Investment Adviser Representative
Continuing Education (IAR CE)

Simplify your IAR CE requirements with Solomon’s on-demand courses – for individuals and firms.


Solomon is a NASAA-approved IAR CE provider. Our self-paced online courses can be purchased individually, or through a membership to the entire course library so you can complete all of your IAR CE in one place!

Quality Content
  • All courses earn credit towards the Products & Practices or the Ethics & Professional Responsibility categories.
  • Informative, easy-to-read text and one end of course quiz.
User-Friendly Platform
  • Admin Portal with employee tracking
  • 24/7 access on desktop and mobile for 365 days of possible study
Helpful Support
  • Course completion reporting done for you
  • Guided course selection so you know you’re taking the right courses
  • Investment Adviser Representative CE Library

      To fulfill your annual Investment Adviser Representative CE requirement, you must complete 12 credit hours of continuing education. Each Solomon CE course is worth one credit hour. Choose six courses from the “Products and Practices” category and six courses from the “Ethics and Professional Responsibility” category (three must be ethics courses).

      In each course, you will read a series of short passages. Each course ends with a 10-question assessment. To complete a course, NASAA requires a passing score of 70% in three attempts. Solomon CE courses are designed to teach you about products and services relevant to the financial industry (e.g., cryptocurrency) as well as important regulatory topics (e.g., the marketing rule.)

      Products and Practices Courses (choose six)

      o Saving For College

      o Investing in Private Placements

      o Life Insurance and Annuity Products

      o Leveraged and Inverse ETFs and ETNs

      o Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

      o Cryptocurrency

      o Helping Clients Plan for Retirement

      o Recommending Complex Products

      o Options 101

      o Protecting Investors: Regulation Best Interest

      o Estate Planning

      Ethics and Professional Responsibility Courses (choose six)

      o The SEC Marketing Rule for Investment Advisers

      o Preventing Adult Financial Exploitation*

      o Complying with the SEC Pay to Pay Rule*

      o Common Types of Investment Fraud*

      o Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Clients' Data*

      o Business Continuity Planning

      o Sexual Harassment: Creating a Safe Work Environment

      o Ethics of Sales

      o Developing a System of Professional Ethics

      o Ethics of Customer Prospecting

      *Satisfies the ethics requirement

    Products and Practices Courses

    Saving for College

      This course covers the most common investment vehicles used to save for college and other educational expenses. The characteristics of 529 plans, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, education savings bonds, custodial accounts and zero coupon bonds are examined. The advantages, disadvantages and limitations of each are discussed in terms of clients’ investment timelines and goals.

    Life Insurance and Annuity Products

      This course covers the characteristics of common types of life insurance products. The course compares fixed and variable annuities, and different kinds of life insurance. Advantages, disadvantages, and risks are discussed. Special attention is given to risks of bonus annuities, as well as the regulatory requirements of the SECURE Act. By the end of the course, participants should have a basic understanding of common life insurance and annuity products and be able to judge whether they are suitable for clients. 

    Investing in Private Placements

      This course will cover the characteristics of private placements as well as the risks and benefits of adding these investments to a portfolio. The course begins with a discussion of how private placements differ from traditional public offerings and why some issuers find private placements preferable. The course describes the definition of an accredited investor and the main differences between Rule 504, 506(b), and 506(c) offerings. Suitability concerns relevant to private placements are covered, such as illiquidity. The course discusses limited partnerships and private REIT, including their tax implications. The course covers angel investing, characteristics of typical angel investors such as high-risk tolerance, and how angel investors identify potential investments. The course concludes with a description of the steps commonly involved in a private placement transaction and documents such as PPMs and subscription agreements.

    Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

      This course covers the characteristics of real estate investment trusts (REITs), including the differences between investing in real estate directly and investing in REITs, and the suitability and tax concerns of each. In addition, the course compares the characteristics and risks of publicly-traded REITs, non-exchange-traded REITs and private REITs. Differences between equity and mortgage REITs are also explained.

    Leveraged and Inverse ETFs and ETNs

      This course will compare the characteristics of traditional ETFs with non-traditional ETFs, such as leveraged and inverse ETFs. This will include a discussion of how their suitability considerations differ. The course will also cover the features of exchange-traded notes (ETNs). Additionally, this course will include topics such as volatility, the impact of leverage on risk and return, tax advantages, and regulatory guidance regarding the suitability of leveraged and inverse ETFs and ETNs.


      This course is about digital assets, specifically cryptocurrency. The course explains what cryptocurrency is and how it is created. This includes information about the underlying blockchain technology. Additionally, this course contains information about how cryptocurrency is exchanged and the benefits and drawbacks of cryptocurrency. This includes discussions of the technological benefits, the risks of volatility, the lack of regulation of markets, possible scams, and the environmental costs of cryptocurrency mining. Finally, this course describes some current and upcoming regulations in cryptocurrency, including the classification of digital assets as securities and initial coin offerings.

