Becoming a Financial Planner in Kansas

The Kansas Department of Labor predicts an astounding 32.6 percent increase in jobs for personal financial advisors in the state during the current ten-year period ending 2016. Jobs for securities, commodities and financial services salespersons are also expected to experience significant growth of 31 percent during this period. Insurance sales agents who offer financial planning services by selling life insurance and annuities will see a jump of 12.2 percent in job opportunities during this same period.

Kansas’ six state universities have reported significant increases in enrollment since 2007. US Census Bureau figures from 2004 indicate that about 30 percent of adults in Kansas have a college degree. Some residents who are saving for college may choose the state’s direct-sold Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program; but as Kansas does not require its residents to invest in college savings programs in state, there are a variety of other options available to them as well. As this trend in increased college enrollment is expected to continue, many Kansas families will turn to professionals to help them navigate their college savings plan options as they prepare to fund their children’s college education.

As the average age of Kansas’ population increases, the demand for financial planners who work with residents preparing for retirement also increases. In 1995, the US Census Bureau reported that Kansas residents age 65 and older comprised 13.7 percent of the state’s total population. The Bureau projects that by 2025, Kansas’s residents age 65 and older will make up 19.5 percent of the state’s total population.

According to the University of Kansas Institute for Policy & Social Research, areas of the state in which the average per capita personal income was highest tended to be in western counties including Rawlins County, at $46,100; Sheridan County, at $50,800; Graham County, at $48,700; Greeley County, at $57,500; Ness County, at $54,300. In the east, Johnson County residents earned an average per capita yearly income of $53,400.

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How to Obtain an Investment Adviser License in Kansas

The Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner regulates investment adviser (IA) firms and their representatives (IAR) working in the state. Investment advisers must register with this office through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA’s) IARD (Investment Advisor Registration Depository) system. Passing the Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, or the Series 7 General Securities Representative Examination along with the Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law Examination is required.

Some of the biggest employers of investment adviser representatives in the state include BancWest Investment Services in Wichita and Garden City; Edward Jones in Lawrence, Topeka, Wichita and Kansas City; The Mutual Fund Store in Shawnee; Enterprise Bank in Olathe; Juhnke, Campbell & Associates in Wichita; and Ivy Funds, with an office in Overland Park.

How to Obtain a Stockbroker License in Kansas

Registered representatives of broker-dealer firms must register with the Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner through FINRA’s Central Registration Depository (CRD). Anyone who wishes to become registered as a broker-dealer agent in Kansas must pass either the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, or a combination of the Series 66 – Uniform Combined State Law Examination and one other product related examination as determined by the self regulatory organization (SRO) that governs the broker-dealer firm for which they work.

All broker-dealer agents of FINRA member firms must fulfill a two-part continuing education requirement. The regulatory requirement, which focuses on updates to industry regulations is required at the second registration anniversary, then every three years for the remainder of the registered rep’s career. The Firm Element, provided by the broker-dealer firm, should be an ongoing yearly in-house training program that will keep agents up to date on subjects related to products they sell, job duties, and sales protocols.

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

The Kansas Insurance Department licenses applicants who meet the requirements to become life insurance producers. These producers may also sell fixed annuities and become financial planners. There is no pre-licensing education requirement to get an insurance license in Kansas. Applicants who are at least 18 years old may apply to take the state’s life insurance producer licensing examination, administered through third party exam-proctor, Pearson Vue, which has testing centers in Overland Park, Wichita, Topeka, and Hays. Every two years, licensed life insurance producers must fulfill 12 hours of continuing education to keep their licenses updated. One hour must be in ethics courses.

Licensed life insurance producers may apply to sell variable contracts in Kansas, provided that they seek and retain securities agent registration. This involves passing the Series 63 exam along with either the Series 6 or Series 7 exam. Variable Contracts agents must meet the continuing education requirements of both the Kansas Insurance Department and of their firm’s SRO.