In an effort to address the increasing concerns of a shortage of financial advisors, Edward Jones announced Thursday its commitment to fund a credit course that prepares students to take the Series 7 exam at 10 universities, starting with Kansas State University this fall.
All of the faculty materials and instructor training needed for the first-of-its-kind course will be provided by Securities Training Corp., a financial services training company, with the $5,000 cost paid by Edward Jones.
“Edward Jones' sponsorship makes it easy for universities to add a very practical course to their curricula,” said Paul Weisman, CEO of Securities Training Corporation. “Our hope is that as more universities sign up for this program, more students will be exposed to the material and choose to become financial advisors, a desperate need in the industry.”
Maryville University in St. Louis was the first school to agree to incorporate the Series 7 course in its program and will offer the course beginning in the spring 2015 semester. Other universities are currently considering adding the course, said Matt Doran, the Edward Jones principal responsible for the firm's Financial Advisor Career Development Program, in a statement.
“Our goal is to create a more defined path for students with financial planning majors to a career as a financial advisor by helping them succeed in the required first step – passing the Series 7 exam,” said Doran, in a statement. “Having a Series 7 course means students are more likely to self-select and have more confidence in choosing to pursue a career as a financial advisor.”
The facts have shown that there are more financial advisors leaving the industry than entering it.
Edward Jones points out a 2014 study by Cerulli Associates that says more than one-third of U.S. financial advisors plan to retire over the next decade, and more than 237,000 new financial professionals will need to be added to keep up with the demand of retiring baby boomers.
Yet, the advisor population is expected to grow only 27%, or 60,300 new financial advisors, according to a 2014 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“By giving students the opportunity to study for the Series 7 exam prior to graduation, the hope is that students will have a better understanding of what it takes to begin a career as a financial advisor,” according to Edward Jones.
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