Becoming a Financial Planner in New Mexico

New Mexico’s Department of Workforce Services projects that occupations within the business and finance industry will increase by 12.3 percent during the current ten-year period ending 2018.

In AG Edwards’ 2006 Nest Egg Index, the city of Los Alamos ranked first when it came to personal savings habits of New Mexico residents. This survey looked at a number of things including residents’ propensity towards contributing regularly to personal savings accounts, retirement planning, and the percentage of personal financial assets experiencing growth through sound investments. The US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey of 2009 revealed that about 18.5 percent of New Mexico households have retirement income outside of standard tax-deferred employer contribution plans. This number is slightly higher than the national average, and indicates that New Mexico’s residents overall are more disciplined when it comes to retirement planning as compared to the rest of the nation.

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, the New Mexico counties that enjoyed a higher average per capita personal income than what was found in the rest of the state included Los Alamos County, which includes the cities of White Rock and Los Alamos, where, in 2009, the average per capita personal income was $59,936. Santa Fe County, including the towns of Santa Fe and Espanola, had an average per capita personal income of $42,645.

According to the 2009 U.S. Census Bureau report, at 25.4 percent, New Mexico had a slightly higher than average percentage of residents under the age of 18 than the rest of the country. Information gathered through research conducted by the Lumina Foundation revealed that 33.4 percent of New Mexico’s current residents hold an associate’s degree at minimum, and with increased college enrollment rates in recent years this figure is expected to continue rising. As both affluent and middle class families prepare to fund their children’s college education, they will continue to seek the expert advice of financial planners to explore options for participating in tax-exempt college savings accounts, and to establish plans that allow these accounts to be funded adequately to cover the rising cost of tuition in coming years.

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How to Obtain an Investment Adviser License in New Mexico

The New Mexico Securities Division registers investment adviser (IA) firms, as well as individuals who wish to become investment adviser representatives (IARs) who work with state residents. Under the New Mexico Uniform Securities Act, all investment adviser representatives and proprietors of independent IA firms must pass the North American Securities Administrators Association’s (NASAA) Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination (Series 65 -post 1999 only), or the General Securities Representative Examination (Series 7) in combination with the Uniform Combined State Law Examination (Series 66-post 1999 only).

Investment firms with offices in New Mexico include well-known international companies as well as smaller regional firms. Among the biggest employers of New Mexico’s IARs are Bank of the West in Cedar Crest, Albuquerque, and Rio Rancho; Thornburg Investment Management in Santa Fe; Edward Jones, with offices in Albuquerque and Santa Fe; Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Albuquerque; Cole Financial Consulting, LLC in Santa Fe; Spence Asset Management in Las Cruces; and Martin Financial Advisors in Raton.

How to Obtain a Stockbroker License in New Mexico

The New Mexico Securities Division regulates broker-dealer agents who work with clients in the state. Under the New Mexico Uniform Securities Act, applicants for broker-dealer agent registration must pass one of the following exam scenarios with a score of 70 percent or better:

    1. The Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam (series 63)


  1. The Uniform Combined State Law Exam (series 66), and one of these General Securities Examinations:
    1. Series 2 (FINRA non-member general securities exam)
    2. Series 7 (General Securities Registered Representative Exam for FINRA-registered applicants)
    3. Other exams that might be applicable depending upon the product the agent will sell include:
      1. Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative Exam (Series 6)
      2. Limited Registered Representative Exam (Series 17)
      3. Direct Participation Program Representative Exam (Series 22)
      4. Municipal Securities Representative Exam (Series 52)
      5. Corporate Securities Representative Exam (Series 62)
      6. Government Securities Limited Representative Qualification Exam (Series 72)

Continuing education requirements mandated by FINRA include a Regulatory Element course that stockbrokers take after being licensed for two years, then again in three-year intervals throughout their careers, as the course is frequently updated to reflect regulatory changes. All firms must also offer formal training programs to their employees in what is known as the Firm Element, which generally focuses on subjects related to investment products and sales skills.

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

The New Mexico Public Regulations Commission’s Insurance Bureau licenses life insurance producers in the state. These producers also sell various annuity products. The third-party exam proctor, Prometric, provides testing for life insurance producers at their exam centers in Albuquerque, Farmington, Las Cruces, Roswell, and Santa Fe. All producers must complete 15 credit hours of continuing education courses every year to maintain licensure.

New Mexico life insurance producers who wish to sell variable annuities need licensure through both the Insurance Bureau and the Securities Division. FINRA requires these securities professionals to pass the Series 6 Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative Exam or the Series 7 General Securities Representative Exam. Continuing education requirements of FINRA and the Insurance Bureau apply to these individuals in order to maintain both licenses.