Becoming a Financial Planner in Oregon

Phoenix Marketing International reported in 2008 that Oregon was home to 61,621 millionaire households, ranking the state 25th in the nation. However, Deloitte LLP’s Center for Financial Services predicts that in the current decade ending 2020, the number of millionaires in Oregon will triple, ranking the state third in the nation in terms of new millionaires. Among other factors, this expected growth in personal net worth will be spurred on by Oregon’s lower tax rates on income earned through capital gains.

The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis projects that by 2015, 217,832 Oregon state residents will be age 65 to 69. By 2025, this number is expected to increase to 257,284. This means there will be 53 percent more Oregonians age 65 and over by 2020 than there were in 2010. In the coming years, more middle class and higher net worth individuals and families in the state will be preparing for retirement than ever before, creating a demand for the specialized services of retirement planning professionals.

Oregon’s colleges and universities recently experienced record enrollment numbers. In 2010, enrollment trends at the seven public universities in Oregon showed a 36 percent increase since 1999. This is positive news for financial planners in the state who work with families to establish tax-advantaged college savings plans that grow fast enough to keep up with the increasing cost of tuition.

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How to Obtain an Investment Adviser License in Oregon

The Oregon Division of Finance and Corporate Securities is charged with the task of registering and licensing investment adviser (IA) firms and representatives (IAR) who work in the state. Prospective firm principals and IARs of both state and federal-level firm registrants process registration through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA’s) IARD (Investment Advisor Registration Depository) system.

Exam requirements for becoming an investment adviser in Oregon include passing the Series 66 exam, or the Series 65 exam along with the Series 7. Exemptions from taking these examinations may be granted to those who have been licensed as IARs in any other state within the past two years, or for those who hold one of these professional designations: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC), or Personal Financial Specialist (PFS).

Investment adviser firms that are internationally, nationally, and regionally recognized have a presence in Oregon. Among these is JPMorgan Chase in Portland, Ontario and Corvallis; Phillips & Company in Portland; U.S. Bank in Bend, Salem, and Eugene; KeyBank in Yamhill County and Multnomah County; Merrill Lynch in Lake Oswego; and Umpqua Bank in Portland.

How to Obtain a Stockbroker License in Oregon

Stockbrokers, otherwise known as securities salespersons, must register with the Oregon Division of Finance and Corporate Securities through FINRA’s Central Registration Depository (CRD). Prospective stockbrokers must obtain passing scores on either the Series 6 or Series 7 product exam as well as on either the Series 63 or Series 66 state law exam. Employment with an Oregon-licensed broker-dealer firm is also required.

All securities salespersons must fulfill NASAA and FINRA continuing education requirements. The Regulatory Element portion of CE acts as a regulatory refresher for salespersons. It is taken at the first two-year mark of a registered rep’s original licensing date, then every three years thereafter so as to keep reps current on the evolving regulatory environment of the financial industry. The firm provided, Firm Element portion of CE, is offered as in-house training to keep salespersons abreast of regulatory developments in the context of product knowledge and sales strategies.

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

The Oregon Insurance Division licenses life insurance/annuity producers in the state. These producers often work as financial planners since fixed annuities and life insurance are among the most common financial planning products sold in America. Twenty hours of pre-licensing training is required and may be taken with one of these division-approved trainers. An examination specific to the life insurance line of authority is then taken prior to being granted licensure as an Oregon life insurance producer.

Candidates who hold the CLU-Chartered Life Underwriter professional designation or who have been licensed in another state in the same line of authority may be exempt from Oregon’s pre-licensing training and examination requirements. Twenty-four hours of continuing education, with three hours in ethics, must be taken every two years to maintain this license in Oregon.

Selling variable products, which include a stock market component, requires securities dealer registration, which involves passing either the Series 6 or 7 exams, along with the Series 63.

Continuing education requirements of both FINRA and the Oregon Insurance Division apply to variable life and variable annuity producers.