How do I become an HD Vest Advisor? Education and Licensing

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1 How do I become an HD Vest Advisor? Education and Licensing For more than 30 years, we ve remained steadfast in our mission to give every American the opportunity to have access to a skilled financial professional to help plan for their retirement. We believe that tax professionals offer one of the most appropriate business models to naturally extend their services to offer financial products. Your knowledge of your clients finances, coupled with your trusted relationships, places you in a unique position to not only do what s right for your clients, but also grow the revenue your firm generates. We execute our mission on a daily basis by assigning a dedicated staff liaison to support, train and guide highly ethical tax professionals to become HD Vest Advisors. The cornerstone of our business support model starts with educating and licensing tax professionals to offer financial services to help their clients retire with dignity. It s what we ve done best for decades. Today, we have grown to more than 4,600 Advisors offering financial services successfully every day. Their roots, like yours, are grounded in the tax profession. Our dedicated HD Vest Affiliation Specialists have helped prepare thousands of tax professionals to pass licensing exams and become a part of our growing HD Vest Advisor family. Our Affiliation Specialists are exceptionally trained in walking you through the process; from scheduling your exam, to becoming your personal study partner, and bringing you across the Advisor threshold. They will assist you in developing time management and exam strategies for your busy schedule. This white paper will answer your questions and clarify the decisions that lie ahead of you. We ll: Explain the differences between various securities licenses such as Series 6, 7, 63, 65 and 66. Give you guidance on which licenses may be right for you. Discuss what it takes to earn these licenses. Describe HD Vest s interactive study guides and materials designed to help you prepare for the exams. Provide you with a few of our study tips straight from our Affiliation Specialists. Discuss how HD Vest partners with you to provide financial services for your business model. Provide the answers to our most frequently asked questions.

2 Securities Licenses and Why You Need Them As a tax professional, you are bound to rules set by the IRS when it comes to licensing and regulation. When offering financial services, you are also responsible for obtaining licenses and accountability to the following organizations: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has a mission to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation. 1 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms that do business in the U.S. It oversees about 4,250 brokerage firms, 162,065 branch offices and 629,805 registered securities representatives. 2 In support of the SEC s mission, FINRA administers a series of licensing exams for financial services professionals. By earning these licenses, you ll be entitled to offer certain investment products to your clients. There are a number of licensing options. Here s a breakdown of the licenses you can earn, what you can do with them and what it takes to earn them: License What you can offer Recommended study time Series 6: Investment Company Products Variable Contracts Limited Representative Series 7: General Securities Series 63: Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination Series 65: Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination Mutual funds Unit investment trusts Variable annuities (if insurance licensed) Mutual funds Unit investment trusts Variable annuities (if insurance licensed) Stocks Bonds Options Limited partnerships Securities trading in any state in America. This is required by most states in addition to the Series 6 or 7 Investment advice and services on a fee basis. This is required by most states to register as an RIA or as an agent of an RIA (called an IAR). The Series 65 exam is typically taken by Advisors who have not earned the Series 7 license. Exam time 60 hours 2.25 hours $ hours 7.5 hours $ hours 1.25 hours $96 60 hours 3 hours $135 Exam cost Series 66: Uniform Combined State Law Examination Securities trading in any state in America; investment advice and services on a fee basis. The Series 66 exam is a combination of the Series 63 and 65 exams. It is generally taken by Advisors who hold the Series 7 license. 65 hours 2.5 hours $128 For more information about these exams, please visit the FINRA website at qualifications/p May 31, May 31, 2013.

3 Earning Your Securities Licenses If you re like most HD Vest Advisors, your top priority is to make sure you have a strong foundation for the financial recommendations you make to clients. Most of our Advisors get a license to sell securities (Series 6, 7, and if required by their state, 63) along with a license to act as an Investment Advisory Representative (Series 65 or 66). You should also take into consideration how you would like to be paid for your services. You can earn commissions, offer fee-based services, or both. The Series 65 and 66 enable you to charge a fee for advisory services. Advisors who choose the Series 7 often elect to take the Series 66 exam in lieu of the Series 63 and 65, if they plan to offer fee-based services. We believe that to maintain a diversified book of business, you should retain the option to use commissions or fee-based asset management models where appropriate. To get started, we recommend that prospective Advisors take the Series 6 and 63 exams. Why? The study time for the Series 6 exam is only 60 hours, compared to 120 hours needed for the Series 7. You can get up and running more quickly to build your experience and confidence. The Series 6 exam allows you to offer what your clients are most likely to need: mutual funds. In fact, about 90% of the business our Advisors offer to help their clients is covered by the Series 6. You always have the option to earn additional licenses, including the Series 7 license to meet more specific client needs and expand your product and services offerings. Selling Insurance If you want to sell insurance, it is regulated at the state level and each state has its own insurance exam. The state will also be the agency holding the Advisor s insurance license. If you currently hold an insurance license, just let us know that you have one once you re effective with us. We ll then ask you to send us a copy. Once we receive it, we ll work towards setting you up with the insurance companies you want to do business with. Approvals from the insurance companies can take four to six weeks. HD Vest does not hold the Advisor s insurance license. How HD Vest Helps You Pass Your Exams As a tax professional, we understand that your time is precious as you work to run your current business while preparing for the next stage of your career. That s why HD Vest provides you with a dedicated Affiliation Specialist, who will help strategize your exam path, and provide all the preparation materials you ll need to study for the exams at your own pace. Your dedicated staff liaison will answer your questions and help you determine when you re ready to take the exam. Having assisted thousands of Advisors through this process, we can also offer helpful tips to ensure your success along the way.

