FIRE Course Catalog

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Trading Equities I: Fundamentals and Systems

Course Code: CE_TE


This course is intended for registered representatives who are starting a career in market making or trading equities in the Nasdaq market, or for registered representatives and financial professionals who wish to learn more about this side of the business.

Course Description

Trading Equities I: Fundamentals & Systems introduces the basics of trading in the over-the-counter and listed equity markets. Lesson 1 includes a discussion of key systems, key players and their roles, and the relevant OTC, Nasdaq, and listed securities rules and regulations that apply to both investors and professional traders. The two most prevalent trading systems - SuperMontage and ECNs, are highlighted in Lesson 2.

Traditional IRAs and Rollovers

Course Code: CE_IRA


Traditional IRAs and Rollovers is designed to meet Firm Element Continuing Education standards for registered representatives who open retirement accounts for retail investors and guide them on issues related to retirement savings. Because the course discloses regulatory concerns surrounding IRAs, supervisors will also find this course helpful.

Course Description

This course describes the creation and use of traditional IRAs and how they can be applied to your clients' retirement and estate planning. In addition, the course outlines the components that can serve as a guide when an investor is selecting between traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs for new investments, or is considering a rollover. Certain tax implications are discussed, as well as recent regulatory guidelines concerning IRAs and suggestions for ensuring that firms and registered reps are in compliance. Finally, the course outlines recent Department of Labor regulations regarding ERISA Fiduciary status and how they apply to IRAs.

U.S. Government Bonds

Course Code: CE_USGB


U.S. Government Bonds is suitable for registered representatives who are looking for an overview of why the U.S. government issues bonds, as well as how bonds are traded.

Course Description

U.S. Government Bonds describes how the government issues debt securities and how these securities trade in the secondary market.

Unit Investment Trusts

Course Code: CE_UIT


Unit Investment Trusts (UITs) is directed to registered representatives, investment adviser representatives, and their supervisors. This course is appropriate for both new and experienced representatives involved in UIT transactions.

Course Description

UITs have many facets that should be explored before financial services professionals recommend them to their clients. UITs looks at some of the different characteristics of UITs - sales requirements, structure, and types of funds. The course also compares UITs with other types of investment companies and discusses the pros and cons of each. Additionally, the course explores the UIT rules and guidelines that the regulators are focusing on. After taking this course, students should have a solid understanding of UITs and the ability to help match clients with a suitable UIT investment.

Variable Annuity Basics

Course Code: CE_VAB


This introductory course on variable annuities is intended for registered persons or investment advisers who have an understanding of investment products and want to understand the basic principles of variable annuities.

Course Description

This course is designed to give you an overview of variable annuities and their costs. Variable annuities are not designed for all investors. Before recommending a variable annuity to a customer, you must fully understand the product and the customer's situation and objectives. Since a variable annuity's cash value fluctuates based on the investment options to which contract owners have allocated their premiums, you must be especially careful about how you describe variable annuities to customers.

Variable Annuity Basics explains the basic characteristics of variable annuities, the different types of annuities, and how to manage a variable annuity's cash value after purchase. The expenses of a variable annuity are described, as well as both the living and death benefits. The importance of the prospectus is emphasized, along with information about a great selling tool, the free-look provision. The course also describes the risks and costs of variable subaccounts and how to help your clients choose a suitable variable subaccount using a risk-return matrix.

Variable Annuity Sales Practices

Course Code: CE_VASP


Variable Annuity Sales Practices is intended for life insurance agents and registered representatives who would like to review suitability and disclosure requirements specifically related to the sale of variable annuities and FINRA Rule 2330.

Course Description

This course is an intermediate course for representatives who already hold life licenses and are active in annuity sales. The course's lesson on supervision is also appropriate for supervisors and sales representatives.

Variable Annuity Sales Practices highlights the suitability requirements that must be considered when recommending a variable annuity to a client.

This course outlines best practices to be used in selling variable annuities. It also reviews considerations when selecting optional benefits, allocating premiums to variable subaccounts, meeting retirement needs, and identifying types of clients for whom variable annuities may not be appropriate.

Representatives and supervisors should also take away an understanding of the regulatory requirements imposed under FINRA Rule 2330.

Whistleblower Provisions Under The Dodd Frank Act

Course Code: CE_WPUTDFA


Whistleblower Provisions Under the Dodd-Frank Act is a basic level course suited for all employees of any securities related firm, or the employees of any publicly traded corporation. This course would also be appropriate for any legal counsel interested in the Whistleblower rules and process.

Course Description

Whistleblower Provisions Under the Dodd-Frank Act details the rules created in response to the Dodd-Frank Act, which provides a safe and anonymous way for employees to report fraudulent behavior. Also discussed is the SEC’s Whistleblower program that rewards whistleblowers for reporting original and material tips that lead to successful sanctions in excess of $1 million. Students will learn about how to report an original tip, whistleblower eligibility guidelines, anti-retaliation protections, and how the Dodd-Frank whistleblower provisions differ from the Sarbanes Oxley provisions. Lesson 2 is a detailed account of the whistleblower award process and the timing of activities that must take place from the time the tip is reported, until the time the whistleblower award is paid.

Wholesaler Communications

Course Code: CE_WC


Wholesaler Communications is an intermediate level course specifically designed for wholesalers, their supervisors, and their sales support staff. It is also appropriate for other financial service industry professionals interested in the sales practices and responsibilities of wholesalers.

Course Description

Wholesaler Communications provides an overview of wholesaler roles and how wholesalers communicate with clients and registered representatives. Wholesalers have the responsibility to understand regulatory rules regarding communications, since the information they provide to registered reps must be in compliance with these rules. The course also discusses the rules and related review and approval processes regarding these forms of communication.

Additionally, the course delves into the supervision required for the different types of communications, and lists the standards of communication as set by the regulators. Lesson 4 also provides real-life case studies to underscore the importance of following the regulators' communication and supervisory rules.

Wholesaler Responsibilities

Course Code: CE_WR


Wholesaler Responsibilities is an introductory level course specifically designed for wholesalers. It is also appropriate for other financial service industry professionals interested in the sales practices and responsibilities of wholesalers.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of wholesaler roles, and how wholesalers help registered reps perform their jobs. We look at the different means of communicating with the public and the regulatory requirements surrounding each. The rules and regulations that affect giving gifts and providing entertainment are also highlighted. In the final lesson, we look at activities that should be avoided and what can happen when a wholesaler doesn't play by the rules.

Wholesalers - Gifts and Entertainment

Course Code: CE_WGE


Wholesalers - Gifts and Entertainment is an informational course designed for wholesalers, their supervisors, and others who may be interested in the regulatory issues involved in business gifts and entertainment.

Course Description

Wholesalers, in particular, use gifts, entertainment, and non-cash compensation to drive business. This course describes applicable rules, exemptions, and reporting requirements to explain how to avoid conflicts when making a profit while meeting client objectives. Using case studies as examples, the student will be able to understand how regulatory expectations apply to normal activities.

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