    Helping Clients Plan for Retirement

      This course will address issues involved in helping clients navigate the variety of options available when investing for retirement. Several key distinctions between different types of retirement plans are discussed, such as the differences between employer-sponsored and individual plans; defined benefit and defined contribution plans; qualified and non-qualified plans; and traditional and Roth accounts. ERISA is covered, with an emphasis on ERISA requirements that may be of greatest concern to clients. Sections are set aside to discuss special topics such as retirement plans for small businesses and Social Security. Suitability concerns of particular relevance to retirement planning are covered, as are other issues related to addressing the needs of aging clients, such as advance directives and recognizing scams that target retired clients

    Introduction to Behavioral Finance

      This course presents an introduction to many of the core principles of behavioral finance. In this course, participants will learn about some of the assumptions underlying standard finance theory and how behavioral finance undermines some of these assumptions, specifically regarding whether investor and market behavior is rational. The course will cover cognitive and emotional biases and how these biases can sometimes lead to poor investment decisions. To learn about these biases, participants will explore examples of how they can affect their own investment behavior and the behavior of the markets. Finally, the course will cover practical applications of behavioral finance principles, such as how to formulate an ideal employee retirement plan and novel methods of encouraging bank account holders to increase their savings.

    Oil and Gas Limited Partnerships

      This course teaches participants about investing in oil and gas limited partnerships. In particular, participants learn about how limited partnerships are structured and how they are taxed. Also, participants are taught about the characteristics of different types of oil and gas limited partnerships based on risk (i.e., exploratory, developmental and income) as well as the different types based on the industrial supply chain (i.e., upstream, midstream, downstream). Additionally, the unique tax benefits enjoyed by oil and gas investors are examined, as well as the major risks, such as high costs, illiquidity, oil and gas price volatility, dry holes, regulatory risk, climate change, and fraud.

    An Introduction to ESG Investing

      This course is about the new world of environment, social, and governance (ESG) investing. The course begins with a short history of the ESG movement, including the role that international and domestic governing bodies have played in jumpstarting ESG investing. The different types of ESG ratings are compared and explained. Additionally, the course describes the kinds of ESG securities offered, as well as ways to choose an ESG portfolio which aligns with an investor’s values. Finally, the course lays out the potential risks and benefits of ESG funds and common ESG investment philosophies, such as impact investing and sustainable investing.

    Options 101

      This course explores the basics of equity options, options strategies, and non-equity options. The course begins by defining and describing call options and put options. Important options concepts are explained, such as what is meant by long versus short positions, American versus European-style options, opening versus closing positions, intrinsic versus time value, and types of settlement. Participants will learn how to calculate their gains and losses from options transactions, as well as how to use options for hedging, income and speculation. Non-equity options, such as index options, foreign currency options, and FLEX Options are also described. Finally, the course summarizes the benefits and risks of options, in addition to the most relevant concerns of regulators regarding options trading. 

    Recommending Complex Products

      This course covers complex products and the concerns regulators have about them. The course begins by broadly defining complex products, and describing several types, including structured products, principal protected notes, market-linked CDs, leveraged and inverse ETFs, public non-listed REITs, variable annuities, alternative mutual funds, and private placements. The course also describes the risks of these complex products and the responsibilities of brokers and IARs with respect to recommending them to investors. 

    Protecting Investors: Regulation Best Interest

      To heighten the standard of conduct for broker-dealers, and their registered representatives, the SEC introduced Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI). Reg BI holds broker-dealers and their representatives to a set of standards that exceed suitability requirements. Reg BI requires broker-dealers and their reps to act in their retail customers’ best interest when a recommendation is made, without placing the interests of the firm ahead of their customers' interests. Reg BI also requires firms to either eliminate or disclose and mitigate, conflicts of interest. This course describes Regulation BI in detail, including who it applies to as well as the obligations that it carries. The course also compares Regulation BI to the suitability standard that has been required for broker-dealers, and to the fiduciary standard that is required for investment advisers and their representatives. The course also describes the content, goals, and scope of the new Form CRS. The course ends with a discussion of compliance issues related to Reg BI and Form CRS.

    Estate Planning

      This course provides a general overview of estate planning and related matters. The course begins by broadly defining essential concepts such as wills, trusts, probate, estate accounts, and transfer on death provisions. The course outlines additional concepts, such as, the basics of estate tax, the lifetime gift tax exclusion, the annual gift tax exclusion, and the marital deduction. The course provides a sizable discussion of trusts, including the differences between irrevocable and revocable trusts, and grantor and non-grantor-trusts. The course continues by describing types of trusts such as generation skipping trusts, QTIP trusts, spendthrift trusts, special needs trusts, and pet trusts. The course compares the advantages and disadvantages of private foundations and donor-advised funds. The course explains how life insurance, securities, annuities, and 401(k)s are treated after death. The course concludes by listing basic estate planning tips. 

