New Agents Share Their Perspective On Preparing For The Securities Exams
As the life insurance product landscape has evolved, it has almost become a requirement for new agents to earn a securities license upon entering the business.
“When youre brand new in the business, your expectations are high, and youre really busy,” says Roger Seigler, agency manager of Jefferson-Pilots Piedmont Agency in Greensboro, N.C. “Meanwhile, youre trying to study for your securities licenses, so its quite a challenge.”
Seigler requires his new agents to have their life and health license prior to being contracted as a full-time agent. Then, as these new agents start making calls, setting appointments and meeting with prospects, they are required to study for and pass their Series 6 and 63 securities exams. All this is required within the first two to three months of joining his organization.
The Series 6 limited securities license is required for representatives to market variable annuities, variable life insurance and mutual fund products. The Series 63 is an additional license required by most states.
Since Seiglers agency doesnt do a lot of individual securities, he doesnt encourage his new agents to pursue the Series 7 general securities license. His objective is to get his agents licensed to sell variable insurance products as soon as possible.
“Most of these guys are actually working full-time in the insurance and financial services business prior to getting their securities license,” adds Seigler.
But at Prudential Financial Inc., in Newark, N.J., all new agents are required to take the Series 7 exam.
Within their first six weeks on the job, these agents study and sit for the Series 7, 66, and the life and health licensing exam. The Series 7 general securities license allows agents to market variable-based insurance products and mutual funds, in addition to stocks, bonds, options and other investment vehicles. The Series 66 license combines the Series 63 state license requirement with the Series 65, which is required in most states for individuals practicing as an investment advisor.
“Its extremely intensive,” says Terri Kinsella, vice president recruiting and development for Prudential.
According to Kinsella, Prudential has a very structured format for getting these new recruits licensed. Studying and passing the exams are the agents primary tasks during this initial “pre-production period,” she adds. Chapters are broken out for study, along with practice exams and online study.
Agents who have recently passed the Series 6 or Series 7 agree that working with a variety of study media helps. “Just reading and studying out of a book can be a little tiring,” says Bruce Giguere, an agent from Prudentials South Windsor, Conn., office.
Using media formats, such as video and audio recordings helped Giguere, and others, break up their study program
For Monti Allison, a representative with Jefferson-Pilots Piedmont Agency, the online exams helped give him a feel for what to expect on his actual Series 6 exam. “The exam is in a computer-oriented format, so youve got to get familiar with how the questions are posed and how to use the multiple choice questions to narrow down your answers,” he says.