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.
The North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) recently adopted a new rule that will require Investment Advisor Representatives (“IARs”) to complete 12 credit hours of Continuing Education annually, 6 for IAR Ethics and Professional Responsibility Requirements and 6 for IAR Products and Practice Requirements. This will be the first time IARs have been subject to Continuing Education and as NASAA president Lisa A. Hopkins states, is intended to “promote heightened regulatory compliance while also helping investment adviser representatives better serve their clients by remaining knowledgeable of current regulatory requirements and best practices.”