Personal finance advisors work with clients to help them identify their financial needs and goals. They also help clients determine the best way to invest and save their money for the future. Financial advisors also help their clients understand investment opportunities and various financial services available to them. They must monitor their clients’ investments to make sure everything is going according to plan. Job responsibilities may vary somewhat depending upon whether the financial advisor works for a company or is self-employed. Read on to learn more about the important job of a personal financial advisor.
Financial Advisor Job Description
These advisors work with clients to help them make sound financial investments that will benefit them for years to come. The typical Financial Advisor job description and requirements involve helping clients set up retirement funds, plan for unexpected life events, and much more. Typically, financial advisors try to find new clients over time to expand their list of clientele. Advisors spend their days working closely with couples and families, so they must enjoy interacting with and helping people. Some of these advisors are given permission by their clients to make purchases for them.
The following are some of the most common job responsibilities of these personal advisors:
- Consult with their clients and determine what their long term and short term financial goals and needs are
- Assist clients in making decisions about investments that will benefit them and help them meet their financial needs and goals (such as retirement planning, planning for unexpected health issues, and so forth)
- Answer their clients’ questions and teach them about the financial services available to them, as well as investment opportunities and how the investment process works
- Oversee and check on clients’ investments over time to determine if changes are needed or if clients request an update
- Check in with or meet with the clients and provide updates on their investments and finances
These advisors typically work 40 hours or more each week. However, they may need to work overtime, evenings, and occasionally on the weekends. Advisors must be willing to be flexible and willing to accommodate their clients’ schedules in order to meet with them. Advisors commonly work in traditional office settings. On occasion, these advisors may need to travel to meet with clients or attend conferences pertinent to the field of financial planning. They may need to hold events in the community such as seminars or information sessions to attract new clients and share information on financial planning.
There are certain skills and personality traits that are necessary and/or helpful for financial advisors to have. Strong math skills are essential since these advisors compute mathematical equations and work with numbers all day. Financial advisors should have good communication skills as they must talk to their clients each day and explain investment opportunities and more. Advisors should also have good analytical skills because they have to know what type of investments will be most beneficial to their clients based on their clients’ needs. Strong social skills are also essential to being a successful financial advisor. Advisors work closely with people and must sometimes discuss uncomfortable topics such as planning for death, planning for unexpected illness, or finances in general. Advisors must know how to put people at ease and help them feel comfortable. Therefore, they must be welcoming and easy to communicate with. Lastly, excellent sales skills and persuasive skills are necessary for advisors. Personal finance advisors must often sell services and products to their customers. In order to do so, they must be good at convincing their clients to purchase the financial services and products they are selling.
Financial Advisor Education Requirements
A bachelor’s degree is typically necessary in order to become a financial advisor. The bachelor’s degree can be in business, economics, law, mathematics, or other relevant courses of study that are pertinent to financial advising. Individuals who want to become advisors should consider taking classes in taxes, financial investing, risk management, and others. These Financial Advisor education classes can typically be taken while in college. Prior to graduating from college, students should pursue internship opportunities and other hands-on learning experiences. These experiences are highly beneficial especially when individuals pursue positions after college. Prior experiences can give job seekers an advantage over others who do not have relevant experience.
After college, newly hired advisors tend to receive training and supervision on the job. Experienced advisors mentor and train new finance advisors for approximately one year after they are hired. These advisors may need to become licensed depending upon the types of services they offer to their clients. A master’s degree is typically not necessary to secure a position as a personal financial advisor. However, these advisors who earn master’s degrees are more likely to be promoted to higher level positions within their company. In some instances, having a master’s degree may help a financial advisor attract new clients and stay more competitive within the field.
Financial Advisors Salary
As of May 2014, the median annual Personal Financial Advisor salary was $38.97 per hour or $81,060. The highest earning 10% of personal advisors earned an annual salary of more than $187,200. The lowest earning 10% personal advisors earned an annual salary of less than $35,500. There is some variation in the field of Financial Advisors salary for these advisors. Some advisors are self-employed so they determine how much they make. They typically earn their salary by taking a percentage of the clients’ assets that they manage. Finance advisors who work for companies may earn bonuses or extra commission profits based on performance, sale of products or financial services, and more.
These are the median annual salaries for financial advisors in some of the industries in which they work:
- Financial investment areas: $91,740
- Brokerage and securities: $89,880
- Personal advisors $80,270
- Technical, scientific, or professional services $75,890
- Remediation of credit $60,710
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Financial Advisor Job Outlook
It is anticipated that there will be notable growth in the employment of finance advisors in the upcoming years. Between 2014 and 2024, the employment rate of personal advisors is expected to grow by 30%. This is much faster than the average rate of growth for all other professions in the United States. Between 2014 and 2024, it is expected that 73,900 or more financial advisor jobs will be created. By 2024, it is estimated that there may be as many as 323,200 jobs for these advisors in the U.S. alone. Some of the anticipated growth of this field is due to the large portion of the population that is aging. As the baby boomers in particular age and many companies do away with pensions, individuals will need professional guidance on retirement planning and investing. The demand for these advisors will in return provide greater levels of job security for these advisors. Overall, the financial advisor job outlook is very good at the present time and into the future.
Financial Advisor Certification
There are certifications for financial advisors to pursue. The certifications help advisors build their reputations in the field of financial advising as it gives them more credibility and may help them attract new clients. Advisors can pursue the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification after they have gained at least years of relevant work experience, earned a bachelor’s degree, passed a specific exam, and agreed to abide by a set of ethics. The exam covers a variety of topics pertinent to financial advising.
Licensure is necessary for a financial advisor who provides investment information, sell or purchase stocks and bonds, and more. Also, advisors who sell insurance must pass a licensure exam. The licensure exams and licensing processes are overseen and regulated by each state.
Financial Advisor Professional Associations
A professional association for a personal financial advisor is the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. https://www.napfa.org/