FIRE Course Catalog

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Anti-Money Laundering

Course Code: CE_AML_GEN


Anti-Money Laundering - General is intended for professionals in the insurance and financial services industry, representatives in the banking and securities brokerage industry, as well as mutual fund companies and investment advisers. In short, anyone who holds, handles, manages customer assets, or supervises those who do will likely find value in this course.

Course Description

Anti-Money Laundering - General covers the basics of combating money laundering. It explores the global issue of money-laundering and the procedures that financial institutions and their employees must lawfully follow to detect suspicious activities.

Anti-Money Laundering for Institutional Brokers

Course Code: CE_AML_IB


Anti-Money Laundering for Institutional Brokers is directed to institutional representatives and their supervisors whose jobs require them to detect and prevent money laundering. Specifically, this course complies with the USA PATRIOT Act requirements for ongoing anti-money laundering training for selected employees of broker/dealers.

Course Description

Anti-Money Laundering for Institutional Brokers begins with a review of money-laundering regulations and the organizations charged with enforcement. Lesson 1 also contains a case study to help illustrate money-laundering activities. The course then outlines the various money laundering stages and the suspicious activities that can help personnel detect and prevent money laundering. The last section of the course covers AML program requirements, the application of the Bank Secrecy Act, and specific due diligence for high-risk accounts.

Asset Allocation

Course Code: CE_AA


Asset Allocation is intended for the registered rep, portfolio managers, or general finance professionals interested in learning (or reviewing) the basic theory behind asset allocation and portfolio management techniques. Although more complicated and sophisticated concepts are included in this course, it is still considered as an introductory-level course. This course serves as a solid refresher for the individual engaged in asset allocation for customer portfolios, as well as an introduction for those pursuing this work or seeking to further their knowledge regarding this vital topic.

Course Description

Asset allocation is the process of determining the optimal allocations for the broad categories of assets (stocks, bonds, cash, and real estate) that suit an investor's time horizon and risk tolerance. This course teaches not only the definition of asset allocation, but also the fundamental methods for determining a sound asset allocation. These methods include formulas and distributions in addition to developing an investor profile. This is a good companion course for FIRE Solution's Investment Adviser Basics course.

Asset-Backed Securities: Non-Conventional Investments

Course Code: CE_ABS_NCI


This course is intended for brokers, traders, and supervisors who have a well-rounded background in the issuance, distribution, compliance, and risk of asset-backed securities. Those taking this course should have an intermediate to advanced understanding of the securities markets and the wide variety of securities products that are offered for sale to investors.

Course Description

The course reviews the structure and market for asset-backed securities and explains some of the regulatory concerns that financial professionals must understand when dealing with asset-backed securities.

This course also briefly outlines the U.S. Treasury's Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) developed to help shore up the U.S. financial system in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Best Execution

Course Code: CE_BE


Our Best Execution course is intended for registered representatives acting in an agent (broker) capacity, as well as individuals who execute transactions on a principal basis as dealers, including market makers and specialists. Best execution is a relevant topic for any finance professional who interacts with customer orders, whether retail or institutional; however, this course focuses on retail.

Course Description

This course explains the concept of best execution and how different factors such as rules, regulations, and the order flow process influence the execution of customer orders. The SEC and FINRA rules related to ensuring "best execution" are explored, as well as how firms and their representatives can determine what is "best."

Although best execution is difficult to define, clear guidelines and behaviors apply to the best execution of customer orders. This course outlines these concepts and behaviors, and reviews SEC Regulation NMS order execution disclosure rules which have been implemented with the goal of focusing industry attention on best execution.

Bond Markets

Course Code: CE_BNDMRKT


This course provides registered persons and other employees of broker/dealers with an overview of the bond markets and various scandals that have affected investor confidence in bonds as an investment. The individuals who will gain the most from this course have a basic understanding of how bonds are issued, purchased, and sold but need a refresher on how bonds are issued and are traded.

