Becoming a Financial Planner in Utah

Information provided by the Economic Development Corporation of Utah shows the state’s median household size, in terms of number of family members, is the largest in the nation. Population concentration is greatest in Weber, Davis, Salt Lake, and Utah counties, which contain 75.9 percent of the state’s total population. Utah’s median age of 29 is the youngest of any state. However, as 34.3 percent of Utah residents fell in the age bracket of 0 to 19, and 37.2 percent in the 20 to 44 bracket, Utah provides a large client base for financial planners who work with families to help establish strategies for putting aside money early for the purpose of funding college and providing a nest egg for retirement.

The Economic Development Corporation of Utah reported that over 55 percent of Utah’s residents have attended college, and twenty-eight percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree. These statistics show that higher education is greatly valued in Utah. Helping Utah families save for the ever-increasing costs of providing their children with a college education is among the major responsibilities taken on by financial planners in the state.

Utah’s average household income is a bit higher than the national average. The Economic Development Corporation of Utah notes that as of 2008, household incomes are greatest in the Ogden-Clearfield metropolitan area, the Salt Lake metropolitan area, Davis County, Morgan County, Summit County, and Wasatch County. A large percentage of household incomes are over $100,000 per year in the following areas of Utah:  Davis County, Morgan County, Summit County, Wasatch County, Ogden-Clearfield area, Provo-Orem metropolitan area, and the Salt Lake metropolitan area. These areas tend to be where the greatest demand exists for financial planners who become involved in providing investment advisory and wealth management services.

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How to Obtain an Investment Adviser License in Utah

Prospective investment adviser (IA) firms and investment adviser representatives (IAR) in Utah must register with the Utah Division of Securities. Forms must also be filed online through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA’s) Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD) system. Utah requires its IARs to pass the Series 65 (Uniform Investment Adviser Law) exam, or the Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law) exam along with the Series 7 (General Securities Representative) exam.

There are countless IA firms across the state that employ IARs. These include internationally known firms such as E*TRADE Financial, Inc. in Sandy and Edward Jones with offices in Ogden, Salt Lake City, Logan, Saint George and Provo; regional firms such as Rio Tinto Copper Group in Salt Lake City; nationally recognized firms like Zions Bancorporation and AXA Advisors in Salt Lake City and other firms such as LANDesk Investments in South Jordan.

How to Obtain a Stockbroker License in Utah

Broker-dealer agents in Utah are also required to register with the Utah Division of Securities as well as with an SRO (self-regulatory organization) through the Central Registration Depository (CRD). Sylvan Technology Center administers the FINRA/NASAA exams necessary for licensure including the Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law) Examination, the Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law) Examination, as well as other examinations pertaining to the type of securities product in which one plans to deal.

NASAA and FINRA demand that all registered securities agents fulfill certain continuing education (CE) requirements. These include the Regulatory Element of CE, which is a computerized refresher course taken after two years of registration and then every three years thereafter; as well as the Firm Element of CE, which is provided by the broker-dealer firm directly.

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

The Utah Insurance Department licenses life insurance producers. Some of these producers may provide financial planning services by dealing in fixed annuities. To maintain one’s license, 24 hours of continuing education (CE) must be fulfilled every two years. Twelve of these hours must be in classroom courses, and three must be in ethics courses.

Agents who wish to sell Variable Contracts (that is, variable annuities and/or variable life insurance) must fulfill additional requirements prior to licensure. Producers must apply for a life producer license in combination with a variable contracts license by registering as a securities professional. This entails passing the Series 6 or 7 exams along with the Series 63 exam. Variable Contracts agents in Utah are bound by CE requirements of both FINRA and the Utah Insurance Department.