FIRE Course Catalog

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Fair Pricing and Compensation

Course Code: CE_FPAC


The Fair Pricing and Compensation course is primarily designed for market makers, bond traders, securities dealers, those conducting proprietary trades, and anyone working with these individuals in a supervisory or support position.

Course Description

This course focuses on fair pricing and compensation prescribed by FINRA Rule 2121 and FINRA Rule 2124. It defines the standards for fair pricing and market circumstances that should be considered when determining a fair price. Specifically, the course discusses the 5% guideline, and the parameters for determining the prevailing market price of a bond. The course discusses in detail the difference between a "broker" and "dealer," and the differences in how each is compensated. The first lesson describes how to calculate the compensation for a "net" transaction, in addition to disclosure and consent requirements for various client types.

Finally, the course reviews some recent regulatory concerns, and the best practices prescribed by FINRA for detecting abusive practices at your firm regarding proprietary trading. In addition, the final lesson discusses specific regulatory concerns regarding fees and compensation related to direct participation programs (DPP's), and real estate investment trusts (REIT's).

Fee Based Advisory Accounts

Course Code: CE_FMA


Investment advisers, investment adviser representatives, and registered representatives who are considering using fee-based advisory accounts for their clients will find this course informative. Supervisors such as branch managers and legal and compliance personnel will also find this course beneficial.

Course Description

Fee-Based Advisory Accounts provides an overview of the different types and structures of fee-based advisory accounts and managed account programs. Various methods of investment adviser compensation are examined as well as the forms that investment advisers are required to give to clients and file with regulators, including advisory contracts and Forms ADV and CRS. Managed accounts are compared to mutual funds and the regulatory focus on these types of accounts is highlighted.

Fiduciary Responsibility

Course Code: CE_FIDRESP


This course is intended for investment adviser representatives and also may be beneficial to registered reps and other financial service professionals interested in learning more about what it means to act as a fiduciary.

Course Description

"Fiduciary duty is the first principle of the investment adviser." This statement by Lori Richards, Director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations of the SEC, underscores investment advisers' fiduciary responsibility to their clients.

Through this course, students will learn what it means to be a fiduciary in the eyes of the Supreme Court, the SEC, and NASAA. Fiduciary Responsibility explores the different standards that apply to investment adviser representatives and the registered reps with broker/dealers, and how the rules that mandate who must act as a fiduciary may be changing. The top responsibilities of investment advisers acting as fiduciaries are listed as well as the deficiencies most commonly found in SEC examinations of investment advisers. Fiduciary Responsibility concludes with a look at some conflicts of interest that can arise in the course of business, and how failing to deal with them properly can result in disciplinary actions.

FINOP Duties and Customer Protection

Course Code: CE_FINOP


This course is intended and most relevant for FINRA Series 27 Financial Operations Principals (FINOPs) and their supervisors. Those interested in the rules related to the financial reporting of a broker/dealer and principals involved in supervising the business activities of their firm and representatives may also find this course helpful.

Course Description

FINOP Duties & Customer Protection provides a review of regulations involving the financial operations of a brokerage firm. The three major rules covered in this course are:

  • FINRA Rule 15c3-1 - broker/dealer's minimum standards for net capital, known as the Net Capital Rule
  • FINRA Rule 17a-11 - the early warning and reporting rule regarding net capital
  • FINRA Rule 15c3-3 - the Customer Protection Rule

FINRA Exam Findings and Priorities 2019 - Part 1

Course Code: CE_FEFP2019


FINRA Exam Findings and Priorities 2019 - Part 1 is an intermediate to advance course suited for branch office managers and principals, compliance officers, registered operations professionals, upper management, and any other associated person of a FINRA member firm interested in preparing for their next FINRA cycle exam.

Course Description

FINRA Exam Findings and Priorities 2019 - Part 1 is the first course in a two-part series that highlights the details of FINRA’s recent exam findings, and provides a description of best practices for rules related to the deficiencies found. The course also identifies specific areas of exam priorities for the upcoming year to keep a broker/dealer’s staff alert and informed, as well as provides insight for upper management to preemptively allocate adequate resources to mitigate issues of high examination risk.

