In 2008, Omaha, Nebraska ranked third on Kiplinger magazine’s list of the best cities to work, live, and play. Omaha’s residents have experienced a 15.1 percent increase in personal income since 2000, and the city is home to many millionaires, the most notable being the founder of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet, who is reverentially referred to as the “The Oracle of Omaha.”
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According to projections by the Nebraska Department of Labor, investment product sales is expected to be one of the fastest-growing areas in the state’s retail sales sector during the current ten-year period ending 2018. It is projected that jobs for these financial professionals will increase by 18.1 percent during the current ten-year period. The number of jobs for personal financial planners is expected to grow by 18.4 percent, and the number of jobs available to insurance sales agents who work as financial planners by selling life insurance and annuities is expected to increase by 15.5 percent during this period. These are very encouraging projections for those interested in becoming financial planners in Nebraska.
The Nebraska Health and Human Services Agency expects that the state’s population of residents age 65 and older will increase by a whopping 75 percent between 2005 and 2030. As more and more residents approach retirement age and enjoy longer lives, a demand is created for financial planners who work with retirees to help guarantee their financial security as they enjoy retirement.
The Nebraska Community College Association reported that the state’s six community colleges had a 13 percent increase in enrollment In 2010. Other four-year colleges and universities in the state have reported record enrollment numbers as well. As this trend is expected to continue, financial planners who support middle income families with college-bound children navigate the tax-advantaged college savings plan options available in Nebraska will likely find no scarcity of work in the state.
How to Obtain an Investment Adviser License in Nebraska
The State of Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance regulates investment adviser (IA) firms and investment adviser representatives (IAR) working with residents of the state. Prospective IAs and their representatives process registration through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA’s) IARD (Investment Advisor Registration Depository) system.
Under the Nebraska Administrative Code, IA firm principals and representatives must pass the North American Securities Administrators Association’s (NASAA’s) Series 65 (Uniform Investment Adviser Licensing) examination, or a combination of the Series 7 (General Securities Representative) examination and the Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law) examination.
Almost all the nationally recognized investment adviser firms have offices in Nebraska, as do some regional IAs. Among these is Waddell & Reed with offices in Hastings, Ainsworth, Minden, Valentine, Kearney, McCook, North Platte, Grand Island, Ogallala, and Scottsbluff; Ameriprise Financial, John Hancock Financial Network, First National Capital Markets, and American First Investment Advisors, all with offices in Omaha; as well as Pittenger & Anderson in Lincoln and Falco Financial Services, Inc. in Scottsbluff.
How to Obtain a Stockbroker License in Nebraska
Agents of broker-dealers are regulated by the State of Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance, and must be registered through the FINRA Central Registration Depository (CRD). Passing the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination (Series 63) or the Uniform Combined State Law Examination (Series 66) is required, in addition to one of the following product-specific exams: General Securities Representative Exam (Series 7), Investment Company/Variable Contracts Limited Representative Exam (Series 6), or the Direct Participation Programs Limited Representative Exam (Series 22).
There are two components to continuing education (CE) for securities agents. FINRA and NASAA specify that all agents must take a computer-based course, called the Regulatory Element, after being registered for two years, then again every three years thereafter as it is frequently updated. Firms must offer all agents the Firm Element component of CE, which consists of yearly in-house training that focus on industry changes that influence products and related sales practices.
How to Obtain a License to Sell Life Insurance and Fixed Annuities in Nebraska
The Nebraska Department of Insurance regulates life and annuities insurance producers in the state. Twenty hours of pre-licensing education is required, with 14 of these hours in life and annuities and 6 in ethics courses. The state’s insurance licensing exam for the life and annuities line, given by Prometric testing centers, must be passed upon completion of the education module.
Agents who are interested in offering more financial planning products often choose to sell variable contracts. This requires a securities license that may be pursued either after obtaining a life and annuities license or in tandem when applying for a life and annuities license. Variable contracts applicants are expected to pass the Series 6 and 63 examinations or the Series 7 and 66 examinations.
Continuing education requirements of both the Nebraska Department of Insurance and FINRA apply to licensed Variable Contracts producers.