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What Is a Financial Advisor and How to Become One

What Do Financial Advisors Do?

Financial advisors manage clients’ financial goals, such as how much money is needed to save for retirement, paying off debt or mortgage loans, and saving for college or buying a vacation home. An advisor also helps with future planning to grow wealth and advise clients on the best route for investing.

What Do Financial Advisors Do for Their Clients?

Financial advisors help clients set a budget and manage their money. A good financial advisor meets their clients’ planning and investment management needs, makes thoughtful suggestions on which investments meet their clients’ goals, and educates clients on how their investments are growing.

How Can I Become a Financial Advisor?

To become a financial advisor, earn a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business, economics, or a related field. Acquire an internship with an investment or financial firm to gain hands-on experience in the industry. For those who do not want to be general financial analysts, decide which area you would like to specialize in, such as retirement, estate planning, or insurance. Research the license requirements in your state; to sell insurance, most states require you to get a license for insurance advisors. Handling investments mean you need to file with your state or with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a Registered Investment Advisor. Learn from veteran financial advisors about how to speculate on the market to meet your customer’s needs. Market your services and seek entry-level positions at finance companies. After working a few years, you may choose to pursue certification, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), to make you a more valuable candidate promotion. Earning a master’s degree may also make you eligible for upper management positions.

Financial Advisor Job Description Sample

With this Financial Advisor job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember though, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for their Financial Advisor position.

Job Summary

The financial advisor will provide clients with sound financial guidance and make critical recommendations to help them decide how to best utilize their money. A successful candidate will be able to demonstrate his/her ability to research the marketplace for available products and services, effectively help customers identify their needs, design and present financial strategies, and of course, close a sale.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Strong working knowledge across a variety of financial products and services (debt management, cash management, insurance coverage, investments, etc.)
  • Proven ability to provide strategic advice in the above areas articulately
  • Patience and skills required to assess the client’s overall financial picture, truly understand their needs and then develop a relevant, solid financial plan
  • Evidence of the people skills needed to guide clients towards a financial decision that is both profitable and secure
  • Commitment to cultivating our client base and building win-win relationships
  • Self-motivation and willingness to network, generate leads and seize opportunities to sell mutual funds, stocks, bonds, etc
  • Focus and abilities required to meet sales quotas
  • Desire to continue to learn constantly, keeping up on new industry trends and researching the market to back up financial consulting decisions
  • Ability to see the big picture, including overseeing the course of the financial plan and updating it if necessary, to ensure profits
  • Total commitment to compliance with all industry rules and regulations
  • Exceptional communication skills needed to liaise with providers, vendors, and other professionals

Requirements and Qualifications

  • BS degree in Finance or related field.
  • Current certificate of qualifications (FCA, CII, DipFA, CISI or other)
  • Proven work history with experience as a financial advisor, controller, planner, specialist or another relevant role
  • Consistent track record of successful financial guidance
  • Ability to analyze the market data in order to formulate and provide appropriate, data-based financial advice
  • Solid communication, negotiation, and presentation skills
  • Attention to detail and consistent accuracy with all data
  • Highly articulate and able to explain complex information clearly and simply
  • Strong relevant computer skills including the ability to operate database systems