investment company shares on the initial offering only. You will not be allowed to trade closed end funds or ETFs in the secondary market. Once you have obtained a series 6 license, if you wish to conduct business in variable annuity and variable life contracts you will be required to obtain a life and health insurance license in your state. Most agents who obtain a series 6 license will wish to conduct business in variable annuities and will pursue an insurance license, if they have not already done so.
Obtaining a series 6 license takes focus and dedication to the exam preparation process. It should not be taken lightly and students who prepare to take the exam should prepare thoroughly for the exam. There are no shortcuts and students should make studying a priority. We recommend at least 60 hours of preparation to ensure you pass your series 6 exam and become licensed to sell investment company products and variable annuity contracts.
While in practice it feels like your series 6 license is indeed transferable, in actuality it is not. If you wish to change employers your series 6 registration / license must be terminated by your current employer. Your former employer / the firm that you are leaving will fill out and submit a Form U5 to FINRA. This will terminate your employment and your registration with that firm. When you arrive at your new firm you must fill out and submit a new Form U4. This will begin your registration with your new firm and your series 6 license will become active at your new firm upon receiving notice from FINRA and the states where you conduct business.
Obtaining a series 6 license will require many people to make an investment in their professional development. Your series 6 license will empower your to conduct a significant amount of business and will put many people on the road to a lucrative and successful career. The good news is for those who have to pay for it out of pocket, the costs are relatively low when compared to other types of training, certification and college expenses. Some employers pick up or reimburse the costs of training and the testing and registration fees. Even for these people many obtain additional resources such as additional test questions, books or videos to ensure they pass their exam. For those who have to pay all of the expenses out of pocket, it usually only costs a few hundred dollars for the testing and registration fees and the training materials.
Once you have obtained your series 6 license you will be required to meet certain continuing educational requirements. Every year your firm will have you attend a seminar, webinar or take an online course to satisfy the firm element continuing education requirement. You will also be required to complete the regulatory continuing education requirement which is administered by FINRA. You will be required to complete this continuing education requirement by successfully completing the S106 course based on your date of association with a FINRA member. Your date of association for most people will be the date you passed your exam. You will be required to complete the S106 on the second anniversary of passing your exam and every three years thereafter. The S106 course may be completed at an approved facility or on FINRA’s continuing education portal.
Most states require that agents obtain a series 63 license in addition to the series 6 license to conduct business within their state and with state residents. You can think of your series 6 license as your product license and your license to represent your employing broker dealer. Your series 63 license can be thought of as your license to transact business with your clients or with people. The series 63 license is in addition to the life and health insurance license detailed above.
We hope that this answers many of your frequently asked questions about the series 6 license. If you have any additional questions please call or email us.
Good luck on your exam.
The Securities Institute of America, Inc.