Become A Financial Advisor

Money makes the world go round, so the saying goes, and being in control of that money is a great responsibility that comes with being a financial advisor. To become a financial advisor, you will find that entry level positions are normally at banks and full services brokerage firms, and pay a good salary at just over $60,000 per annum, making them highly sought after jobs.

Financial advisors are required to have a Bachelor degree in finance with mathematics and analytical skills being very important, as well as sales skills and the ability to explain complex financial terms to clients in an easy to understand way.

The main duties of a financial advisor are to provide assistance to individuals when it comes to investments, tax law and deciding on certain types of insurance. Whenever there is a big financial decision to be made, including education, retirement plans, estate planning, and investing, a financial advisor is the person turned to for help. Short term and long term financial goals are planned out in detail to maximize the gains for the client, and ultimately the financial advisor, as they work predominantly on commission.

To become a financial advisor you also have to find your own clients, and a lot of time and money is spent on advertising. An effective way of marketing your service is to give seminars, or attending business networking groups.

The first thing you should look into if you want to become a financial advisor is your education. A Bachelor’s degree is necessary majoring in economics, mathematics, accounting, business, or law with many financial advisors eventually working their way towards getting their Master’s degree in business finance. Other secondary courses also lend credibility to a personal financial advisor where you can study things like estate planning, taxes, investment methods, and risk management.

If you plan on buying and selling stocks, or selling insurance as a personal financial advisor, you will need to get a license or a combination of licenses depending on what you sell from the North American Securities Administrator Association. Smaller firms will also need to register with State regulators if they manage client’s finances. The large companies have to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The training you receive as a personal financial advisor will emphasize how to customize advice to different types of investors based on their needs and personality. Some employers will require you to be certified which will enhance your professionalism. The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) documentation is offered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and will take approximately 3 years of experience along with your Bachelor degree, and the passing of a detailed examination, which covers all areas of financial planning including liability plans, emergency fund reserves, debt management, insurance and risk analysis, employee benefits planning, and more.

Now that you are fully qualified you can go out and start working. Starting out you can work in a firm, where you will receive benefits and have the opportunity to work your way up into a managerial position. You can also work as a private broker for a much larger firm, where you will open your own office to run under that company’s name.

The job of a financial advisor is never over. They are always re-evaluating and checking out new investment options to present to their clients, and regularly updating long term clients on the progress of their investments. Part of this is to also make clients aware of any risks and unfavorable scenarios so that they do not have any unrealistic expectations.

Financial advisors work in offices or at home and usually a standard business day, although it might be necessary to schedule appointments with clients over the weekend or after hours. They tend to travel quite a lot for conferences and seminars as well as visiting clients. To bring in more clientele, many also offer courses or seminars in the evenings.

Most financial advisor jobs are offered in Florida, California and New York according to the Department of Labor with 63% of them working in banks, for insurance firms, as securities and commodities brokers and for investment companies.

There is a huge demand for financial advisors, as the Baby Boomer generation is reaching retirement and looking to invest. It has been predicted that financial advisor jobs will increase by 30 % by 2018, which is much faster than the national average.

Financial Advisor Quick Facts

Job Title: Financial Advisor
Office: Financial investment firms, home
Description: Providing financial advice to individuals who are looking to invest, retire, and plan for future endeavors
Certifications/Education: Bachelor degree in business finance is required as well as a license for trading stocks and bonds. A certification is advised for credibility.
Necessary Skills: Mathematics, analytics, statistics, economics, business, accounting, and law backgrounds are needed, but also a keen eye for what clients need and a talent for sales.
Potential Employers: Finance firms, banks, brokerage firms, private clients, and insurance companies

Salary Range

Helpful Links:
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
North American Securities Administrators Association
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards

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