Becoming a Financial Advisor in New Mexico

If you’re looking to become a financial advisor in New Mexico by naming yourself as the principal of a new investment adviser (IA) firm, or registering as an investment adviser representative (IAR) with an existing firm, this guide is for you. State level registration is processed trough the New Mexico Securities Division, while federal level registration is processed through the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). This guide applies to both state and federal level registrants in New Mexico.

The New Mexico Securities Act applies to all investment advisers, whether natural or legal entities, as well as IA firm representatives working with residents of New Mexico.

Step 1. Get Your Education

Pursue a degree. Registered investment advisers generally have a four year degree or higher. Your educational background information will be stored in the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) database, which is accessible to potential clients.

Sponsored Content

A few recommendations to consider:

  • BA or BS -Accounting
  • BA-Consumer and Family Financial Services
  • MS-Accounting, Personal Financial Planning, or Finance
  • MBA-Accounting and Finance or simply Finance
  • PhD-Accounting or Finance

Enroll in the right courses. There are numerous courses that are designed to provide you with the knowledge necessary to become a successful investment adviser:

  • Behavior of groups, persons, and organizations
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Computer information systems
  • Quantitative applications applied to business
  • Business communications
  • Business law
  • Statistics
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Ethics in business
  • Economics
  • Taxation
  • Behavior of groups, persons, and organizations

Look into certification options. It is not necessary to hold a professional certification while working as an investment adviser, but it comes recommended. You must have a four-year degree or a minimum level of industry experience in order to begin a professional certification program. Some helpful certifications:

  • Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC)
  • Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)

Step 2: Register Your Firm in New Mexico

(This step is only applies to you if you intend to establish a new IA firm of your own. Skip to Step 3 if your career will start with an existing firm already registered in New Mexico.)

Sponsored Content

State level registration through the New Mexico Securities Division is applicable if your firm plans to manage less than $100 million in client assets. Firms that manage more than $100 million in client assets qualify for federal registration through the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As either a state or federal level registrant, follow these steps to process registration electronically through the Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD).

  1. Opening an IARD User Account. Complete Entitlement Forms in order to gain access to FINRA’s Web-based systems and designate a Super Accountant Administrator (SAA). As a sole proprietor or owner of a small firm, you will likely assign yourself. Wait to receive confirmation and login information allowing you access o the Firm Gateway. With Gateway access, you’ll be able to complete the remaining registration requirements that are outlined in this guide.
  2. Fund The IARD User Account. This account is used to pay all required fees:
  • Initial IARD set up fees for state registered investment advisors are currently being waived
  • $225 initial filing fee for SEC-registered advisors ($100 million or more in client assets under management)
  • New Mexico’s $300 initial firm filing fee
  • Exam fees for all new IARs in the firm, yourself included
  • New Mexico’s $50 initial IAR filing fee (applicable to you and all IARs in your employ)
  • Complete an electronic version of Form ADV. This form outlines the new IA firm’s fee structure and investment philosophy. Form ADV is routinely made available to prospective clients.
  • Complete an electronic version of Form U-4 Uniform Application for Securities Registration or Transfer form for yourself and all IARs in your firm’s employ.
  • Complete a hard copy version of the Licensing Resolution form. This defines your organizational set up and designates acting principals. Send it to New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, Securities Division, 2550 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505.

Step 3: Take the Required Exam(s)

New Mexico and the SEC have the ability to waive your exam requirements if you’ve completed one of the following certification programs:

  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
  • Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)
  1. New Mexico’s requirement is that all IAR candidates register for and complete one of the following exam(s):


Register using Form U-4 Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer. This will be prepared and submitted through the IARD. This form functions as both the state/federal registration application and the exam application.

  • Scheduled an appointment to attempt the exam(s) through one of the Prometric or Pearson Professional Center testing locations in New Mexico (Albuquerque, Farmington, Las Cruces, or Roswell).
  • Make sure you check in with the testing center at least one hour before your scheduled exam time on the appropriate day.
  • Exam scores are distributed immediately after the exam is complete.

Step 4: Ongoing Renewal and Update Requirements in New Mexico

Investment Advisor Firm:
Investment adviser representative license and IA firm renewals will be completed electronically through the Investment Adviser Registration Depository by December 31st each year. Renewal fees are paid for each state in which your firm is registered and are automatically distributed to the appropriate state Securities Division/Commission. Expect the following fees:

  • Yearly IARD administrative fee of $100
  • New Mexico’s renewal fee of $300 for the firm and
  • New Mexico’s renewal fee of $50 for each IAR in the firm
Sponsored Content

Investment Adviser Representatives:
As a firm representative, it is your responsibility to see to it your Form U-4 is kept current. As a firm owner or sole proprietor, you will also be responsible for keeping this information current. As an employee, contact their designated Super Account Administrator within your firm’s compliance department within 30 days of changes to the following:

  • Criminal record
  • Jurisdictional changes
  • Name change (marriage
  • Certification
  • Civil judgments
  • Residential address
  • Additional business activities
  • Education
  • Customer complaints
  • Disciplinary action