CE, Variable Annuity and Securities Licenses and RIAs

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Disaster Recovery Plans and Succession Planning RIAs owe a fiduciary duty to clients to prepare for disasters and other contingencies. If an RIA does not have a disaster recovery plan, clients’ financial well-being may be jeopardized.  RIAs should also engage in succession planning, ensuring a smooth transaction if an owner or principal leaves.   
  • RIAs and Customer Identification Just as RIAs owe a duty to diligently protect their clients’ privacy and guard against theft, firms also play a vital role in customer identification. Although RIAs are not subject to an anti-money laundering rule, securities regulators expect advisors to address these issues in their policies and procedures.

Last week I spent time fulfilling my continuing education requirements. I had to complete 24 hours for my state insurance license by November 30th. Needless to say it was a priority. In this post, I'd like to share a couple of things I learned in the process which could possibly save you time and money. 

In Louisiana, to maintain a life and health insurance license, you must complete 24 hours every two years with at least three hours in ethics. As a CFP you need 30 hours every two years with at least two in ethics. My Insurance requirement was due 11-30-2012 and my CFP is due 11-30-2013. Basically, I needed to meet my insurance requirement immediately and my CFP by next year. I found a great online provider which was reasonably priced and easy to use. The firm’s name is WebCE. Even though my immediate need was for insurance, if you sign up to complete CE for your CFP, you can add insurance credit for a only $3 per course.

I took three courses and earned 21 hours for my CFP for a cost of $40. I added $9 ($3 per course) to get credit for insurance and got a total of 28 hours (Louisiana allows more credit per course than the CFP board). For a total of $49, I met all of my insurance requirement and with my prior CFP hours, all I need to do before next November 30th is complete the CFP ethics course.

Here's another thing I learned along the way. Years ago, when I first got my securities and insurance licenses, I also got a variable annuity license with the state. However, as an RIA, I no longer needed my Series 7 and Series 24 license and let them lapse a few years ago. The question now is what to do with my variable annuity license with the state. Should I keep it or let it lapse? 

Since my securities licenses lapsed, I assumed I could no longer write any commission-based variable annuity business. The Department of Insurance could not give me a definitive answer on this question.

To be certain, I called two annuity carriers. One was a traditional commissioned VA provider and the other was Jefferson National, the company I have used for some 1035 business. Jeff Nat offers a fee-only VA for RIAs with an extremely low expense structure. Both companies confirmed what I suspected: to write a commissioned VA, you need at least a Series 6 and a state VA license.

Therefore, since I no longer have my securities licenses I don't need my state VA license. This saved me a renewal fee and an additional CE requirement.

Reprints Discuss this story
This is where the comments go.