When Do You Have to Register as an Investment Adviser?

When Do You Have to Register as an Investment Adviser?

The Investment Advisers Act of 1940 defines an investment adviser as any person who, for compensation, engages in the business of advising others as too the value of securities or the advisability of investing in securities or, as part of regular business, issues analyses or reports concerning securities.

Any person who is considered an investment adviser will be subject to the Investment Adviser Act of 1940 and be required to register with either the SEC or the States. A person would be considered an investment adviser if they engaged in these three activities:

  • Provides investment advice, reports, or analysis with respect to securities;
  • Is in the business of providing advice or analysis; and
  • Receives compensation, directly or indirectly, for these services.

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Investment Advisor Representative Registration

Investment Advisor Representative Registration

Individuals looking to be in the business of giving investment advice for compensation will most likely need to register as an investment advisor representative (“IAR”). There are a couple of differences between becoming an IAR and a registered investment advisor(“RIA”). Most notably, only a natural person (a human being and not an entity) can be considered and IAR, and IARs never register with the SEC, only with the individual states. For an example of how to register with a state, check out the process for registering as an IAR with the state of Georgia on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website.

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The SEC Rule Change to Advisor Marketing Rules

The SEC Rule Change to Advisor Marketing Rules

In mid-December, the SEC adopted an amended rule to the advisor advertising rule and cash solicitation rule to reflect market developments and regulatory changes since the advertising rule’s adoption in 1961 and the cash solicitation rule’s adoption in 1979. These amendments will be the first substantive change to either rule since their inception and will create a new merged rule, The Marketing Rule, that will replace both the current advertising and cash solicitation rules.

Originally, the advisor advertising rule and cash solicitation rule were designed mainly for media such as television, radio, and newspapers. But a lot has changed since 1961 with the evolution of advertising and referral practices, advancements in technology, the introduction of the internet, and more. The Commission recognized this, stating that the new rule recognizes these changes and will “contain principles-based provisions designed to accommodate the continual evolution and interplay of technology and advice”. A few notable outcomes from this are the new rule applying to online outreach, such as adviser marketing over social media, and allowing for testimonials and endorsements.

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