Becoming a Financial Planner in Louisiana

A study by the Southern Regional Education Board in 2010 found that Louisiana’s high school graduates enroll into college immediately following graduation at a higher rate than the national average. About 70 percent of the state’s graduates were enrolled in college within a year of graduation, compared to the national average of 63 percent. Louisiana actually ranks ninth in the U.S. in terms of college enrollment. This helps highlight the growing need for financial planners who focus on helping middle-class families establish saving plans designed to fund their children’s college education.

The FDIC Louisiana State Profile showed that the largest deposit markets in the state in 2010 were found in the Houma-Bayou-Cane-Thibodaux area, where deposits exceeded $10 billion. The Lafayette area was second, and Shreveport-Bossier City followed in third place.

Louisiana Workforce Commission Employment Projections estimate that in the current ten-year period ending 2018, 730 new jobs will be added in the state for insurance sales agents, who sell life insurance and fixed annuities so as to offer financial planning services. Securities, commodities, and financial services salespersons will see about 250 jobs becoming available during this same period.

The Louisiana Parish Population Projections Series suggests that the number of residents age 65 and over is steadily increasing in the state, and that this trend is projected to continue. In 2010, there were 169,040 Louisiana residents age 65 to 69. By 2015, this number is expected to grow to 207,580; by 2020, to 239,250; and by 2025, to 254,750. With this segment of the population growing, financial planners who work to establish retirement plans and manage the portfolios of Louisiana’s wealthier retirees will continue to find their services in high demand.

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How to Obtain an Investment Adviser License in Louisiana

The Louisiana Securities Division requires aspiring investment adviser (IA) firm proprietors and representatives (IAR) operating in the state to register through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA’s) IARD (Investment Advisor Registration Depository) system. Representatives and principals of investment advisers in Louisiana must meet one of the following examination requirements prior to registration:

  • Pass the Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law examination
  • Pass the Series 7 General Securities Representative examination and the Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law examination

Louisiana is home to the offices of many of the most well known investment adviser firms in the world, as well as a number of local and regional IAs. Some of these IAs include Ameriprise Financial in New Orleans; Edward Jones in Baton Rouge, Houma, New Orleans, Monroe, Alexandria, and Shreveport; The Mutual Fund Store in Metairie; Stifel Nicolaus in New Orleans; Hancock Bank in Metairie; Evans Investment Advisors, LLC in Baton Rouge; and Resource Management, Inc. in Metairie.

How to Obtain a Stockbroker License in Louisiana

Agents of broker-dealers must also register with the Louisiana Securities Division through the FINRA-managed Central Registration Depository (CRD). Agents are required to pass a FINRA exam (Series 6 or 7) pertaining to the financial products they’ll be involved in selling, as well as either the Series 63 or the Series 66 exam.

Registered securities agents in Louisiana must adhere to FINRA’s continuing education requisites. After being licensed for two years, agents must take the Regulatory Element of continuing education. This Regulatory Element program is then taken every three years as a way to keep agents current on regulatory updates, among other changes in the industry. Securities firms are required to provide the Firm Element portion of CE, which consists of in –house training to keep agents up to date on regulatory developments in the industry that impact their product offerings and sales practices.

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

The Louisiana Department of Insurance regulates life insurance producers, who may also be known as financial planners, as they deal in some of the most popular financial products: life insurance and fixed annuities. All life insurance producer applicants in Louisiana must complete 20 hours of pre-licensing education. Providers approved by the Louisiana Department of Insurance may be found here. Life insurance line of authority applicants must then take the life producer licensing exam, administered through Prometric. Twenty-four hours of continuing education must then be taken biannually to maintain a life producer license in Louisiana.

Licensed life producers may also apply to become variable life and/or variable annuity agents in Louisiana. No extra insurance examination must be passed for this designation. However, variable contract agents must become registered as securities dealers, which requires them to pass the Series 6 or Series 7 exams, along with the Series 63 exam. To maintain licensure and registration, these financial professionals must meet continuing education requirements of both the Louisiana Department of Insurance and their governing self regulatory organization (SRO).