Course Description

Bond Markets provides an overview of the U.S. bond market, including what bonds are, how they are issued, and how they are traded. It describes how corporations, municipalities, and the U.S. government issue bonds and explains the general purposes for bond proceeds.

The course also describes the secondary trading of bonds and factors that determine bond prices in the secondary market. Price transparency in corporate and municipal bonds is discussed as well as transaction reporting requirements.

Books and Records

Course Code: CE_BR


This course is directed to anyone associated with a broker/dealer. Whether you're an employee working in the home office, a registered rep, a supervisor, or support staff at the branch level, the books and records requirements likely come into play in your daily business.

Course Description

The books and records requirements vary for each firm, depending on the types of business they conduct and the regulators to whom they report. This course introduces you to books and records requirements that apply to most firms, but is not intended to be an exhaustive study. The senior management of your firm should ensure that the firm is in compliance with all applicable books and records requirements.

We look at the most common books and records rules - SEC Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4, as well as the various FINRA rules regarding books and records.

From documenting that clients have received the best possible execution of their trade, to providing evidence that a broker/dealer has maintained adequate liquid net capital, books and records are the means by which a broker/dealer shows it has complied with all applicable rules and regulations.

Books and records allow for the reconstruction of events or transactions. These records indicate who has made decisions, how transactions are effected, and who has supervised the activities of the broker/dealer.

Branch Office Inspections and Supervision

Course Code: CE_BOIS


Branch Office Inspections and Supervision is an intermediate course for individuals within a broker/dealer who plan, develop and perform branch office inspections. Students taking this course are expected to have a general understanding of the supervisory requirements for broker/dealers.

Course Description

Branch Office Inspections and Supervision is designed to help compliance officers and compliance personnel identify the expectations set by FINRA for the oversight of a broker-dealer's branch supervisory structure. Regulators want to be sure that firms can govern themselves in a way that will detect and deter any rule violations. They also want to ensure that a firm's self-inspection programs are designed to test the strength of the firm's compliance policies and procedures. This course will teach compliance personnel about regulatory expectations, and how to set up an inspection program that will meet those expectations.

Business Continuity Plans

Course Code: CE_BCP


Business Continuity Plans is appropriate for every staff member employed by or associated with a financial services firm. The rule requirements covered in this course apply to both SEC and state registered investment advisers, self-regulatory organizations (SROs), electronic communications networks (ECNs), clearing and settlement firms, and both FINRA and NYSE member firms.

Course Description

Although most employees at a firm will not be charged with the creation of a business continuity plan (BCP), all employees function as the eyes and ears of the firm and have varying perspectives of processes that cannot be anticipated by a narrow group. Awareness of the BCP development process and all the elements that must be considered will give employees a wider perspective of how their processes may be impacted by a significant business disruption. Feedback from employees is a critical part of developing and maintaining an effective BCP.

This course, Business Continuity Plans, illustrates the framework for business continuity planning prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). This course describes rule requirements for the development, implementation, and testing of a BCP that apply to all financial services firms, including the firms that support other financial services firms.

Students will review the specific considerations that must be given to the transition of business operations from the original business location to a backup facility, and the duration of the recovery process. Finally, the course will review the BCP requirements under FINRA's Rule 4370, which also includes incorporated NYSE Rule 446.

Business Development Companies

Course Code: CE_BDC


Business Development Companies (BDC) is intended for brokers, traders, and supervisors who have a well-rounded background in the issuance, distribution, compliance, and risk of securities. Those taking this course should have an intermediate to advanced understanding of the securities markets and the wide variety of securities products offered for sale to investors.

Course Description

This course reviews the essential requisites of a Business Development Company (BDC) - the regulatory framework, operational details, and tax treatment. Both traded and nontraded BDCs are discussed as well as private offerings. In addition, due diligence, which is a critical step for all BDCs, is discussed in detail in the final lesson.

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