Becoming a Financial Planner in Missouri

The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center list securities and commodities sales among Missouri’s Hot Jobs within the business and technology category. During the ten-year period ending 2018, a projected 2,041 job openings for securities and commodities sales persons are expected to become available in the state. Missouri is also expecting to see 1,241 openings for financial advisors during this same ten-year period.

In 2009, the United States Census Bureau reported that, at 13.7 percent, Missouri had a higher than average percentage of residents age 65 and over as compared to the rest of the country. This suggests a good market exists for financial planners providing retirement planning services.

According to 2009 figures provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, the county with the highest median household income in Missouri is St. Charles County, at $68,669. Platte County had a median household income of $65,887; in Cass County it was $59,226; and in Clay County, $57,983. These areas are likely to be strong markets for financial planners, as families with higher household incomes are more likely to take advantage of investment, college, retirement, and estate planning services. Additionally, a 2009 study done by the marketing research firm, Phoenix Affluent Marketing Service, found that there were 89,230 millionaires residing in Missouri, accounting for about 3.79 percent of all Missouri households. Individuals and families that have a net worth of one million dollars or more are known to be much more likely to involve financial advisors in the management of their assets.

In 2009, college enrollment increased in Missouri by 5.9 percent over 2008. Currently, about 90,000 students are enrolled in Missouri’s community colleges. In 2010, state universities also saw new records set with regard to increased enrollment. The rise in college enrollment in the state calls attention to the growing market for financial planners who specialize in helping Missouri’s families save money to fund their children’s college education.

How to Obtain an Investment Adviser Representative License in Missouri

The Missouri Secretary of State’s Securities Division handles licensing of investment adviser representatives (IAR) and investment advisory (IA) firms in the state. Investment adviser representatives in Missouri must pass the North American Securities Administrators Association’s (NASAA’s) Revised Series 65 exam, or a combination of the NASAA Revised Series 66 and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Series 7 exam.

Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which raised the limit of client assets under management for state-registered IAs from $25 million to $100 million in 2011, some IA firms will need to switch their federal registration with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to state registration by 2012.

There are many national, global and local IA firms that employ IARs in Missouri. Among these are BancWest Investment Services in Liberty; Edward Jones in St. Louis, Saint Joseph, and Springfield; AXA Advisors in St. Louis, Centertown, and Hannibal; Service Corporation International in St. Louis and Kansas City; LPL Financial in Chesterfield; and Stifel Nicolaus in St. Louis.

Individuals may also license their own independent IA firms through Missouri’s Securities Division.

How to Obtain a Stockbroker License in Missouri

The Missouri Secretary of State’s Securities Division also licenses stockbrokers working with Missouri residents. Required exams for these security sales professionals include the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA’s) Series 7 Exam in combination with either the NASAA’s Series 63 Exam or the Revised Series 66 Examination.

FINRA requires continuing education (CE) of licensed and registered securities industry professionals. Registered representative must fulfill CE requirements by taking a computerized training program after two years working in the field, and then every three years for the remainder of their careers. Additionally, FINRA requires all firms to institute formal training programs that will help registered representatives maintain ethical sales skills and knowledge on industry developments.

How to Obtain a License to Sell Life Insurance and Fixed Annuities in Missouri

The Missouri Department of Insurance handles licensing for life insurance producers who also may do business as financial planners by selling fixed annuities. Missouri does not have pre-licensing education requirements, but does require all producers to pass examinations administered by the third party contractor, Pearson VUE. Licensed producers must complete 16 hours of continuing education courses approved by the Missouri Department of Insurance. This must be done every two years prior to the license renewal date. Courses may be found through searching the National Association of Insurance Commissioners SBS Online Continuing Education database.

Aspiring variable annuity sales persons must seek dual licensure through the Missouri Department of Insurance as well as through the Missouri Secretary of State’s Securities Division. Either the Series 6 Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative Exam or the Series 7 General Securities Representative Exam must be passed in order to obtain this additional securities license. FINRA’s continuing education requirements also apply to these professionals, in addition to the Missouri Department of Insurance CE requirements.


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