As vice president for acquisitions at Pontus Capital in La Jolla, California, Scott Stokas evaluates, structures, and executes acquisitions of real estate and structured finance securities. He holds both the Series 7 and Series 63 licenses.
With the wide range of securities available in different markets, it is critical that the financial professionals who sell securities to the general public have a thorough understanding of markets and securities, as well as a deep grounding in ethical considerations.
There are many different licenses issued by either the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the National Futures Association (NFA), or the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). The two most important licenses necessary to do business as a stockbroker are the Series 7 and the Series 63 license, both administered by FINRA. Many states require both licenses.
The Series 7 license is earned by passing an exam of 260 questions, 250 of which count toward the score. Candidates are given six hours to complete the exam, which covers several areas, including prospecting, evaluation of clients’ financial situations and objectives, record keeping, and appropriate client communication.
The exam for the Series 63 license takes 75 minutes and consists of 65 multiple-choice questions, 60 of which are included in the score. These questions evaluate a candidate’s mastery of state securities laws and regulations, in addition to fiduciary obligations and ethical practices.