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How to Become a Financial Advisor

If you enjoy working with people and helping them plan for their financial future, then perhaps you have a future in financial planning. find-jobA financial advisor works closely with clients providing advice and creating comprehensive financial plans to invest in their future, retirement and grow their money. A financial advisor is an expert in all areas of investments including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and equities. Additionally, they are educated and trained to provide clients with information on savings, estate planning, income and cash flow projections, capital gains, federal taxes, insurance annuities and endowment policies.

People are often confused when hearing the terms ‘Financial Advisor’ and ‘Investment Advisor’ and wonder whether they are the same thing.  A financial advisor examines all facets of a client’s financial existence such as current investments, savings and retirement plans, insurance policies, taxes, and other assets including property ownership. They usually work for a designated company promoting their products and services and may be limited as to what financial options they can offer clients. An investment advisor assists clients by recommending, executing and managing their financial investments and is required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the local state securities agencies.


If you are hoping to begin your career as a financial advisor, you will need a bachelor’s degree preferably in finance or accounting graduatesfrom an accredited college or university.  In order to achieve your professional accreditation and affiliate your name with the term ‘CFP, you must meet the criteria mandated by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) in the US. Candidates seeking the CFP designation must have a 4 year bachelor’s degree or higher, complete specific preparation courses, pass a lengthy exam and have a designated number of years’ experience in the occupation.


Some financial advisors start their careers in different areas dealing with financial manners such as banking, insurance, CPA, tax accounting, stock brokerage or estate planning.  You can gain valuable, hands-on experience working finance jobs in brokerage firms, financial institutions, and companies that offer financial planning.  It may be beneficial to connect with a licensed financial planner who is willing to mentor and teach you the ropes or secure a position as a Financial Planner Assistant.

Skills to Become a Financial Advisortemporary work

In addition to your desire to work closely with clients to help plan their financial health, a financial advisor should have a talent for mathematics and enjoy working with figures and financial data. Likewise, you should have a keen ability in sales and customer service because financial advising is a sales position which involves evaluating the needs of clients and selling them the right tools and options to meet their financial initiatives. A career as a Financial Advisor is a great profession for individuals that are confident, capable of building trust and rapport, self-motivating and demonstrate a high degree of perseverance.  Keep in mind, many financial advisor positions are commission- based and you must achieve a targeted quota so strong networking abilities and connections is vital to ensure a steady flow of clients.

Author Bio: John Hallinston is a recruitment specialist and career development consultant.  You can find more of his work on his career advice  blog.

This is a guest post for TheEmployable


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