How Long Is Your Series 7 License Good For After Leaving Wealth Management?
How Long Is Your Series 7 License Good For After leaving Wealth Management is typically the two year post employment period where it stays fully active without you being employed by a member firm. As an example, I am currently Series 7 licensed in the field of Wealth Management, and because I am employed by a FINRA member firm, as long as I do my continuing education on time every 3 years, my license will remain active and I will be able to continue placing trades and being active in the field.
However, I am likely about to job hop and move to the challenging field of Public Accounting to go for my CPA license. As daunting as this is, and I am even likely going to take a pay cut here, I will have only two years to pivot and move back into the field of Wealth Management, and for someone to hold my CPA license, before my license will expire. At this point, without the 7 and 66 licenses it is very difficult to get back into the field, and my ability to move back into the game will rely on my Resume, my social network, and largely my ability to convince someone in an interview that I can still do the job or that I can bring in sales. And so here we find that 2 YEARS is the deadline for expiration.
Why Does Your Series 7 License Expire After 2 Years?
Why Does Your Series 7 License expire so quickly? Some would say that 2 years is a quite generous timeline and allows you to leave the Securities Business and go exploring with a backup plan still in your pocket.
In a way the Series 7 License is a way for you to be able to go exploring but with FINRA and the SEC essentially putting golden handcuffs on you for the securities business.
I once heard someone in my field say that “once you’re in you’re in. Literally no one ever leaves this business.” And I can see why, it is a very good business, and over the last 3 years I have made nearly $250,000 just for being the assistant to my Financial Advisor. If someone hands you a 3 year $250,000 contract, you feel like a baseball player, you grab that as quickly as you can!
In many ways being in the field of Wealth Management is a lot like being a baseball player. You are valued by your team, and as long as you don’t commit fraud or something, you are always a free agent for other teams even if you get cut. At the end of the day the different between Suntrust, UBS, Raymond James, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley is pretty dismal, day to day they all have their pros and their cons but everyone is playing the same game!
How Much Money Can You Make With a Series 7 License?
End rant on my views of the Securities Business, here’s how much money you can typically make in Wealth Management by position type:
Receptionist/Call Center Worker/Back Office Worker/Intern – $35,000 to 49,000 per year – This is your bottom of the Totem Pole entry level job. You can make very good pay moving up from here; but this is generally your entry point to the field if you have no experience.
From here we move up to the CSA position, salary range at the junior level is usually around $50,000 to $70,000 per year. You are the Wide Receiver of the team, your job is to open up and onboard accounts and to keep the business running as smoothly as possible. He is an advisors best friend, and his trusted confidant, the equivalent of a Chief of Staff to the Financial Advisor in many cases. Often times they can even work in an advisory capacity or can have their CFP credential, they often times become business partners, portfolio managers, and even heads of compliance.
Senior CSA – $75,000 to $125,000 per year: I am right at the lower end of this range right now, having been in the business for around 3 years. One downside of a position like this is that you can often get Pigeon Holed versus something like Public Accounting where the sky is the limit. My plan personally is to blend my Accounting knowledge with my hopefully future CPA credential to pivot to a compliance role making $125,000+. Fingers Crossed it works.
Operations Manager and Branch Manager – Salary for this can often range from $115k or $150,000 per year up to $300,000 per year. The next step up from BOM here is Regional Directors or Complex Managers, who can make as much as $1,100,000 per year or more.
Financial Advisors – Advisors have an unlimited possible salary range, because they are in a position where truly, they eat what they kill. They typically make $0 to $50,000 or $100,000 their first several years in the business, and from here can make as much as $500,000 to $750,000 to $5,000,000 per year at the later pinnacle of their career. I was a Financial Advisor apprentice around a year ago, and my advisor used to say that if I inherited his book that I would have something like a $4,000,000 per year annual income. But 40 years is a long time to be in a job that you hate so, I said goodbye to that one, hopefully I make that much money one day off my websites!
Is a CPA License Worth More Than A Series 7 License?
Yes and no, it depends what you are doing with it. I would say that mobility in terms of job hopping anywhere in the country is about the same, and that in fact with the Series 7 license you may actually have even better mobility because there is literally ALWAYS another Financial Advisor that needs an assistant, and they will pay you as much as $75,000 or $80,000 per year to be on their team. Better than that they treat you pretty good too, always taking you out to lunch, they appreciate the work you do, annual raises and bonuses, company golf outings and happy hours completely free, and so on and so forth.
The downsides are:
Somewhat limited mobility – compared to Public Accounting where sky is the limit in terms of learning new things and getting raises and promotions, it is very easy to get Pigeonholed into a CSA job and stay there for like literally decades, I’ve seen it so many times.
You are always just the assistant – There is really only so much respect that you can have working for someone else. Whether it is the level of respect from your advisor, from your manager, or for yourself. While you will certainly get respect and money, people always look at you a certain way when you’re just an assistant. You are always “XYZ’s guy or ZYXs guy etc.” and that does get old after awhile. It has gotten old after 3 years, so I can’t imagine, that being a 27 year old male who is 6 foot 4 inches tall, is smart and is good looking, in good shape and weight lifts, that if one were to continue doing it well into my 30s, that a certain shred of my own respect for myself would diminish with it.
Limited Outside business activities or ability to go out on your own – Nuff said.
Do You Need to Always Disclose Outside Business Activities Once You Have An Active Series 7 License And Once You Are In Wealth Management?
Yes. If you are an active member of the securities business, with or without a Series 7 license, you will always need to disclose outside business activities. Now if you just have your Series 7 license still but you are not working with a member firm, then no no disclosure is required and you can really work at or on any type of business you want with no conflict.
Final Thoughts On How Long Is Your Series 7 License Good For After Leaving Wealth Management?
And those are my thoughts on how long is your Series 7 License good for after leaving Wealth Management? The answer is 2 years! Beyond that you will need to hustle a little bit in order to get back into the game. Hope you enjoyed reading!
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