Meta: Do you want to become a successful financial advisor? Check out this article to find out how to become a financial advisor from step to step!
A financial advisor is a dream job for many people; however, knowing how to become a financial advisor is another story. You do not only need to be good with numbers but also need to have a strategic mind to establish smart financial decisions and market fluctuations.
If you seek to start a career in the financial market, it’s best to take the easy steps before going higher. A good background and education are the most important factors to getting a decent job in this industry, as companies demand qualified financial advisors to assist in their operations.
Let’s find out what a financial advisor is and how to become a successful one!
Financial advisors – Image source: PxHere
What Is A Financial Advisor?
As a financial advisor, your job is to provide financial and monetary advice and guidance for your customers. People often mistake financial advisors for financial planners as one and the same since their services are similar.
However, a financial advisor must have a very deep knowledge of finance. Financial planners only plan a financial structure for their client’s organization, including expenses planning, funds diversion, estate management, etc. On the other hand, the other job provides all sorts of knowledge and recommendations for organizations.
Planner vs. Advisor – Image source: Negativespace
The key job of a financial advisor is to provide expertise for their client’s financial, monetary, and investment issues. They work with the organization, observe the market, gather the information, analyze the data, plan strategies and show them to their clients. It is up to their customers to make decisions about it.
Financial advisors may work independently or for financial corporations. The price range depends on their services, along with other elements such as market value, reputation, and taxes. Most major corporations work with expert independent financial advisors for the best cooperation.
The goals of financial planners and financial advisors are also different. Planners look for long-term stability for their client’s organization for a long period.
At the same time, financial advisors play the role of assisting the company leaders on a particular occasion when there is an event inside or outside the organization, such as a recession or a company internal money issue, forcing managers to make an important decision.
A true financial advisor must make relevant advice for the customer, which requires a lot of knowledge about the market, financial situation, and funds management. At least a degree is required in addition to a lot of experience in financing, which can be acquired through years of working in a financial department.
Definition of Financial advisor – Image source: PDP
Financial Advisor Salary
As a certified financial advisor, you can make around $90,000 annually in the U.S. The lowest salary level is $59,000 annually; however, expert advisors can make up to $157,000. It is one of the most well-paid jobs in the U.S.
If an advisor’s work is paid by commission, it usually takes about 3 to 6% per commission, usually an investment or financial arrangement. Skilled advisors may charge more, depending on their initial agreement with the client.
What Are The Tasks Of A Financial Advisor?
To learn how to become a financial advisor, you must be aware of what financial advisors do.
The first and most important task for a financial advisor is evaluating their client’s assets. That is where they put their hands in and cover all of the financial topics to identify the flaws in the client’s income and expenses. It is very important for the clients to be honest while sharing, as there might be grave consequences if there are missed transactions.
Information regarding financial issues should include insurance, account type, tax, annual income, annual expense, total assets, properties, revenue, and so on. For corporate clients, more information must be disclosed before getting to work. Obviously, there will be an agreement on secrecy between the advisor and the client.
Once the advisor has collected enough data, they will start a financial health diagnosis. More aspects of your financial status will be uncovered, such as risk assessment, spending behavior, and financial stability. Then, there will be options for what to do next.
Correct investment is one of the most common reasons why personal clients hire financial advisors. This depends a lot on the fluctuation of the market and events that affect the current trend. For example, during COVID-19, medical and supplies stocks skyrocketed while tourism and outdoor entertainment corporations faced continuous recessions.
If you are not an expert in stock trading, you should consider having a financial advisor to help you out, provided that you have no idea how to make your money grow. A good advisor can analyze and identify potential stocks to buy or sell at the right moment.
Corporate clients usually hire a financial advisor when there is a special need for financial reform within the company. If a company is on the brink of bankruptcy, some good advice from a good advisor can save the entire organization. At least, they can help their client liquify the company’s assets to reclaim the loss.
Good financial advice and planning are also very important for entrepreneurs. It is always easier to build a good financial plan fresh out of the system than to fix it later. However, it is a difficult task that requires plenty of time thinking before actually putting it to work.
Risk assessment – Image source: Adamfaye
An advisor’s job is to provide advice and planning; therefore, it is obvious that they must equip their clients with sufficient knowledge to deal with their organization once they leave. This is a great opportunity to learn new things about financing for those interested.
Large corporations also hire expert financial advisors to train their employees in specific fields. Therefore, a good financial advisor will never be short of work!
