Financial Advisor Careers

Financial Advisor Careers

What is a Financial Advisor?

Financial Advisors assist people with their finances, including how and where to invest their money. They also advise people on taxes, debt management, and insurance decisions. A Financial Advisor meets with clients personally and virtually to create a financial plan that helps clients reach their financial goals.

Everyone has different life goals, and Financial Advisors help to lay out a plan to achieve their clients’ financial aspirations. Planning or changing a career, traveling extensively, buying a home, starting a family, or preparing for retirement all present specific challenges and opportunities to clients. Financial Advisors provide financial guidance to their clients and manage their clients’ investment accounts, so clients can achieve their aspirations while securing financially their futures.


What is a Financial Advisor Responsible For?

Financial Advisors understand that people have many choices when it comes to saving, spending, and investing their money. They help their clients plan for long- and short-term financial goals. Financial Advisors can work privately for themselves or with small and large companies to help employees manage their money.

Financial Advisors spend much time at seminars and conferences to stay informed of new financial trends and opportunities for their clients. They research and analyze new investment opportunities, reviewing the pros and cons and how they may benefit their clients.

Financial Advisors can expect to work at any of the following tasks:

  •        Helping clients develop realistic budgets
  •        Creating investment portfolios
  •        Researching life and health insurance plans
  •        Developing estate planning options
  •        Assisting with the financial challenges of divorce
  •        Planning retirement
  •        Developing plans for college
  •        Attending continuing education seminars and conferences
  •        Managing income tax options
  •        Soliciting new business
  •        Networking with associates

Financial Advisor Careers

To be successful, prospective Financial Advisors will need to develop these skills and traits:

  • Communication Skills. Financial Advisors need to speak and correspond with a variety of clients. They need communication skills that allow them to describe benefits and services very clearly so that their clients can make fact-based decisions about their money. Additionally, their interpersonal skills must inspire confidence and trust from clients who will allow them to manage their financial concerns.
  • Persistence and Energy. Financial planning requires staying on top of the latest financial news and trends, as well as working to find and retain clients. This requires the Financial Advisor to be available when their clients need them, be it for a meeting during office hours, a social gathering late at night or an impromptu meeting.
  • Strong Analytical Skills. Every client has different financial goals, resources, and starting points in their financial journey. Financial Advisors must remain detached and alert, possess strong problem-solving skills, and good investigative skills to find the best products and opportunities for each of their clients.
  •  Organizational Skills. Time management and attention to detail are essential traits in Financial Advisors. Assisting clients with their financial concerns requires critical thinking and sound judgement.


Where Do Financial Advisors Work?

Financial Advisors work in service to small or large companies forming financial plans for employees, either individually or as a whole. They frequently work in their private firms, creating portfolios for private clients and companies. They may also work for government facilities or religious organizations and provide education and guidance to employees in many private, commercial, and industrial fields.

Financial Advisors also work with social service centers, such as temporary housing and rehab facilities, assisting social service networks in helping individuals with limited resources to move forward and get back on their feet.


What Other Career Options are Available to Financial Advisors?

A few career options available to Financial Advisors include:

Personal Finance Manager

Financial Advisors working as Finance Managers assist individuals with advice on investments, mortgages, insurance, taxes, college savings, retirement planning, estate planning, and other financial issues affecting individuals. They research available investing options and help individuals manage their finances.

Portfolio Manager

As a Portfolio Manager, Financial Advisors extensively research investment opportunities for funds or groups of funds. They usually work with a team of analysts and researchers and are responsible for the investment strategies for the fund or asset.

Credit Analyst

Credit Analysts typically work for commercial and investment lenders and assess the creditworthiness of loan applicants. Clients could be individuals or companies seeking credit services. The Credit Analyst is responsible for gathering and analyzing financial data, including a client’s payment history, earnings and savings history, and purchase activities to determine their creditworthiness.

Wealth Strategist

Often working for large investment firms, a Wealth Strategist helps clients focus on those financial activities that will grow wealth for their clients. They analyze and review income and financial goals, and then research investment opportunities to advise their clients on the best products for their needs. They act as advice partners, teaching clients a disciplinary process to help them reach their financial goals and provide specific suggestions and ideas for wealth advancement.

Personal Banker

Also known as Financial Services Agents or Securities and Commodity Managers, Financial Advisors who pursue a career as a Personal Banker are responsible for overseeing the financial activities for personal accounts. Personal Bankers must have strong knowledge of the banking industry and also investment experience. Personal Bankers are responsible for marketing strategies to attract new clients and often participate in various social settings and networking events. They are ultimately responsible for helping clients manage their money and balance risk and return to enhance their clients’ portfolios.


What Degree Do You Need to Become a Financial Advisor? What Do They Study?

Financial Advisor Careers

Financial Advisors typically pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, economics, or business, but many universities now offer degrees in financial planning. Some firms also recruit candidates with degrees in psychology to capitalize on the ability to understand the personal goals and motivations of their clients.

Financial Advisors may also pursue certificates as a Certified Financial Planner, a Chartered Financial Consultant, or a Personal Financial Specialist. If the Financial Advisor plans to buy or sell stocks or sell insurance, state licenses will also apply.

While not normally required for a career as a Financial Advisor, a Master’s of Science in Financial Planning or a doctorate degree is useful in executive or administrative positions and also for educational career pursuits.


How Much Money Does a Financial Advisor Earn?

The salary of a Financial Advisor varies widely and is dependent upon the field of industry the Advisor chooses to work in and whether they work for themselves or a large corporation. The median annual salary for Financial Advisors is $90,000, with Financial Investment Advisors earning a median annual salary of $133,000. Financial Advisors earning in the top ten percent can expect an annual salary of around $208,000. As in most administrative business positions, annual salary varies depending on location, experience, and industry.