The series 7 exam, formally referred to as the General Securities Representative Examination, is a test offered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to professionals in the industry. It gives traders the fundamental credentials to engage in corporate financial instruments trading as brokers or dealers. The six hour test extensively covers security investment tools such as stocks, options, bonds, open-end and closed-end funds, limited partnerships and similar financial instruments; apart from commodities and futures. Once a candidate successfully finished the exam, they are awarded a Series 7 General Securities License. It is highly recommended for prospective candidates to take series 7 training courses, in order to guarantee successful completion of the test.
The series 7 exam measures the degree of competence professionals possess in securities trading. Questions are framed to conform to the expertise of a broad range of financial industry professionals. The test is not a competition among the candidates, but an assessment of each individual’s level of competence in their area. Hence, series 7 training courses are necessary to recall exact information regarding financial instrument trading, as per the knowledge gained erstwhile in school.
FINRA requires prospective candidates of the exam to be sponsored by a financial company, duly registered with the authority or a self-regulatory organization. Candidates must pass with an average of 72 percent in order to be considered for licensing. Series 7 sets the benchmark for security traders to communicate authoritatively with retail investors regarding different commodities. Thus, most investment account managers, financial analysts and securities executives are registered dealers possessing series 7 licensing. Some states also require professionals to have series 66 or series 63 licenses in order to work as financial dealers or brokers. Therefore, the importance of series 7 training courses cannot be disregarded due to the value of credentials at stake.
The main hurdle for prospective candidates seeking series 7 licensing is getting a sponsor. In order to get a good job in financial investments, one requires licensing. Conversely, one requires licensing in order to the job in the first place. This presents a catch-22 situation for prospective candidates who might not have these jobs yet. However, there are ways of getting round this problem, so as to land a plum job in financial security trading. For instance, one may begin as an insurance agent or broker. Insurance companies are always willing to sponsor their agents in taking the series 6 tests, for trading in mutual funds and annuities. This opportunity can allow one to take series 7 training courses on the side, as he/she waits for better opportunities to show up in the financial field.