California Investment Advisor Registration Facts & Figures
While there are some exceptions, in general, investment advisors with less than $100 million in assets under management (AUM) that are located in California, have more than 5 clients in California, or actively solicit in California must register with the State of California as a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).
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|Number of RIAs
|RIA Population Density (residents per RIA)
|RIA Geographic Density (sq. land miles per RIA)
Note: RIA firm data courtesy of Meridian-IQ and includes both SEC and state-registered investment advisory firms that are based in California as of July 2016. Population and geographic data is courtesy of the United States Census Bureau as of the 2010 Census.
California Investment Advisor Registration Process
Investment Advisor Registration Financial Statement Requirements:
- RIAs must submit the California Customer Authorization of Disclosure of Financial Records PDF.
- RIAs with discretion must submit the California Verification Form PDF, a balance sheet, the CA Minimum Financial Requirements Worksheet related to the balance sheet, and the California Customer Authorization of Disclosure of Financial Records PDF.
- RIAs with custody must submit the California Verification Form PDF, a balance sheet, the enclosed CA Minimum Financial Requirements Worksheet related to the balance sheet, and the California Customer Authorization of Disclosure of Financial Records PDF.
Investment Advisor Representative (IAR) Registration Requirements:
- Licensing Requirements: Series 65, Series 66 and Series 7 combined, or CFP, CFA, CIC, ChFC, PFS.
- Each investment advisor representative must submit the form U-4 and ADV Part 2B.
General Firm Registration Requirements
- Payment of all State of California registration filing fees
- FINRA Entitlement paperwork
- In order to file a registered investment adviser application with the state of California, one must first apply to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for an account (Entitlement) to their WebCRD/IARD on-line system (the web application for the registration of RIA’s and their representatives). While RIA’s are in no way regulated or supervised by FINRA, the state of California uses FINRA’s WebCRD/IARD system to process applications.
- Form ADV 1 (online)
- The Form ADV Part 1 is the on-line component to your Firm’s registration documentation. Note: The Form ADV Part 1 primarily discloses information about the FIRM. Individual information is primarily disclosed in the Form U4 as detailed below. The Form ADV Part 1 is also the vehicle to upload your Firm’s Form ADV Part 2A (Firm Brochure) and Form ADV Part 2B’s (Brochure Supplements).
- Form ADV 2A (paper and online)
- The Form ADV Part 2A acts as your Firm’s Brochure. It is a narrative description of your services, fees, disciplinary disclosures, as well as several other Firm details. The Form ADV Part 2A must be provided to all Clients and Prospective Clients. The state of California requires that the ADV Form 2A be written in “plain English” and easily understood by your clients.
- Form ADV 2B (paper and online)
- The Form ADV 2B is the paper brochure that Investment Adviser Representatives must (in most cases) provide to clients. This form contains employment, educational, conflict of interest, and disciplinary information. Generally, Executive Officers, any person generating investment advice provided to clients, and any representative advising clients must have a Form ADV Part 2B.
- Client Advisory Contract
- Client Advisory Contract including an investment policy statement that meets the appropriate regulatory authority standards for client advisory contracts in California state.
- Policies and Procedures Manual
- The firm’s Policies and Procedures manual is the guiding document that your firm will use to maintain and enforce your firm’s internal policies on all aspects of your business from the handling of client complaints to the training of new Investment Adviser Representatives. It also houses your firm’s Business Continuity Plan, Information Technology Policy, Anti-money Laundering Policy, and Anti-insider Trading Policy.
- Code of Ethics
- Code of Ethics filing ensuring that you meet the standards of the State of California.