Becoming a Financial Planner in Michigan
Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management and Budget expects huge increases in the number of jobs available to professionals in the state offering financial planning servies in the coming years. Job openings for personal financial advisors are predicted to grow by a whopping 29.9 percent in the current ten year period ending 2018. Insurance agents, including those who market themselves as financial planners by selling life insurance and annuities, will see an increase of about 12 percent; while jobs for stockbrokers are estimated to increase by 8.9 percent. Insurance sales and personal financial advising are also counted among Michigan’s Hot 50 Jobs, as listed by Michigan’s Department of Labor, Energy and Economic Growth. This means that these professions are among the top fifty jobs expected to show the greatest level of growth and opportunity within the state in the coming years.
Currently, 25.2 percent of Michigan residents age 25 and over hold a college degree. Those holding advanced degrees make 42 percent more than a Michigan resident with an undergraduate degree. Michigan currently has three state-sponsored college savings plans: Michigan Education Trust (MET), Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP), and MI 529 Advisor Plan. Personal financial advisors are very involved in helping residents select the right plan for their situation, particularly in the MI 529 Advisor Plan, which is the only advisor-sold 529 plan in the state to offer residents an income tax deduction.
The Federal Financial Services Reform Act of 1999 made Michigan the first state to coordinate regulation of financial institutions, securities, and insurance industries. According to the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation, as of 2011 there are about 120,000 licensed insurance professionals; 7,200 broker-dealers; 121,000 securities agents; and 1,600 investment advisors licensed, certified or registered in Michigan.
How to Obtain an Investment Adviser Representative License in Michigan
Michigan’s Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation licenses investment adviser representatives (IARs) who may choose to establish their own firms or work for existing national or regional IA firms located in the state. Investment adviser representatives in Michigan must take the North American Securities Administrators Association’s (NASAA’s) Series 65 examination (also known as the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination). Exceptions may be made if one has already passed the Series 66 and Series 7 exams within two years of applying for a Michigan IAR license; if one was registered as an IAR in another state that required passing the Series 65 exam; or if one holds any of these professional designations: Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Financial Consultant, Personal Financial Specialist, Chartered Financial Analyst, or Chartered Investment Counselor.
How to Obtain a Stockbroker License in Michigan
Securities broker-dealers and the stockbrokers that work for them are also licensed through the Mighigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation. NASAA exams that must be passed prior to state licensure include the Series 63 Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination or the Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law Examination. Either the Series 6 or Series 7 exam must also be passed based upon what type of investment products a registered rep’s employer will have them working with. Annuities and mutual funds require the Series 6, while more products such as stocks and options, which require a greater degree of personal management, require the Series 7.
How to Obtain a License to Sell Life Insurance and Fixed Annuities in Michigan
The Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation also licenses life insurance producers. These producers are permitted to sell fixed annuities as well. A pre-licensing course must be completed followed by the Series 16-65 Life Producer Exam, which is taken within a year of completing the course. The exam is scheduled through and proctored by who is contracted by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Detail exam information for Michigan’s applicants is available here. Twenty-four credits of continuing education, with at least three credits in ethics, must be completed every two years in order to maintain a producer license in Michigan.
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