FINRA's Arbitration Process

Course Code: CE_FAP


FINRA’s Arbitration Process is a beginning to intermediate level course intended for securities supervisors, branch managers, and compliance personnel tasked with helping reps navigate the arbitration process. This course is also appropriate for those who are involved with submitting firm or rep information for the BrokerCheck system as it provides a brief summary of that system.

Course Description

FINRA’s Arbitration Process explains the arbitration process used by FINRA member firms, their employees, and clients. In addition, an overview of the BrokerCheck and CRD system is included.

FINRA's BrokerCheck and Web CRD

Course Code: CE_FBCWCRD


FINRA’s BrokerCheck and Web CRD is a basic to intermediate level course intended for securities supervisors, branch managers, registered representatives and legal and compliance personnel. This course is also appropriate for those who are involved with submitting firm or rep information for the BrokerCheck system.

Course Description

BrokerCheck and Web CRD discusses the collection, use, and public release of information on FINRA’s Central Registration Depository and BrokerCheck systems. The course also include representative and broker/dealer disclosure and reporting requirements, as well as the required “duty to investigate” certain reported information such as Form U4 registration and disclosure. Finally, the course discusses the process of “expungement” of information from the CRD.

Fixed Income Securities - Regulatory Issues

Course Code: CE_FISRI


Fixed Income Securities --- Regulatory Issues is intended for securities and futures industry professionals interested in the latest regulatory issues and concerns in the fixed income market. This course is also beneficial for compliance officers and compliance administrators. This is an intermediate level course and presumes the student has a basic understanding of various types of bonds and fixed income products. This course is not intended for municipal bond dealers.

Course Description

When equity markets are uncertain, many investors turn to the fixed income market. The fixed income market has changed dramatically over the past 20 years with the introduction of fixed income derivatives and more stringent regulations associated with credit rating agencies.

This course is designed to illuminate current regulatory concerns and to reinforce fixed income updates regarding suitability and disclosures. Rather than focusing on any specific fixed income product, the course covers FINRA fixed income rules from the perspective that all fixed income products share the following traits:
  • Par or face value (the amount owed by the issuer)
  • The coupon (annual rate of interest)
  • Maturity (end date)
We review the most current definition of "TRACE-eligible" securities, current trade reporting requirements and dissemination, and the results of a 10-year analysis of the impact that TRACE has had on the fixed income securities market. The application of new suitability rules on fixed income securities is discussed as well as specific risk factors that must be disclosed to fixed income investors. Finally, the course reviews basic fixed income characteristics that may be difficult for investors to understand. Therefore, we include recommendations on how to explain these characteristics to investors. This section was included in the course in response to regulatory concerns that certain aspects of fixed income products may be difficult for even representatives to understand.

Form ADV

Course Code: CE_FADV


This basic level course provides an overview of the Form ADV as required by the SEC Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and how it applies to Registered Investment Advisers. Registered investment advisers and investment adviser representatives, as well as their compliance sales support staff, will find this course instructive and informative.

Course Description

Form ADV is a foundational course for investment advisers and investment adviser representatives that covers the fundamentals of Form ADV. Lesson 1 looks at the differences between Part 1, Part 2A, and Part 2B and the required information contained in each. Also highlighted are amendment and delivery requirements as well as deficiencies discovered during SEC examinations.

Lesson 2 includes a detailed overview of the new ADV Part 3 (Form CRS) and its disclosure, delivery, and books and records obligations.

Form CRS

Course Code: CE_CRS


This basic level course provides an overview of the Client Relationship Summary (Form CRS) of Regulation Best Interest. The course discusses how Form CRS applies to broker-dealers and their registered representatives, as well as registered investment advisers and their representatives. Sales support staff and legal and compliance staff will also find this course instructive and informative.

Course Description

Although Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) has stolen the spotlight, it is just one part of the SEC’s Standards of Conduct for Investment Professionals Rulemaking Package, which consists of the following regulations and interpretations:

• Regulation Best Interest
• Form CRS
• Investment Adviser Fiduciary Duty Interpretation
• A “Solely Incidental” Broker-Dealer Exclusion Interpretation

This Rulemaking Package is the SEC’s attempt to clarify the standard of care applicable to broker-dealers and their representatives. It attempts to resolve any confusion that investors have surrounding the obligations of broker-dealers and their reps when they interact with retail customers. One of the primary ways that Reg BI does this is through the new Form CRS.

This course explains the Relationship Summary and outlines its requirements regarding completion, delivery and content.

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