Posted By: Kaplan Financial Education
Updated: July 27, 2017
The Series 6 license, known as the Investment Company/Variable Contracts Products Limited Representative License, allows you to register as a limited representative with FINRA. With a Series 6 license, you are able to sell mutual funds, variable annuities, variable life insurance, unit investment trusts (UITs), and municipal fund securities.
The Series 6 is often seen as the ideal companion license for those in the insurance industry. Holders are able to expand the financial products and services they offer, as well as increase their level of expertise.
The process for obtaining your Series 6 license is different today than it will be when FINRA implements the new Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam in early 2018. This article provides the process now and the likely process in the future with the SIE exam.
To get your Series 6 license, you first need to be sponsored by a FINRA member firm or a self-regulatory organization (SRO). Firms apply for candidates to take the exam by filing a Uniform Application for Security Industry Registration or Transfer (Form U4). There is also an exam fee that is commonly covered by the sponsoring firm.
The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, and you are given 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete it. You must score a 70% or above to pass the exam. The exam covers the four main job functions of a Series 6 representative:
In the new exam structure, a candidate for the Series 6 license will first need to take the SIE exam, which will test common content that is currently being covered across eight different Series exams (Series 6, 7, 22, 57, 79, 82, 86/87, 99). This common content includes topics such as fundamentals, regulatory agencies and their functions, product knowledge, and acceptable and unacceptable practices. While a candidate is currently required to be sponsored by a FINRA member firm or self-regulatory organization to take a FINRA exam, this will change in the future state. A candidate can take the SIE exam before being sponsored.
Once candidates have passed the SIE exam, they can then take the top-off exam for the Series 6 license. In order to take a top-off exam, candidates will need to be sponsored by a member firm or self-regulatory organization (SRO). Candidates will have a four-year window in which to take and pass any of the representative level top-off exams after passing the SIE exam. The Series 6 top-off exam will likely be shorter than it is in its current state, because FINRA indicated they are planning to reduce the number of questions asked. The exam details are still being finalized, but we will continue to update this article as we learn more information.
After identifying nine series exams with common content (6, 7, 22, 57, 79, 82, 86/87, 99), FINRA has decided to restructure their licensing process next year. The common content will be tested in the new Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam. Download this free guide to learn more about how the new securities licensing process will work, the rationale for the change, proposed SIE exam content, and how it could change hiring and recruiting practices.