I couldn't agree more. I let my series 3 and series 30 licenses go for these reasons. I can always get them back if need be. As mentioned you can trade up to 15 other peoples money (up to a max of 400k in futures I believe) without being licensed.
But you have to trust the client to pay you if you are not licensed (not guaranteed), whereas if your license, the agreement is submitted to the broker, and the broker withdraws the fees (more guaranteed).
Unless there is a broker that can do this without a license . . . . I haven't met one.
which will cost you more....
a client not paying you some commission at the end of the month
a client that is pissed off you lost them money and now they wish to cause you legal hassles purely as you are licensed.
I am not sure of the exact rules in the US, but in just about all countries, once you are registered or subject to legislation, then that is where problems in compliance, legal, disclaimers, insurance, accounts and reports ad audits occur. If just starting out and building a track record, so long as you are not soliciting accounts just do a simple cost benefit analysis....you can always get licences when and if needed.
It was a happy day for me when my licences lapsed... Why subject yourself to supervision unless its required (clients).
Plus if you do the exams and a certain amount of time lapses without being registered, you may have to write them again. As to the content, not very stimulating material in my opinion. If you do as many practice questions as possible, you will breeze through. Questions are repeated structure wise, and sometimes word for word.
When I was looking into this, an interesting aspect was that seemingly the Series 3 was applicable across all states, while the Series 7 was something you had to get in each state. Maybe this has changed, or maybe I misunderstood.
Also, the Series 3 is largely unusual... in my geographical area, stocks and bonds are the MO for most firms, while stocks, bonds and about 3% of a portfolio in futures is showing the greatest diversification and return. This seems to be the future of true diversification and thus, Series 3, imo, is the "future" in futures.
(with the awareness that Baby Boomers will be required legally in large numbers to pull out of the stock market as they hit a particular age (soon) and the apparent incidence of few numbers of younger generation investing in the stock market, finding an investment vehicle that isn't correlated to stocks/bonds seems wise... Series 3/Futures )
In the end, imo, it depends on your intention/goal whether or not to pursue. Sometimes being in an environment of trading/markets and if one has to have a "job" to take the pressure off trading, then what better place than being in the same industry than a completely different one. That's my take, anyway.
Pros and cons for anything, depending on a person's particular situation and goals. That said, the liability is something that I ran into when I was exploring this: many people who had a Series 7 avoided using it.
And for the comment about variable annuities: I recall one day when I was working for a firm in 2009 and in one day, due to the losses incurred by the insurance companies, in my area, all companies except 2 stopped offering variable annuities. It truly depends on the P&L of that company and their ability to withstand continued losses to suggest that variable annuities are such a sure bet. If an insurance company goes out and can't cover the policies, it doesn't matter how good it looks on paper.... in the end, the complexity of the products created and the complexity of the global economy have put us at an unknown place that hasn't been experienced before. There are no reference points, imo... and thus, assuming the market will rebound or things will "definitely" recover in all products is probably not such a sure bet.
With that thought in mind, advising others becomes more complex and sometimes it's less the liability than the conscience of wanting to do well by others but knowing things are very uncertain... it's this awareness that may cause many to avoid getting licensed and taking others' retirements/futures and lives into one's hands.
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That interesting. I know a few companies that have variables and are discouraging selling them because of market performance.
What is a real kick in the pants is people who were sold product built on models that had sustained interest rates of 7-10% and now they're down are 2%, really screws up the model.
A lot of the annuity products have what's called an index feature, as do the Universal Life products. These aren't variable, but they have a minimum return, and then if the index (like the s&p) does well, there is a kicker...
What's really interesting from a ES traders position, is that the companies, aren't exactly traders, so they buy option, leaps, and if its a good year, well then it's a good year.
What I want to know is what day are they sending all of those buy orders
Another thing to keep in mind, on the 7, is most advisers are just sales guys, toeing the company line, selling the system developed by the back office.
If you look into the managed futures groups on Linkedin you'll get some interesting information for 3.
The limit of 15 clients or 400K dollars is the reason most people will look to get series III registered. You simply cannot make any money managing assets within those limits. Being registered is an important confidence builder for potential clients, and if you are serious about being a money manager for non QEPs then you have to consider getting regulated. Being a CTA enables you to get onto databases and enables better distribution.
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