About Financial Advisors
Financial advisors are money management experts who help individuals and businesses handle their assets properly. Today’s financial landscape can prove complicated, with a diverse range of stocks, bonds, insurance plans, and loan options available to consumers. Whether they’re looking to purchase a home, plan for college, start a business, or look to retirement, clients have a lot of complex needs.
As a financial advisor, you’ll help your clients establish their financial goals and find the best path to reaching them. This might involve taking on high-risk investments or going for a safe short-term money-management option. As a professional financial advisor, you’ll know how to point your clients to the best path for their needs.
Education and Experience Needed
To become a personal financial advisor, you need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. You should focus on a relevant field such as finance, accounting, or economics, though you may also land a job as a financial advisor with a background in business or law.
A master’s degree in finance or business will greatly improve your employability. It’s helpful to pursue additional certifications such as the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
As a financial advisor, you should have a thorough understanding of tax law, estate planning, and investments. Strong analytical skills are essential to help you explore the unique investment options available and choose the best-personalized selection for each client.
Interpersonal skills, powerful speaking skills, and a knack for sales will help you form strong relationships with your clients and sell the right suite of services to everyone that you work with.
You can expect to earn an above-average salary as a personal financial advisor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for all occupations in the United States is $37,040. Financial specialists as a whole enjoy a median salary of $68,780 and financial advisors do better yet with a median yearly wage of $90,530.
Those with earnings in the bottom ten percent make less than $41,160 while those in the top 10 percent make over $208,000.
The best-paying industries for personal financial advisors are securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments. The median wage here is $98,290. Those who manage enterprises and companies make $85,260 while those working with insurance-related activities have a median annual wage of $74,680.
The job outlook for personal financial advisors is favorable over the coming years. Employment is expected to increase 14 percent between 2016 and 2026, compared to growth of just 7 percent for all occupations.
Average Duties and Tasks
Financial advisors help their clients evaluate their current income and assets, consider their financial goals, and make the wisest financial choices to help them achieve these ends. Common tasks for a financial advisor include:
- Recommending investment products and strategies, including stocks and bonds
- Assisting with estate planning
- Helping clients manage tax planning
- Selling insurance products
- Educating clients on wise money management
- Developing long- and short-term financial goals with clients
Financial advisors can work for individuals or businesses. They might advise entrepreneurs on a startup or assist families as they prepare to finance college. Most financial advisors focus on a particular specialty, whether that’s risk management or retirement planning.
If you’re considering a career in this field, you’ll find many different ways to focus on the money matters that most appeal to you as you help clients tailor their money management to provide the best returns and most profitable outcomes.
Work as a financial advisor will give you hands-on experience with a variety of valuable financial products. Once you’ve established your skills and expertise in this industry, you can advance to other financial positions.
You might move up to a career as a financial manager, handling the finances of an entire organization. The median annual salary for financial managers is $121,750, which is a significant increase from the median earnings for a financial advisor.
Experience as a financial advisor can also prepare you for a management career in marketing or product management. Finance professionals have the opportunity to establish their knowledge of money management, investments, organization, and financial planning. These skills will serve you well in a broad range of future career opportunities.
If you enjoy the challenge of following market trends, determining the most promising stocks, and finding unique financial strategies to meet a variety of personal goals, you’re a strong candidate for a job as a financial advisor. Make sure you have a strong educational background to give you the edge you need in this field.