Series 53


DEFINITION of 'Series 53'

An exam offered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and overseen by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). The Series 53 qualifies a financial professional to become a licensed municipal securities principal, which allows the supervision and management of sales of municipal securities, agency securities, and U.S. Treasury obligations by licensed broker/dealers.

The exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions taken over three hours; a score of 70% or better is required for passing. Question topics cover not only the basics of how municipal securities are created and traded, but settlement practices, record-keeping and sales supervision.


The Series 53 is also required for those who wish to sell Section 529 plans for college funding, even though many 529 plans are invested into equity-based securities and funds. The sales of 529 plans are under the supervision of the MSRB. People who pass the Series 53 exam do not need to take and pass the Series 51 test, which is more limited in scope.

  1. 529 Plan

    529 is a category of plans that provide tax advantages when saving ...
  2. Series 52

    An exam offered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ...
  3. Broker-Dealer

    A person or firm in the business of buying and selling securities, ...
  4. Series 7

    A general securities registered representative license administered ...
  5. Municipal Securities Rulemaking ...

    A regulating body that creates rules and policies for investment ...
  6. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ...

    A regulatory body created after the merger of the National Association ...
Related Articles
  1. Insurance

    Investing In Your Child's Education

    Overwhelmed by increasing tuition costs for your kids? The U.S. government can help.
  2. Options & Futures

    Broker Or Trader: Which Career Is Right For You?

    A day in the life of a broker or trader is an exciting and varied one. Find out how to decide between these two financial professions.
  3. Professionals

    Keeping Up With Your Continuing Education

    Professional maintenance can be a chore. Learn how to streamline the process.
  4. Savings

    529 Plan Tutorial

    This comprehensive guide goes through what a 529 plan is and how to set one up, contribute to it and withdraw from it.
  5. FA

    CIPM: The Key To A Niche Career In Finance

    CIPM designates usually work as investment performance analysts.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    The 4 Best Online Entrepreneurship Programs

    Learn about some of the pre-eminent graduate-level entrepreneurship programs available online, and decide which program best fits your needs.
  7. Investing

    Most Valuable Career Skills in 2016

    Evaluating the mixture of technical skills and traditional "soft skills" that render career applicants competitive in the 2016 job market.
  8. Investing Basics

    How To Handle A Serious Dispute With Your Broker

    Find out what to do if you have a dispute with your broker.
  9. Investing

    5 Free Ways to Learn New Skills Online

    Stay sharp and up to speed with today's valuable skills on these five, completely free online platforms.
  10. Options & Futures

    The Alphabet Soup of Financial Certifications

    We decode the meaning of the many letters that can follow the names of financial professionals.
  1. How does FINRA differ from the SEC?

    With all the financial organizations out there, knowing what they all do can be as complicated as knowing where to invest. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Am I qualified once I complete my FINRA certification exam?

    Even if you have completed your Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or FINRA (previously the National Association of ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Are variable annuities safe?

    As of October 2015, many life insurance companies, and those companies that sell variable annuities, have experienced economic ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How are variable annuities regulated?

    The sale of a variable annuity is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Is a financial advisor required to have a degree?

    Financial advisors are not required to have university degrees. However, they are required to pass certain exams administered ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can I use my IRA to pay for my college loans?

    If you are older than 59.5 and have been contributing to your IRA for more than five years, you may withdraw funds to pay ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  2. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  3. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  4. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
  5. Monetary Policy

    Monetary policy is the actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and ...
  6. Indemnity

    Indemnity is compensation for damages or loss. Indemnity in the legal sense may also refer to an exemption from liability ...
Trading Center