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Edward Jones Partners with Securities Training Corporation to Address Industry-Wide Need - A Growing Shortage of Financial Advisors

Kansas State University First of Three Universities to Offer Series 7 Course Using STC Materials Paid for by Edward Jones

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Financial services firm Edward Jones is partnering with Securities Training Corporation (STC), the nation's leading financial services training company, to help prepare students for a career as a financial advisor.  The effort is intended to address an increasing industry concern – a shortage of financial advisors.

Beginning this fall, Kansas State University will offer a first-of-its-kind credit course that prepares students to take the Series 7 exam, the general securities licensing exam required by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).  All materials used by faculty, as well as training provided to these instructors, will be provided by STC with the $5,000 cost paid by Edward Jones.  The financial services firm has committed to pay the cost of adding this course to the curricula of 10 universities that currently offer a financial planning sequence.

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.  In addition, Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, will begin offering the Series 7 course this fall but not with sponsorship by Edward Jones.

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.  Other universities are currently considering adding the course, according to Matt Doran, the Edward Jones principal responsible for the firm's Financial Advisor Career Development Program.

"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. "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."

Data shows that more financial advisors are leaving the industry than those entering it.  In fact, more than one-third of U.S. financial advisors plan to retire over the next decade according to a 2014 study by Cerulli Associates, a research firm focusing on the financial services industry.  In order to keep up with demand from the burgeoning number of retiring Baby Boomers who will reach retirement age in the next decade, the industry will need to add more than 237,000 new professionals1.

Yet, according to a 2014 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate for financial advisors in the next decade is only expected at 27 percent, resulting in a net increase of only 60,300 new financial advisors2.

The shrinking corps of financial advisors comes at a time when the number of people at or nearing retirement continues to expand rapidly. In fact, by the year 2030, more than 20 percent of Americans are projected to be aged 65 and over, in comparison to 13 percent in 2010 and only 9.8 percent in 19703.

Paul Weisman, CEO of STC, said the seed of the idea was actually planted seven years ago at Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I.  A three-credit Series 7 course was added to the curriculum in 2007 but the concept never expanded elsewhere.

"Edward Jones' sponsorship makes it easy for universities to add a very practical course to their curricula," Weisman said. "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."

About Edward Jones

Edward Jones provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm's 13,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients to understand their personal goals -- from college savings to retirement -- and create long-term investment solutions that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy. Edward Jones embraces the importance of building long-term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to understand and make sense of the investment options available today.

Edward Jones, which ranked No. 4 on FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For 2014," is headquartered in St. Louis. The Edward Jones Web site is located at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting Web site is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.

About Securities Training Corporation

Founded on Wall Street in 1969, Securities Training Corporation has successfully helped over 1,000,000 candidates pass FINRA regulatory exams and launch their careers. STC has grown to become the leading provider of financial examination training, offering FINRA , firm element, regulatory element, and introducing their most recent Life, Health and Accident Pre-licensing courses. STC is focused on the commitment to providing a wide range of superior products and updated training material to their clients to help any candidate reach their goals.

STC's corporate headquarters is located in the financial district of New York City, and maintains branch offices in Chicago, San Francisco and Boston.

1 The Cerulli Edge - Advisor Edition, 1Q 2014 Issue
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Personal Financial Advisors Job Outlook, January 8, 2014
3 U.S. Census Bureau, The Baby Boom Cohort in the United States: 2012 to 2060, May 2014

SOURCE Edward Jones

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