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Exam Content Updates
Check this Page for Securities Exam Updates
We speak to test takers daily and we discover ways the test “changes” over time. Yes, test emphasis changes! We will post new tips here as soon as we discover them, so be sure to check this page just before you take your exam!
Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam Updates
This exam is NEW and is likely to change “flavor” over time! Please phone us at 719-278-3883 as you walk out of the exam so we can keep up with the changes. Please know: we do not want you to share test questions with us (we already know what is on the test because FINRA publishes an outline). Rather, we want to know the topics that were easy, surprising or difficult for you.
“Lot’s of questions about “In-the-Money.”
Must know Current Yield calculation. Also, the relationship between a Premium Bond, Discount Bond and Current Yield.
One candidate reported seeing a question asking for contribution limits on an IRA (2018: $5,500; 2019: $6,000). (While these limits can be tested, they have not been extensively tested in the past because the limits change every year.)
Must know the relationship between bond volatility and bond duration.
Annuity Pay-In and Pay-out phases: also Indexed Annuities.
From whom can a Representative borrow money without approval from their Compliance department?
Report of 3 questions about Regulation T.
Series 6 Test Updates
Click the title above to see our most recent Series 6 Webinar – FREE! Here about questions our most recent test champions have seen on the test and learn how to approach them.
A most-recent test taker, a candidate whose first language is Spanish, said she passed the exam by doing two things: getting approval for 1 additional hour because English is her second language and by taking online quizzes until she reached 80 percent consistently. She said that the actual exam questions were harder than the practice questions she saw.
Increased focus on USA Patriot Act and the Bank Secrecy Act. Be sure to review the chart in your outline that shows what dollar amounts trigger a Suspicious Activity Report. What events (e.g., daily deposit amounts) trigger what actions by the firm or the representative?
Be sure to know the length of time records must be kept under each of these Acts.
Candidate reports multiple questions about the Bond seesaw, and the relationship between bond rates and yields.
Know the differences between Common Stock and Preferred Stock. Note: Preferred Stock prices are sensitive to interest rates: if interest rates rise, Preferred Stock prices may decline.
Mutual funds are purchased and sold (redeemed) by the mutual fund (often through a broker). As such, they cannot be purchased on margin.
Communications to industry professionals are often marked “For Broker – Dealer Use Only” and are considered to be Institutional Communications. Industry professionals are considered to be sophisticated (educated) and able to evaluate the merits of these communications, e.g., “they don’t need to be protected from a sales pitch.” They are not limited as to the number of people to whom they may be sent.
On the other side, RETAIL COMMUNICATIONS, sent to 25 or more retail customers in a 30 day period, must be approved by a Registered Principal prior to first use, filed with FINRA Advertising (read: pay a fee, too), kept on file for 3 years and meet other strict requirements.
FINRA Rule 2210 makes clear that Institutional Communications must not be used with Retail Customers.
FINRA does not approve Advertising or Retail Communications. Remember, FINRA is a regulatory organization!
New: Breakpoint Chart in the Exam. Remember: If a customer wants to qualify for a Breakpoint Sale discount, under the Letter of Intent, the total invested must be completed within 13 months. If a customer has, say $10,000 today and $20,000 in 19 months, the customer would not qualify for the $25,000 breakpoint today. The $10,000 would be charged the appropriate sales charge today.
If the dollar is strong against the Euro, what is the result? (See the chart in your outline).
The term “Arbitrage” is showing up on the exam. Arbitrage is the act of buying a security on one market (say, OTC) and selling on another (say, NASDAQ) and making a profit on the price difference. It is legal and ethical. Think of it this way: say you bought something at a garage sale and sold it at a higher price on Ebay. The idea is the same.
One test taker reports seeing the term Ghost Writer.
The term is attached to two or more bad actors (brokers) who attempt to manipulate the price of a stock (up or down) by buying and selling large quantities of that stock and taking advantage of the difference in that stock’s price. It is somewhat like “painting the tape” where someone attempts to create fake trading volume. What to know: it is illegal conspiracy to manipulate the markets.
Candidate reports 10 long questions – a great deal of reading – and many Roman numeral type questions.
Key to beating long questions: Jump to the question mark. Read the question BACKWARDS from the question mark. Then read the other sentences in the question to get clarity. Warning: often the correct answer is tied to a fine-point definition. Read carefully!