Becoming a Financial Planner in Wyoming

The Wyoming Department of Employment expects that job opportunities for personal financial advisors in the state will increase by 15.2 percent from 2010 to 2020. Likewise, jobs for insurance sales agents, including life and annuity producers who offer financial planning services, should increase by 5.2 percent during that period. The number of jobs available to securities and commodities sales agents is also expected to grow in the current decade ending 2020.

According to figures provided by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), at $44,861, Wyoming’s average per capita personal income ranked sixth in the nation in 2010. According to the Nest Egg Index produced by AG Edwards in 2006, areas of Wyoming with the most financial and retirement assets include Jackson, Rock Springs, Gillette, and the Grand Rapids Wyoming-Michigan area. Financial planners who concentrate their efforts in these areas of the state serve the needs of Wyoming’s wealthiest retirees who often seek the services of professionals to help them grow their assets and manage investments.

The Wyoming Department of Administration and Information, Economic Analysis Division projects large increases in certain segments of the population over the next twenty years. In 2010, for example, 70,963 Wyoming residents were age 65 or older. By 2020, that number is expected to increase to 103,485; and by 2030, to 129,463. This steady increase in the number of individuals reaching retirement age speaks to a growing market for financial planners dedicated to the special level of prudence required to help manage retirement savings plans for Wyoming’s senior population.

Another segment of Wyoming’s population that is expected to grow is the 18 and under demographic. In 2010, for example, 127,454 Wyoming residents fell within these parameters. By 2020, the number of children under 18 in Wyoming is expected to increase to 139,500; and by 2030, to 144,598. This is also a meaningful age demographic for financial planners who will be called upon to help families with children approaching college age, prepare to grow assets to keep up with the increasing cost of college tuition.

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How to Obtain an Investment Adviser Representative License in Wyoming

The Wyoming Secretary of State Compliance Division does not require investment advisor (IA) firms or investment adviser representatives (IARs) to license or register at the state level. However, in order to legally work as an IAR in Wyoming, one must register with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA’s) IARD (Investment Advisor Registration Depository) system. This involves taking the North American Securities Administrators Association’s (NASAA’s) Series 65 examination; or the Series 7 examination in combination with the Series 66 Examination.

Investment advisory firms with offices located in Wyoming are household names familiar to international, national and regional clients. Among these is Bank of the West in Rock Springs; Edward Jones in Cheyenne and Casper; US Bank, Merrill Lynch, and Asset Strategies, Inc, all located in Casper; Friess Associates, LLC in Jackson; Frontier Asset Management, LLC in Sheridan; Wealth Design Consulting, LLC in Laramie; and Kaiser Wealth Management in Cheyenne.

How to Obtain a Stockbroker License in Wyoming

Broker-dealer agents must be licensed in the state by the Wyoming Secretary of State Compliance Division as well as registered through the FINRA Central Registration Depository (CRD). This requires passing the Series 63 Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination or the Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law Examination, along with the Series 6 or 7 exams dependant upon the investment vehicles they will deal in.

Continuing education (CE) is required by FINRA in order to maintain a securities sales agent license. This involves taking a computer-based refresher course, referred to as the Regulatory Element of CE, after the end of the second year in practice, then every three years afterwards. The second component of securities sales agent CE is the Firm Element, which must be provided by the broker-dealer firms that operate in Wyoming. This consists of in-house training programs for employees to keep them abreast of changes in the industry’s regulatory environment that may affect sales practices and financial products.

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

The Wyoming Insurance Department licenses life insurance producers in the state. These producers may also deal in fixed annuities, which are one of the most popular financial products for those planning for retirement. Residents of Wyoming who are at least 18 years old may apply for a life insurance producer license. No pre-licensing education is required in Wyoming; however, the specific exam for the line of insurance in which one wishes to work must be passed. After licensure, continuing education requirements of 24 hours must be met during every two-year licensing period; three of these hours must be specific to ethics.

Variable annuity licenses allow insurance producers to work with these often higher-yield annuities, which have a stock market component. These specialized products require licensure through the Wyoming Insurance Department as well as registration through FINRA’s CRD system. Passing the Series 6 exam allows life insurance producers to add these products to their suite of offerings.