What does a Financial Advisor do?
Financial Advisors typically work for banks, investment firms or financial services, but they may also be self-employed. They work closely with clients and finance professionals to strategize ways to enhance profitability or minimize debt expenses. Their job is to meet with clients to help them develop wealth management strategies and other long-term financial practices to maximize their wealth into the future. They may also be responsible for assisting clients in creating a long-term budgeting plan based on their income, personal expense needs and outstanding debts.
Financial Advisor skills and qualifications
A Financial Advisor uses many soft skills and a variety of industry expertise to help clients reach their financial goal and improve their employer’s business, including:
- In-depth understanding of employer, industry and federal regulations
- Knowledge of financial options, including investments, loans, savings accounts and stock options
- Expertise in financial planning and investment strategies
- Familiarity with the securities, mutual fund and insurance industries
- Advanced ability to analyze and explain market data
- Proficiency with word processing, spreadsheet, database and financial planning software
- Analytical thinking skills and the ability to assess clients’ needs
- Excellent communication abilities, including writing, speaking and active listening
- Effective sales, presentation and customer service skills
- Good organization and time management skills
Financial Advisor salary expectations
A Financial Advisor makes an average of $68,556 per year. Salary may depend on level of education, experience and geographical location.
Financial Advisor education and training requirements
Financial Advisors typically need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as finance, accounting, economics or business. A master’s degree in finance or business administration can demonstrate advanced industry knowledge. Though not required, the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards can demonstrate a candidate’s expertise in the processes and best practices of the role.
Financial Advisors who buy or sell stocks, bonds and insurance products must be licensed for the products they work with. Advisors in small firms must register with state regulators, while those working for large firms must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Financial Advisor experience requirements
Many entry-level candidates should receive on-the-job training of a year or more to work under the supervision of senior staff members learning how to develop a client base and build strong financial portfolios. Other candidates with proven experience in the financial industry, such as sales, business management or in another finance position, may not require as extensive a training program. Proven experience as a Financial Controller, Specialist or Planner demonstrates a candidate’s ability to successfully evaluate clients’ situations and develop effective strategic financial plans.
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