Series 26 - Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Principal Exam (IP)

The Series 26 exam—the Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Principal Examination (IP)—assesses the competency of an entry-level investment company and variable products principal candidate to perform his or her job.

The exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge needed to perform the critical functions of an investment company and variable products principal, including the rules and statutory provisions applicable to the supervisory management of companies registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940.

The Series 26 consists of 110 scored questions and an additional 10 unscored pretest questions. Candidates are given two hours and 45 minutes to complete the exam. The passing score is 70 percent.

Please see NASD Rule 1022(d) Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Principal for more information.

Content Outline

The Series 26 Content Outline provides a comprehensive guide to the range of subjects covered on the exam, as well as the depth of knowledge required. It includes sample questions to acquaint candidates with the types of multiple-choice questions on the exam.

The outline is comprised of the three main job functions of an investment company variable products principal:

  • Function 1—Personnel management activities and registration of the broker-dealer
  • Function 2—Supervises associated persons and oversees sales practices
  • Function 3—Oversees compliance and business processes of the broker-dealer and its offices

Download: Series 26 Content Outline


The Series 26 has a prerequisite exam requirement. Candidates must pass one of the following exams to hold the registration:

  • Series 6
  • Series 7

Please see Register a New Candidate for more information on the registration process.

Permitted Activities

Covered supervisory activities and products include regulatory compliance over sales of the following.

  • Mutual funds
  • Closed-end funds (initial offering only)
  • Variable annuities
  • Variable life insurance

Taking the Exam

The table below lists the allocation of exam questions for each main job function of an investment company variable products principal.

Major Job Functions Number of Questions
Function 1 – Personnel Management Activities and Registration of the Broker-Dealer 16
Function 2 – Supervises Associated Persons and Oversees Sales Practices 49
Function 3 – Oversees Compliance and Business Processes of the Broker-Dealer and its Offices 45

See On the Day of Your Exam for more information.

Using Reference Materials

The test administrator will provide whiteboard/dry erase marker and basic electronic calculators to the candidates, which must be returned to the test center administrator at the end of the testing session. Some test questions involve calculations. Only the provided calculators may be used during the examination.

The examination may contain questions that require the use of exhibits (e.g., charts, graphs, tables). If so, the questions will indicate when to refer to an exhibit.

Candidates are not permitted to bring any reference materials to testing sessions. Severe penalties are imposed on candidates who cheat or attempt to cheat on FINRA administered examinations.

To learn more about logistics and protocols for your exam day, please see On The Day of Your Exam.