A financial advisor aids people in making decisions about their investments, including decisions on savings, tax, debt, and insurance. Advisors meet with their clients to determine their financial goals and assist them in creating a plan they can follow to achieve them.
Clients may seek financial advisors to prepare changes in their lives, such as marriage, starting a family, sending children to school, or planning for retirement. They may also hire financial advisors to help them identify suitable opportunities for investment and monitor their investments and accounts.
There is no one single way to become a financial advisor, but most of them have a bachelor’s degree, at least. Prospective financial advisors may be graduating in business, law, math, accounting, or finance. After being employed by a firm, some financial advisors undergo on-the-job training, while others take courses and complete their training separately.
Training to Become a Financial Advisor
Financial advisors who wish to be accredited should hold a bachelor’s degree. Nevertheless, certified advisors must complete college-level courses in several subjects, including insurance planning, investment planning, revenue tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning, and professional conduct. Both directions can be taken through any Certified Financial Planner Board-approved program. The CFP Board registers many colleges and universities throughout the state, and many of these courses can be completed online.
To provide financial planning services, a master’s degree is not required, but many CFP-registered programs lead to these degrees. For example, financial advisors may seek a Master in Financial Planning or an MBA with a focus on financial and tax planning.
Career Outlook as a Financial Advisor
Over the next several years, financial advisors are looking at a stable career forecast. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the industry will expand by 27 percent by 2022—nearly double the average growth rate of 14 percent for U.S. workers.
According to Money U.S. News, financial advisors made a median salary of $90,640 in 2017. The best-paid 25 percent earned $162,680 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $57,380.
Job Prospects as a Financial Advisor
Financial consultants progress through the construction of a client base in their business. Earning a credential or a master’s degree can help attract larger customers and allow one to step into more senior positions within the company. Some financial consultants with business experience and skills can open their own businesses and work independently. Self-employed consultants need to learn how to market themselves and attract new customers successfully.
There are many large financial planning firms throughout the state, as well as many smaller, local firms. At these firms, you can apply for openings, and you can try to apply to other organizations such as banks and insurance companies for work. If you want to be self-employed, like 20 percent of financial advisors, through selling your products in your area, you will need to find your own clients. Setting up a presence in both traditional and social media platforms can help attract customers.
Financial advisors can also invest the assets of a company and meet regularly to discuss their investments. Some are also approved for insurance sales. Many times, financial advisors help their clients to plan a safe, comfortable future, making their career an essential aspect for all. For more careers in finance, click here.