FIRE Course Catalog

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Impact of Market Events on Variable Products

Course Code: CE_IMEVP


Impact of Market Events on Variable Products is an intermediate level course designed for registered representatives and their supervisors involved in the recommendation and sale of variable products. The course assumes that students possess a basic understanding of variable insurance product suitability requirements and exchanges. The purpose of this course is to enable the properly-appointed and insurance-licensed registered representative to explain the role of risk in market events and the effect of such market events on the performance of variable products.

Course Description

Variable products are hybrids of insurance and securities whose premiums and cash value can be allocated to the insurer's separate account by the policy owner or contract owner. Because premiums and cash value allocated to the insurer's separate account are invested in one or more variable subaccount investment portfolio(s), the products are subject to the full spectrum of market or performance risks.

The two products covered in Impact of Market Events on Variable Products are variable annuities (VA) and variable life (VL) insurance. To help familiarize you with the information your customers need to know when considering the purchase of a VA or VL insurance product, this course outlines the risk types, the effects of each risk type on each type of variable product, and applicable case studies. This course assumes that the student understands the basics of variable products and the determinations required for suitability.

This course provides:
  • Basic information concerning the types of performance risks specific to variable insurance products
  • Information concerning the effects of risk and market events on the performance of VL insurance and VAs
  • The tools you need to help customers understand variable products and answer questions

Indexed Annuities

Course Code: CE_IA


This introductory course is intended for registered persons who want to understand the basic principles of indexed annuities.

Course Description

Indexed Annuities explains the basic characteristics of indexed annuities and how they compare to variable and fixed annuities. The gains, loss, and costs of an indexed annuity are described, as well as additional product options that can enhance the investment to meet investor’s objectives. The course also explains the accumulation and payout phases, regulatory concerns regarding the indexed annuities, and offers a case study scenario to illustrate key concepts.

Information Barriers

Course Code: CE_IB_SR


Information Barriers is directed toward those in the financial services industry who structure deals such as mergers and acquisitions, as well as other employees --- stock analysts and researchers, investment bankers, accountants, and attorneys --- who work with material, nonpublic, and confidential information. Employees working with such information, whether it originates from within the firm or from a client, are subject to various information barrier procedures intended to restrict information to only those who "need to know."

Course Description

This course focuses on information barriers, commonly known as Chinese walls. Information barriers, insiders, and inside information are defined and the elements used in forming barriers are listed. Information Barriers discusses situations when outsiders are allowed access to inside information, and what happens when individuals trade on nonpublic, material information. The course also provides a recent case study involving a professional sports gambler, a pro golfer, and a corporate insider.

Insider Trading

Course Code: CE_INSIDE_TR


Insider Trading is directed to registered representatives, sales associates, compliance administrators, and new account managers.

Course Description

Insider Trading defines inside information and insiders, and lists ways in which inside information is made public. The current regulatory environment of insider trading is reviewed, as well as the actions taken by regulators to curb illegal activity. Legal insider trading for insiders is also reviewed. Finally, recent cases illustrate that even if not convicted of insider trading, the expense, uncertainty, and potential impact of one's reputation and career makes such conduct a waste of one's talents and energy.

Institutional Communications

Course Code: CE_IC


Institutional Communications is a basic- to intermediate-level course designed for registered representatives specializing in institutional accounts, as well as for institutional account supervisors and their sales support staff. This course is also appropriate for other financial service professionals interested in working with institutional clients.

Course Description

This course provides FINRA's definition of an institutional investor and lists the standards of communication as set by the regulators. It discusses the different ways in which registered reps and firms communicate with institutional clients and also highlights the rules and related review and approval processes regarding these forms of communication. The final lesson delves into the supervision required for communication for institutional investors and lists the record-keeping requirements. The course concludes with a real case study that establishes the importance of adhering to regulatory communications rules and standards.

Institutional Sales Rep Responsibilities

Course Code: CE_ISRR


Institutional Sales Rep Responsibilities is a basic- to intermediate- level course designed for registered representatives specializing in institutional accounts, as well as for institutional account supervisors and their sales support staff. This course is also appropriate for other financial service professionals interested in the sales practices and responsibilities of working with institutional clients.