    Ethics and Professional Responsibility Courses

    The Marketing Rule for Investment Advisers

      In 2021, the section of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 that deals with advertisements was updated to incorporate changes in technology and the financial markets. The updated section is commonly referred to as the SEC Marketing Rule. In this course, you will learn about the rules and practices investment advisers must follow to comply with the new Marketing Rule. The lesson will cover the Marketing Rule's definition of advertisement, as well as the Rule’s core requirements and prohibitions. Specifically, you will be taught the seven prohibited practices in IA advertising, and be able to recognize examples of each. You will also be taught how to correctly use testimonials, endorsements, performance information, and social media in advertising. Throughout the course, you will learn through reading short passages of text and taking short exams after each passage.

    Business Continuity Planning

      This course is about business continuity planning. Additionally, this course investigates the origins of business continuity planning and the historical events that helped shape business continuity planning.  It then uses these events as a lens to better understand the importance of having a business continuity plan (BCP) and the regulation relevant to BCPs. Additionally, this course covers regulatory guidance relevant to creating a business continuity plan (BCP). Finally, the course describes the process of succession planning and why it is important to business continuity planning. 

    Ethics of Customer Prospecting

      This course examines the professional ethics of prospecting for customers. This includes communicating with clients and prospects who are experiencing cognitive disabilities. The course begins by broadly discussing the ethical obligations an IAR has to their clients including presenting a balanced view of products and services, client confidentiality, disclosure, and avoidance of conflicts of interest, skilled performance of their services, full disclosure of material information, and the additional obligations necessitated by their fiduciary duty. The course continues to outline the duties an IAR has to their employer, such as careful solicitation, full disclosure, and proper accounting of funds. Unethical and prohibited activities are highlighted, including churning, incomplete disclosure, and misrepresentation; concluding with suggestions for avoiding the most common misleading terms. Ethical considerations regarding recommendations to replace products and services are analyzed. Next, the course focuses on ethical concerns surrounding serving clients and prospects experiencing cognitive impairments. Topics include gathering information, making recommendations, and implementing strategies. The course subsequently discusses NASAA’s red flags which can be used to identify clients suffering from cognitive decline. The course then provides practical steps an IAR may take to reduce harm to such vulnerable clients. The course concludes with common scams that are used when selling to seniors. 

    Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Clients' Data

      This course seeks to provide a broad overview of how cybersecurity pertains to registered investment advisers. In doing so, it covers regulation that addresses cybersecurity for both federally covered investment advisers, as well as state registered investment advisers. Additionally, it explains cybersecurity guidance from the NASAA as well as the SEC. In doing so, it provides a general view of how to formulate a cybersecurity framework for an adviser, as well as the role of the individual investment adviser representative in doing so.

    Complying with the Pay-to-Play Rule

      This course is about the SEC’s Pay-to-Play Rule which puts restrictions on political contributions by Investment Advisers. In this course, participants learn which political contributions are permissible and which are prohibited under the Rule. The course covers the basic obligations and record-keeping responsibilities of investment adviser representatives to stay within compliance. Participants learn the definition of a political contribution, who is covered under the Rule, and the manner and degree to which political contributions are permissible. Participants learn about the consequences of making a prohibited contribution and read about past SEC penalties on firms that did not comply with the Rule. An overview of compliance methods in addition to penalties and enforcement measures are examined to encourage awareness and proactive vigilance among investment adviser representatives.

    Common Types of Investment Fraud

      This course covers the characteristics, methodologies and red flags of the most common forms of financial fraud an investment advisor representative and their clients may be exposed to while evaluating securities and investment opportunities. A brief history of anti-fraud policies and simple forms of fraud are described to encourage healthy skepticism as well as respect for the protective efforts of the SEC. By highlighting modern internet-based scams and red flags common to many forms of fraud, participants will have the tools necessary to identify and protect themselves and their clients from unscrupulous actors.

    Preventing Adult Financial Exploitation

      This course will address how to recognize and report the financial exploitation of vulnerable adults, such as seniors and the disabled. The course covers federal and state laws and regulations designed to protect these investors, such as the NASAA Model Act to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation and the Senior Safe Act. The course discusses common types of fraud targeting vulnerable adults and how to identify them. Red flags identified by NASAA and the SEC are covered, as well as how to report suspected financial exploitation. The course describes reporting obligations under the Model Act, including who is considered a qualified person for purposes of reporting. The course gives an outline of the Model Act's process for delaying disbursement from an account when financial exploitation is suspected.

