The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is a private non profit organization that oversees and regulates every firm and person involved in the securities trading industry in America . Every brokerage firm in America is a member of the FINRA, and they set the rules and regulations that every brokerage firm, every branch office, and every licensed securities trader is required to abide by in order to lawfully engage in securities trading activities.

The FINRA puts its stamp on the American stock markets in a wide variety of ways. One of the major ways is through dispute mediation. As the number of disputes between clients and brokers has mushroomed in recent years, the FINRA has stepped in to arbitrate mediate between the parties in more than 90% of the cases, using more than 7000 highly trained professionals to resolve these disputes.

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They also keep the stock market honest-every one of the almost 700,000 licensed securities traders is registered with and overseen by the FINRA, and they set the rules and regulations that traders and brokers must follow. And they vigorously enforce these rules, knowing that public confidence in the various stock markets depends heavily on the existence of a level playing field and an honest umpire.

The FINRA ensures that stock market professionals are not only honest but competent, by systematic and rigorous testing and education requirements. Every one of the people directly involved in the securities trading industry has had to pass an FINRA administered test.

All these measures, and many more, are examples of the vital functions the FINRA performs in overseeing and regulating the industry, and all of them are geared toward protecting investors and maintaining market stability.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) offers many different Series exams. Use the Series exam directory above to read more about your upcoming test and review study materials.