Course Description

Institutional investors play a major role in the financial markets. They make large trades that affect the entire marketplace, and as such, can influence the portfolios of individual investors.

This course provides you with FINRA's definition of an institutional investor, and gives you insight into suitability requirements when dealing with both retail and institutional investors. You will learn about different means of communicating with institutional investors, as well as the related review and approval processes. The final lesson explains prohibited practices with insight into avoiding regulatory actions in your daily course of business. Real life case studies are also highlighted to illustrate the concepts in the lessons.

Institutional Trading

Course Code: CE_INST_TR


This course is well suited to institutional representatives, salespeople, market makers, traders, and other financial services professionals interested in the business of large-block trading.

Institutional Trading is a broad overview of the rules, concepts, and tools that are vital for the successful institutional trader. Since many individuals in various roles in an integrated financial services firm interact with institutional traders and salespeople on a regular basis, this course is relevant for a broad spectrum of financial service professionals.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the basics of institutional trading in the over-the-counter (OTC) and listed equity markets. It includes a discussion of institutional block trading fundamentals and the relevant SEC, FINRA and listed equity rules and regulations that apply to institutional traders.

This course is not only an invaluable introduction to block trading and the role of institutions in the financial marketplace, it can also serve as the first step for industry professionals needing to interact with experienced institutional salespeople in their day-to-day workplace. In addition, it serves as an introduction for those who wish to become a successful institutional trader or as a refresher for experienced institutional salespeople or traders.

Introduction to Equity Options Strategies

Course Code: CE_INT_EOS


Introduction to Equity Options Strategies is an introductory course in option terms and strategies. It is designed for registered representatives who would like more depth in their knowledge of options, option terms, and option strategies. It is also for principals of an office who have not used or dealt with options since licensure. The course is excellent for anyone who wants the ability to communicate with clients regarding option strategies.

Course Description

Introduction to Equity Options Strategies describes the basic terms of a call and a put and their strike prices, the premiums for the options and what is involved in determining the premium, and other terms that are necessary to discuss options. The differences between buying a call and selling a call are described, as well as buying a put and selling a put. The course expands on these terms and describes call and put spreads, and long and short straddles, as well as using puts for hedging and calls for covered writing. Several examples are given using strategies that have actually been executed.

It is important that a registered representative is able to explain some of the essential differences and investment objectives in using specific types of equity option trading strategies. Therefore, this course is designed to help registered reps learn strategic ways to use calls and puts in determining investment strategies with clients.

Investment Adviser - Client Data Protection

Course Code: CE_IACDP


The IA Client Data Protection course is a useful tool for all employees of investment adviser firms required to comply with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Regulation S-P, Regulation S-AM, and Regulation S-ID, which falls under the Red Flags Rule.

Course Description

IA Client Data Protection details primary rules and best business practices that all employees of an investment advisory firm should follow to maintain the confidence of their clients by protecting their financial information.

This course identifies rules outlined under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the SEC’s Regulation S-P, Regulation S-AM, and Regulation S-ID that specifically apply to financial services firms. Details of these rules are discussed and include the process for notifying clients of the firm’s privacy policies, how to explain the “opt-out” feature of the privacy rules, and the employee’s role in protecting client information.

Investment Adviser - New Accounts and Disclosure Requirements

Course Code: CE_IANADR


The course is intended for supervisors and compliance personnel responsible for supervising investment advisers (IAs) and investment adviser representatives (IARs) under the Advisers Act and others with a vested interest in the outcome of their next SEC or state regulatory examination. The course discusses account opening requirements in more detail than introductory courses and will be helpful for investment advisory representatives as well as compliance staff.

Course Description

Investment Adviser - New Accounts and Disclosure Requirements discusses the process of opening new advisory accounts including required disclosures, contract provisions, and ongoing notice delivery requirements as well as related books and records requirements. The course concludes with common compliance pitfalls regarding advisory agreements.

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