Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Is It Time to Get Your Series 65 Registration?

By James Morris, Questar Branch Office Designated Supervisory Principal at Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange

Given the changing landscape in the financial services industry, it may be time to expand the services that you offer your clients. The insurance-only producer is becoming rarer as new blood enters the financial services industry oftentimes with not only an insurance license, but a number of securities registrations as well. If you have not considered expanding your licenses, we thought it might be a good idea to explore what it would take to obtain your Series 65 registration. 

The Series 65 registration allows individuals that have passed the Series 65 examination and registered with or as a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) to hold themselves out to the public as an Investment Advisor Representative (IAR). IARs are held to a fiduciary standard and are permitted to engage in fee-based business.

It is important to note that creating your own RIA involves a significant amount of initial and ongoing regulatory filings and compliance requirements with both state and federal regulators. Affiliating with a broker/dealer that has their own RIA with a compliance department specifically for RIA business can allow you to focus on your clients, while the broker/dealer’s affiliated RIA keeps you informed of the various compliance requirements for the IAR. Also, some broker/dealers will allow you to affiliate with their RIA without a Series 7 or 6 registration.

The examination for the Series 65 is administered by the North American Securities Administration Association (NASAA) and facilitated by FINRA. Not all states require a Series 65 registration to register as an IAR, so be sure to check with your state securities regulator for state-specific licensing requirements. To obtain the Series 65 registration you do not have to be affiliated with a broker/dealer and you do not have to have a Series 7 or Series 6 registration. If you are currently registered with a broker/dealer and you have your Series 7 registration, you can add a Series 65 or Series 66 registration to become an IAR by working with your current broker/dealer.

Certain professional designations can be used in lieu of the Series 65 registration depending on the state. These include Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC). The NASAA may allow other professional designations to be used in lieu of these, so be sure to check with the NASAA if you have a relevant designation.

To obtain your Series 65 registration, if you are not affiliated with a broker/dealer, take the following steps:

  1. Obtain the study materials online from one of several vendors listed on the NASAA website ( or the FINRA website (
  2. Register at and complete Form U10 and pay the fee of $165 currently for the Series 65 exam.
  3. You will receive a notice of enrollment from FINRA and will have 120 days to complete the examination.
  4. Schedule the Series 65 test, which is currently 140 questions, and achieve a passing score of at least 72%.
  5. Affiliate with an RIA or register yourself as an RIA through your state securities administrator or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), depending on your state and assets under management.

Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange is here to help you and your practice. Once you pass your test, please give me a call to discuss some options.  800.321.3924

James Morris | Designated Supervisory Principal
Questar Capital Corporation Branch Office at AAAE
Ph: 800.321.3924 x159 | Dir: 734.786.6159

Securities offered through Questar Capital Corporation (QCC). Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Questar Asset Management, a registered investment advisor. Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange is an affiliate of QCC.

Designed for Financial Professionals.