What Does It Take To Be A Financial Advisor?
Working With Numbers
Obviously, your mathematical skills must be above average to do financing. You will have to remember a lot of numbers, formulas, and signs to understand the rules of the financing world. There is no room for mistakes in your calculation; therefore, it is best if you can train your memory and mathematical skills from an early age.
There are many ways to improve your logical thinking, such as taking I.Q. tests, mathematics courses, playing brain games, etc. With proper self-training, you can enhance your analytical skills and use them for future prospects.
It is very important to find a way to understand your customer. A good financial advisor must be able to connect and provide sufficient support to their client. Cooperation is the key factor in providing assistance to the customer since you have to earn their trust and keep their information confidential.
As you gain more experience from work, you also need to expand your connections. You will need a lot of information from the market and your client’s financial status, so keeping yourself updated is the best way to perfect your work as an advisor.
People always said, “Rome wasn’t built in one day”. That also applies to you. It takes years and a lot of mistakes to understand how the market works and become proficient in planning a thorough financial strategy. The fluctuations in the market never stop, so you must always adapt to changes.
As a result, after years of observing, you will find a particular pattern in the market trends, which can be a useful asset for your client’s financial planning. It’s all about taking advantage of what you have and trying to turn things in your favor.
Planning to invest correctly – Image source: Pxhere
How To Become A Financial Advisor?
To be successful as a financial advisor, you must be proficient in your job, as well as branching into a lot of related categories.
Obviously, good education background in finance is required for the job. An ideal (and easiest) start could be a bachelor’s degree in either finance, law, accounting, mathematics, or economics.
If you wish to take a less traditional way, try other courses such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and Financial Risk Manager (FRM).
It would help if you were very good with numbers before taking these courses, as well as staying determined to never stop learning. These courses are not easy to earn, and you will be pushed to your limits before earning a job in accounting, not to mention a financial advisor position.
If you are gifted, you should try to earn scholarships from various courses and corporations. Dig into the courses and sponsor’s websites to look for more information and find opportunities.
Usually, a finance course costs from $3000 to $5000, so it would be great to let the sponsors know what you are capable of and earn some scholarships!
If you are struggling with finding a proper job, consider getting an internship to get used to the office atmosphere. Many universities are connected with great corporations seeking prominent talent for their operations.
Once you are done with the books, it’s time to put your knowledge to good use. Not many corporations or agencies would want to hire a fresh bachelor with little to no experience in financing to help them make major decisions, so you have to get a job and spend a few years of experience before turning pro.
With a bachelor’s degree or equivalent certificate in hand, finding a decent job in the financial market wouldn’t be too difficult. Every company needs a good accountant, and that is where you take your start. Look and learn everything in the financial system, learn to trade in the stock market, and you will gain valuable experience.
Beginning as an accountant – Image source: csrdpk
Decide Your Career Path
Now that you have accumulated enough knowledge and experience, you should consider working either as a freelancer or in a financial corporation.
As a freelance financial advisor, you will have more freedom about price range and policies, in addition to open commission work. However, you will have to find your own clients without any benefits.
On the contrary, working for a financial corporation has a lot of benefits. You will have a structured schedule and tasks to help fulfill your client’s demands and receive a stable income instead of commissions. If you are less experienced, you should work for a company for some time before going freelance.
Well-known Financial Advisory Firms In The U.S.
BlackRock is one of the most popular multinational financial corporations. The company was founded in 1988 in the U.S., specializing in technology investment, financial advisory, risk management, and providing tools for securing wealth. It has offices in America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East.
In 2021, the company’s total revenue was $19.17 billion. There are 18,400 people currently working for BlackRock and its subdivisions. BlackRock has a very competitive MBA Summer Associate Program, which opens every year in early August, where you can submit your online application and earn a chance to work for the company.
Vanguard Group, Inc.
Another big player in the financial market, Vanguard Group, Inc., is an American-based investment advisory corporation located in Malvern, Pennsylvania. It specializes in offering personalized financial advice plus high-quality investment services.
The company is famous for its reasonably priced service, so its base of customers is wider than its peers. Vanguard searches for the best candidates in many universities in the U.S.; check out its websites for more details!
It is not easy to become a successful financial advisor. However, now that you have learned how to become a financial advisor, believe that you can achieve what you are yearning for as long as you know the basics and work as hard as you can. “Fortune favors the bold”, only those who try the hardest will achieve success.
Thank you for reading!