What Is a FINRA License?

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority pic
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
Image: finra.org

Darin Pastor has held executive roles at multiple companies over his 25-year career, including as a managing director of The Prudential Insurance Company of America in Newark, New Jersey. Today, Darin Pastor serves as the chairman and CEO of an Irvine, California-based holding company and maintains five licenses with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

FINRA licenses are required for many securities industry professionals. There are many different series of FINRA licenses, and a financial professional’s chosen career path dictates which one(s) he or she obtains. A stockbroker, for example, is required to have a Series 7 general securities representative (GS) license, which legally allows the holder to sell individual securities of almost any kind. Some professionals obtain multiple licenses in order to service a broader range of clients.

To be granted a FINRA license, professionals must pay a testing fee and take an exam. Depending on the type of license to be obtained, the test can be anywhere from 35 to 250 questions and varies in difficulty contingent on the subject matter. The majority of advisors and representatives who earn FINRA licenses usually look to pass the Series 6, 7, or 3 license tests.

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