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Series 7 and RIA

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Aug 19, 2010 11:10 pm


I have a series 7 and I just left my firm. I was an equity trader at the firm. I now want to manage other people's money. I am from NY state. I have more than 5 clients in NYS. That means I must register as an RIA. The question is this: Can I register as an RIA with only a series 7 or do i have to take the series 66?  Let's say I become a registered investment advisor, can I be independent or do I have to join a firm to keep my RIA status active? My goal is to be an independant RIA if there is such a thing.


Aug 20, 2010 12:56 pm

If you establish your own RIA, then yes, you are independant.  Independant means different things to different people.  Joining a small Broker Dealer to some people, is independant.  To me, it is not.  You have more control, but not complete control. 

You need a Broker Dealer to keep your 7 active.  But you don't need a series 7 to be an RIA.  If you still want to do commission based business, you will need to either A) bring your entire book of business to an independant broker dealer, or B) establish your own RIA, and affiliabe with a Broker Dealer on the side for commission based business. 

Aug 20, 2010 9:31 pm

Hi Flyonwall. Thanks for the clear cut answer. Two more questions:

1. How do I establish my own RIA?

2. If I have a series 7 and 66 and I have an account with interactive brokers managing client assets, will my RIA status be active or no? Interactive brokers is a broker dealer and they do allow advisor accounts.


Aug 21, 2010 2:21 am

RIA is a Registered Investment Advisor FIRM and you would be an IAR Investment Advisor Representative of the RIA firm.  I recommend you do some reading up and speak with a consultant with Interactive Brokers and possibly RIA in a Box. Tons of companies that will help and unfortunately you do not yet understand enough to do it yourself.

Invest Financial, LLC = RIA that files ADV an so forth

Joe Advisor = IAR that holds series 66

You do not have to have a license to own the firm (i think) but you would need a 66 to be an IAR.

Series 7 is used with B/Ds for commissioned business. Series 66 is used for advisory fee based business.

I am skipping several other points but you should get the general idea. Also use the search feature at the top right of the page. Most things have been posted extensively.

Aug 21, 2010 3:01 am

I agree with most if not all of what ND said.

Also, if you want to manage client accounts at interactive brokers, you are going to want to establish an RIA first to do so.  Unless I am woefully mistaken, Interactive Brokers is not the type of BD that you might be thinking they are.  You aren't going to be hired by them, or 1099'd by them, like an Indy BD.  They are a custodian BD, like Schwab, TD, Fidelty.  They are there to execute trades and custody assets for the clients of indy and RIA advisors. 

RIA in a box can get you set up for a few grand.  I used a laywer as my consultant, and it cost 5k total.