    DeFi and Digital Assets

      This course offers a look into the world of digital assets through the lens of fiduciary duty. Examples discussed include cryptocurrency, dApps, DeFi Projects, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), and more. This course provides information on the function of these digital assets and asset tools, as well as an analysis of the benefits and drawbacks to an IAR and their clients. This includes a discussion of whether IARs have the tools to provide a sufficient suitability analysis on these digital assets for their clients. The course culminates in an assessment of the SEC's regulatory framework for these assets, and their identification of pitfalls and challenges that may affect IARs who add digital assets to their clients' portfolios.

    Sexual Harassment: Creating a Safe Work Environment

      This course begins by defining sexual harassment and describing two different forms of sexual harassment. The course also presents examples of sexual harassment, so that participants will be able to recognize sexual harassment in the workplace. This is followed by a brief review of the history and legal foundation of modern sexual harassment law, including a discussion of power dynamics and the role of gender identity in sexual harassment. Participants learn about the most common traditional approach to handling workplace sexual harassment (i.e., forbidden behaviors training), as well as alternative methods that appear to be more effective in the workplace (e.g., bystander intervention training). The course also discusses IAR disclosure requirements regarding sexual harassment, and it offers tips for safely navigating the digital workplace. 

    Ethics of Sales

      This course provides a foundational framework for understanding how ethical decision-making occurs in a business context. The course covers how ethical standards are established, as well as the importance of observing them. The investment adviser representative is encouraged to evaluate how the norms within a workplace can have a positive or negative impact on the ethical behavior of individuals. Theories of ethics are discussed, including the history, advantages, and limitations of each, with examples to illustrate the implications of different approaches to ethics. Through discussion and examples, the representative is encouraged to take a balanced and thoughtful approach to understanding ethical decision-making. The course distinguishes between actions that are obligatory, permissible, and impermissible. The course discusses the investment adviser representative's obligation to take the client's values into account when making investment recommendations. Examples of ethical decision-making are presented that require the IAR to either determine the best course of action or understand the thought process behind a particular ethical decision.

      By the end of the course:

      • Participants should be able to distinguish between laws, rules, and norms, as well as understand the different roles played by each in creating and enforcing ethical frameworks.
      • Participants should be able to demonstrate comprehension of how ethical rules and standards of conduct come about, as well as their importance.
      • Participants should be able to identify the strengths and limitations of an ethical approach that emphasizes the consequences of one's actions.
      • Participants should be able to identify the strengths and limitations of an ethical approach that treats actions as always right or wrong, regardless of the situation.
      • Participants should be able to identify the strengths and limitations of an ethical approach that emphasizes social norms.
      • Participants should be able to understand the value of a balanced approach that looks at ethical decision making from each of the perspectives discussed.
      • Participants should be able to distinguish between obligatory actions, permissible actions, and impermissible actions.
      • Participants should be able to recognize their obligation to take the client's values into account when making investment recommendations.

    Developing a System of Professional Ethics

      This course examines how to develop a system of professional ethics. The course begins by discussing how being a “professional” can bring greater respect and compensation, but with this designation also comes a higher standard of conduct. The course covers the core principles of professional ethics, including honesty, fairness, and competence, as it applies to an IAR’s job. Honesty must be used in communications about the IAR’s credentials and business. Fairness is shown to be important in matters of disclosure, fees, confidentiality, and loyalty. Competence must underly a professional’s credentials. The importance of using ethical principles when creating brochures, direct mailings, and business cards is also discussed. The course also goes over strategies for how prospects can be ethically converted into clients. Finally, the course concludes with a discussion of the SEC’s Form CRS (Customer/Client Relationship Summary) and the “conversation starters” that the SEC requires financial professionals to use to prompt pragmatic discussions between advisers and clients. 

Firm-Wide Compliance

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  • Why is there a new CE requirement for IARs?

    CE courses are designed to keep a financial professional up to date on industry developments, current regulations, and ethical standards. NASAA received support from state regulators and the securities industry for the creation of a CE program to ensure that IARs, like broker-dealer agents, insurance agents, certified financial planners, and real estate agents, maintain or expand their level of knowledge and competence throughout their careers.

  • Who has to complete IAR CE?

    Every investment adviser representative (IAR) registered in a jurisdiction that adopts the NASAA model rule is subject to the CE requirement. The requirement applies to all registered IARs of both state-registered and federal-covered investment advisers. IARs must meet the CE requirements of any state in which the IAR is registered.

  • When do IARs need to start complying with the CE program?

    Compliance starts in the 2022 calendar year in states that have adopted the model rule with an effective date of January 1, 2022. CE credits must be reported by the end of each calendar year. Newly registered IARs must meet the annual IAR CE requirement by the end of the first full calendar year following the year in which they first become registered.