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Becoming a Financial Planner in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau projects that in the current ten-year period ending 2018, there will be an estimated 24.7 percent increase in the number of jobs available to personal financial planners in the state. Insurance sales agents who deal in annuities and life insurance should see an increase of 12 percent in the number of jobs that become available, while securities and commodities sales agents are expected to see an increase of about 4.9 percent.

Financial planners act with a great measure of caution to minimize risk when managing the financial assets of retirees so as to assure them a steady income stream with which to supplement social security. According to US Census Bureau figures published in 2009, a higher percentage of New Hampshire’s residents were over the age of 65 as compared to the national average. About 13.5 percent of the state’s total population was of retirement age, compared with the national average of 12.9 percent.

A report by the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College found that just over half of all workers in New Hampshire between the ages of 21 and 64 are currently enrolled in retirement savings plans sponsored by their employers. This is considerably lower than what is found in most other states. Those who become financial planners in New Hampshire are likely to find a demand exists for retirement planning services, as many of these young and middle aged workers will be establishing their own retirement savings plans as they look to secure their financial futures.

New Hampshire’s 529 College Tuition Savings plan has proven to be an effective model. There are two different college savings plans offered in the state: UNIQUE, which is sold directly to investors, and the Fidelity Advisor 529 Plan, which requires greater management and therefore utilizes the expertise of financial advisors. In these two plans combined there were about 446,000 accounts and $5.8 billion in assets as of 2007. With about 46 percent of New Hampshire’s population holding at least an associate’s degree, much higher than the national average of 38 percent, it is likely that the high college enrollment trend in the state will continue, and continue to drive demand for the expertise of financial planners who specialize in establishing college tuition savings plans.

How to Obtain an Investment Adviser License in New Hampshire

Investment adviser (IA) firm and representative (IAR) licensure is handled through the New Hampshire Department of Securities. Federally registered IA agents work for IA firms that are registered and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) because they manage client assets in excess of $100 million, whereas state registered IA agents work for IA firms that are not eligible for registration with the SEC because they manage assets that total less than $100 million. Both types of IA agents must meet the same examination requirements, which include passing one of the following exam scenarios:

  1. Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination (Series 65) examination)
  2. Or

  3. General Securities Representative Examination (Series 7) and the Uniform Combined State Law Examination (Series 66).

Investment advisors who are sole proprietors must be licensed with the state as investment advisers, but do not need separate agent licensure for themselves. They must; however, pass the same examinations as investment adviser agents.

Throughout New Hampshire, there are many major investment adviser firms. Among these are multinational investment company, Edward Jones, which has offices in Laconia, Manchester, Concord, Lebanon, and Quincy; Lincoln Financial Group, with its office in Concord; Fidelity located in Merrimack; Golden Financial Services in Hampton; and Harbor Advisory with its Portsmouth location.

How to Obtain a Stockbroker License in New Hampshire

Broker-dealer agents are also regulated by the state’s Department of Securities. These agents are licensed to operate in the state by the Department of Securities and operate under the rules of their firm’s self regulatory organization (SRO), such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc (FINRA). To become licensed in New Hampshire, securities sales agents must pass either the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam (Series 63) or the Uniform Combined State Law Exam (Series 66).

FINRA requires all broker-dealer agents to adhere to continuing education standards. This includes taking a Regulatory Element course after two years in the position, and then every three years from then on. Firms must also provide continuing education refereed to as the FIRM Element, which are intended to that keep agents updated on the industry’s regulatory changes as they influence general sales protocols and those specific to particular investment vehicles.

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

The New Hampshire Insurance Department regulates life insurance producers who have the ability to sell fixed or variable annuities. In order to sell fixed annuities, applicants must pass the state producer life Insurance exam administered by Prometric after the completion of New Hampshire-approved pre-licensing courses.

Continuing education requirements of 24 hours every two years must be fulfilled to maintain a life insurance producer license under New Hampshire’s Bureau of Insurance regulations.

New Hampshire life insurance producers who plan to sell variable annuities must also seek securities licensure. This involves passing the Series 6 Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative Exam or the Series 7 General Securities Representative Exam. Variable contracts agents are subject to both FINRA’s continuing education requirements as well as those required by the New Hampshire Insurance Department.