Becoming a Financial Planner in South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Labor expects that certain financial planning occupations will be in high demand in the state in the years leading up to 2018. Demand for personal financial advisors should increase by a whopping 27.9 percent during that period. Jobs for insurance sales agents, some of whom sell fixed annuities under life insurance producer licenses, are expected to increase by 9.7 percent during that period. Opportunities for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents, also called stockbrokers or broker-dealer agents, should grow by 2.6 percent during that time.

By 2025, the South Dakota State Data Center predicts that senior citizens will comprise 25 percent of the state’s total population. As of 2010, A.G. Edwards’ Nest Egg Index shows that personal savings and retirement savings are greatest in the areas of Pierre, Sioux Falls, and Rapid City. Financial planners working in these areas serve residents as they plan for retirement by helping them develop a well-balanced investment portfolio.

The College Board found that in 2005-06 70 percent of South Dakota high school graduates immediately enrolled in college upon graduation. As this trend continues, financial planners in South Dakota who work with families to grow college savings plans at a rate that keeps up with the rising cost of tuition should have no problems finding willing clients.

The South Dakota Community Foundation’s report on wealth transfer in the state predicts that over the next 50 years, about $760 million per year will transfer to heirs and beneficiaries. The wealth held by South Dakota residents includes assets like real estate, investments, and life insurance policies. The top five counties in South Dakota, in terms of property valuations, are Minnehaha, Pennington, Lincoln, Brown and Codington. These tend to be the areas where the greatest demand exists for the unique expertise of financial planners familiar with establishing trusts and assisting with estate planning.

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How to Obtain an Investment Adviser License in South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation Division of Securities requires all investment adviser representatives (IAR) and sole proprietors of investment adviser (IA) firms to register through the Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD). The Series 65 (Uniform Investment Adviser State Law) or both the Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law) and Series 7 (General Securities Representative) must be passed prior to registration and authorization to work in the state.

Investment advisory firms with offices in South Dakota are plentiful. They include Kahler Financial Group, Inc. in Rapid City; Lauer, Fromelt Capital Management, Ltd., Resolve Capital Management, LLC, and Waddell & Reed, Inc, all with offices in Sioux Falls; BMS Financial Advisors, LLC in Rapid City; AXA Advisors in Rapid City and Sioux Falls; and Schwan Financial Advisors, LLC in Aberdeen.

How to Obtain a Stockbroker License in South Dakota

Broker-dealer agents in South Dakota are required to register with the South Dakota Division of Securities through the FINRA Central Registration Depository (CRD). Before becoming licensed to work in South Dakota, agents must pass the FINRA Series 63 Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, or the Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law Examination as well as the exams required for the type of investment vehicles they plan to work with (Usually Series 7).

Continuing education qualifications set forth by FINRA include a Regulatory Element and a Firm Element. The Regulatory Element requires all registered securities representatives to take a computerized refresher course after being licensed for two years, then every three years after that. It provides employees with updates on any changes in state or federal securities regulations. The Firm Element, which is provided by broker-dealer firms for their employees, keeps registered reps current on products, sales techniques, and business practice in the ever-changing financial services industry.

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

The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation Division of Insurance holds the responsibility for licensing life insurance producers in the state. These producers may also sell fixed annuities and thereby serve as financial planners. No pre-licensing education is required in South Dakota, but all producers must pass state examinations specific to their line(s) of authority. These examinations are administered by Prometric testing centers. Continuing education requirements must be met every two years to maintain licensure.

South Dakota allows producers to apply for life insurance licenses at the same time they apply for variable life or variable annuity licenses. This requires registration through FINRA, which means passing the Series 63 exam along with the Series 6 or Series 7 exam. Continuing education mandates of both the South Dakota Division of Insurance and FINRA must be upheld to maintain a variable annuity license.