5 Things to Consider when Starting Your Career as a Financial Advisor

So, you’re on the path to become a financial advisor? You might want to consider a few things before jumping fully into the career. You want to make sure it’s a career you can handle, as many people do not make it in the field. The requirements seem taxing and the work draining, but on the other hand the career can turn out incredibly rewarding. If you’re considering a career as a financial advisor, check out the following to help you on the way.

Make Sure You Want It


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Starting a career as a financial advisor can prove exciting. Any job where you get to help people/companies AND make a good salary looks very appealing. Do you look at your life financially every day, short and long-term? Do you live thinking about the future of your money? If so, you’ve got a good start.

Also ask yourself how well you can perform intense arithmetic, complex math problems, and learn new technologies. All abilities you need to have to make financial advising a career. You may have to start as an unpaid intern; it might be a good idea to get an unpaid internship while you’re still in school (if you can), so you can figure out what the job really entails, and get a better picture of how you’ll feel about it in the long run. Which brings me to the next step.

Get An Internship.

You need a bachelor’s degree to land yourself a job in the field. Yes, it’s possible to find a job without one, but a bachelor’s degree looks great to most companies looking to hire somebody advising them on money. A license looks even better, but those licenses require a degree. You don’t need a degree in finance, necessarily, but it’ll certainly help if you have some prior knowledge and an idea of what to expect.

Again, an internship helps immensely. You want work experience, whether it’s an official internship or not. Spending time with people who do this everyday for a career gives you the best idea you can possibly get for what the real world will hold once you enter the field. The different paths you can take become clearer. You can also explore career opportunities at Fisher Investments, they constantly give out great, free information in all areas of finance, whether you want a career in it or just some financial advice.

Have an Interest in Helping Others

Advising means helping people. If you don’t have a passion for bettering the life and decisions of other people, then the job may not suit you well. To achieve success in the field, advisors have to build relationships. You need to listen to others well if you want to truly help them and have them trust you.

When dealing with personal finances, you often have to ask personal questions; many people don’t realize how personal they can get, but advisors need to know everything to best help their clients. You should learn to have sensitivity when dealing with people’s lives, issues, and money.

Get Licensed

Like mentioned before, a license makes you look even better on paper. Not to mention, you show the people you work for how much you care about your profession. Crunching numbers takes detail and dedication, so anything proving that you have those skills is a good thing. The following list shows the different certifications you can get for a job in finances:

Certified Financial Planner: This certification requires a 4 year degree, three years of work experience, and completion of a two-day, 10 hour exam (for which you can take classes at a university to study up on).

Chartered Financial Analyst: For this certification, you’ll have to pass three separate six-hour exams, on top of the bachelor’s degree and three years of experience in the field. It’s not always easy to find courses for this one; most people end up studying on their own for this exam.

Registered Investment Advisor: For this one, you have the option to complete one simple one-day exam.

You might have to continue your education throughout the years in your career to keep your certifications valid.


Familiarize Yourself with Formulas

While Microsoft Office Excel isn’t most people’s favorite program to run, it is incredibly important in the financial field. With this program you can run your client’s funds and see the annual projects with ease if you manage to familiarize yourself with the formulas. You will need to keep a cheat sheet that you have created with these numeric essentials on them as well as understanding how they work. Make sure that you test the formulas on your own and that they have a good outcome as far as efficiency and producing the right integers for your client’s projections. Understanding the inner workings of Microsoft Excel can also lead to you producing results for your client in a much timelier and efficient manner. Remember, Excel is your friend in the financial world.

Remember, even with these considerations, going into the field can prove risky. Many training programs have huge dropout rates, with more people failing or quitting the programs than finishing them. You will also need to be prepared for any and all unexpected instances. If you want to continue working in this field, you’ll have to hunker down and make sure that you are ready and willing to keep moving forward with this field. Don’t worry so much about the amount of numbers you’ll be crunching. If you can manage to create an efficient and beneficial way to push forward through your education and programs, you’ll be able to help yourself out quite a bit. Be prepared and follow these steps; you’ll know if the path is right for you. Remember, as in every profession, the smarter you work the more you’ll enjoy what you do. What are you suggestions for working in this field?