A Career as a Financial Advisor
A financial advisor’s career consists of helping people spend, earn and save money. It also involves helping them make decisions about their investments. If the financial advisor’s career is successful, he/she will have plenty of money of his/her own to spend, save and invest.
What is a Financial Advisor?
Financial advisors help individuals figure out where and how they should invest their money. This is far from simple as the options for investments are plentiful. Financial advisors may help their clients with stocks, credit and loans, financial planning, cash management, trust funds, pension plans and real estate, to name a few. Due to the multitude of options available, some financial advisors choose to specialize in a single area. Others work as brokers and provide both advice and insurance to their clients.
A Financial Advisor’s Career
The majority of financial advisors work in the finance and insurance industries. Slightly less than one third are self-employed and most work in either a small office or from home. Yearly salaries for financial advisors range greatly, with an average of about $70k. The job market for financial advisors is growing exponentially and this trend is expected to continue for the next few years. However, there is still a large amount of competition and jobs are not always easy to find.
Working as a Financial Advisor
A large part of the financial advisor’s career is self marketing as they look for clients. As such, some of the most important skills for a financial advisor are written and verbal communication as well as sales and marketing. In addition, advisors often spend time holding seminars, teaching classes, and networking to find clients. Financial advisors meet with clients, either current or potential, to assess their finances and provide input. Some advisors have the authority to invest client’s money on their behalf, whereas others simply make suggestions.
Education for a Financial Advisor Career
A degree is not an official prerequisite for a job as a personal financial advisor. However, most places will require applicants to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s degrees for a financial advisor include concentrations in finance, statistics, economics, accounting and law. There are many important course topics, such as investments, estate planning, risk management, and taxes that are taught at the bachelor’s level. In addition, many schools offer internship opportunities to their students.
Financial Advisor Licensing and Certification
Financial advisors can become a Certified Financial Planner, or CFP, through the Certified Financial Advisor Board of Standards. Becoming a CFP requires three years of experience in the field, a bachelor’s degree, and following a code of ethics. The certification can be obtained by passing an examination which tests the individual’s knowledge of the field. Whether licensing is needed depends on the exact nature of the financial advisor’s career choice and state regulations. Most necessary licenses can be obtained from the appropriate government channels.
There are a large number of people who would benefit from the wisdom of a financial advisor. By choosing financial advising as your career, you will be in a position to help them all and make money while doing so.