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2) I would be taxed at my marginal rate, and the friends are content with me taking 30%/15% of the top of short/long term gains. Aslong as everyone fills out gift tax forms for the IRS, is there any other taxable implications?

A far better solution is for the accounts to remain in their names, and let them pay their own taxes. These are not gifts, as they are not giving you money unconditionally -- they expect to get it back.

As to licensing - you held those licenses before, don't you know what activities they covered? I would have thought that would have been part of the licensing exams.

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