Personal finance advisors are the primary source of financial advice for individuals, taking care of their clients' investments, insurance decisions, and taxes. They provide guidance towards planning short-term and long-term financial goals, and recommend investments to help meet those goals. Additionally, they provide legal information related to taxes or advise of any possible problems that could arise with their clients' finances. A high level of discretion is maintained between both parties, as the advisors are intimately involved in monitoring and dealing with the finances of their clients.
Because of the private and delicate nature of this job, financial advisors are held to a higher standard of qualification. Financial advisors are required to hold specialized licensure and often obtain certification as well to build reputability. These two elements of career-preparation can enable personal financial advisors to pursue more specialized work in their field, such as becoming a private banker or wealth manager. In this capacity, personal financial advisors work for individuals with a lot of money to invest, managing portfolios with a team of analysts.
- Communicate with clients in person to establish financial goals
- Provide information and educate clients on matters of financial services they can provide as well as investment options and potential risks
- Monitor accounts and financial situation of their clients and notify of any changes that may arise
- Research investment opportunities and provide recommendations to their clients
With the fall of the economy, consumers are becoming more savvy with their financial resources. Individuals with a modest to substantial amount of wealth accrued are increasingly seeking the advice of financial experts to ensure their finances are handled as effectively as possible. The demand for qualified, experienced financial advisors has increased over the last decade, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the personal financial planner outlook for jobs is positive.
Job Growth for
Personal Financial Planner
Becoming a Personal Financial Advisor
At minimum, personal financial advisors careers require candidates to have a bachelor's degree, but having a master's degree and/or certification can vastly increase a their chances for employability or advancement within this field. Though it is not necessary to have a bachelor's degree in any particular area of study, candidates would be at an advantage to obtain a degree in finance, economics, business, law, mathematics, or accounting as effective preparation for their career. If not seeking a degree in these specific subjects, a student will want to include related courses at the very least. These courses would include the following:
- Estate planning
- Risk Management
Personal financial advisors responsible for directly purchasing stocks, insurance policies, bonds, or providing specific investment advice are required to have a combination of licenses based on the products they sell. The exact licensure requirements for each state vary, but this information can be found at the North American Securities Administrators Association. In addition to satisfying the required licensure policies per state, candidates may also choose to become certified through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification requires candidates to have at least 3 years of relevant work experience, hold a bachelor's degree, and pass the required exam. Having the proper licensure, additional certification, and the right educational background ensures the best chance of obtaining jobs in personal financial planning.