4 Study tips from your Affiliation Specialist may include: Reviewing exam content Tips on approaching the exam from a conceptual basis Weekly phone calls to discuss sections of the exams Your exam materials are specifically designed to help you pass your exam on the first try, so that you can start addressing more of your clients needs as soon as possible. Video lectures let you absorb new material from the comfort of your own office or home. Study manuals reinforce what you ve learned in the lectures. Interactive online practice exams prepare you for the real thing, so that you ll be unflappable when you finally walk into the testing room. We have included additional information in the FAQ section of this guide. Throughout the entire journey of building your financial services practice, we ll help you develop the competence and the confidence to be successful. Your clients are looking forward to the day when they can get a full suite of financial services from someone they already trust you. The sooner you get started on your training and licensing process, the faster you can add new services to your practice. Setting Up Your Business to Provide Financial Services Because HD Vest Investment Services SM is an independent broker/dealer, our Advisors remain independent business owners, a business model you are already comfortable with. HD Vest then provides you with exclusive tools, products and services to address your clients needs. You will also have access to our wide array of networking, coaching, and peer-to-peer training from Advisors like yourself who have learned many success techniques along the way. Our culture encourages this sharing environment among our Advisors and sets us apart from the competitiveness often present in this industry. Our family culture is tangible. Being independent means freedom. You ll have the liberty to use your securities licenses to provide commissions-based financial solutions directly to your clients at all financial levels. You may also offer fee-based investments if you choose to obtain additional licensing, through HD Vest Advisory Services SM. As discussed prior in this guide, you may also provide clients with life insurance, long-term-care insurance, disability insurance and annuities, with the appropriate licensing, through HD Vest Insurance Agency, LLC. This is your business model to build as you wish and we will be your partner every step of the way.

5 About HD Vest We ve actually lived and breathed your very struggles and as a result built a smart model for your practice. We know you have a competitive advantage with a client base that wants and needs financial advice. All you need is the guidance to fill these client demands. Since its inception in 1983, HD Vest Financial Services has supported an independent network of tax and non-tax professionals who provide comprehensive financial planning solutions including securities, insurance, money management services, and banking solutions. Ranked as one of the top 20 independent broker-dealer firms, 3 we know what it takes to make your practice really flourish. Approximately 4,500 independent contractors manage over $37 billion in assets for individuals, families and small businesses in all 50 states. 4 For more information about HD Vest, visit hdvest.com or speak to one of our skilled Business Development Consultants at (800) Investment Advisor 2014 Broker-Dealer Reference Guide, which measured/ranked the top 25 independent broker-dealers by annual revenue. 4 As of January 1, 2015

6 FAQ 1. Q: How do I schedule my exam(s)? A: Your HD Vest Affiliation Specialist will assist you with scheduling your exam day, time and location. 2. Q: Where will I take my exam? A: Your HD Vest Affiliation Specialist will locate the closest Prometric Testing Center to you and schedule your exam at that location. 3. Q: How long does it take the average person to complete the test from the time they begin the licensing process? A: The average person completes the studying and testing process in 60 days from the time they begin the licensing process with HD Vest. 4. Q: When does my exam window open? A: Your exam window opens as soon as FINRA approves your application. 5. Q: How long does the exam window remain open? A: An exam window remains open for 120 days. 6. Q: What happens if I don t take the test in the FINRA allotted exam window? A: Your HD Vest Affiliation Specialist will work with you to coordinate a re-opening of your exam window(s). FINRA allows one attempt per window to take the exam(s). 7. Q: How many attempts do I have to pass the exam? A: HD Vest allows a maximum of three attempts to pass the exam. HD Vest Financial Services is the holding company for the group of companies providing financial services under the HD Vest name. Securities offered through HD Vest Investment Services SM, Member SIPC Advisory Services offered through HD Vest Advisory Services SM 6333 N. State Highway 161, Fourth Floor, Irving, TX (972)

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