How to Become a Financial Advisor

What is a financial advisor?
A financial advisor is a professional you will approach when you are in need of advice of how to handle your finances. They will tell you the ideal way you should approach your investments, taxes, and also insurance decisions. In order to become a financial advisor, there will be certain steps you must take in order to fulfill all your educational and training requirements.
What are the educational requirements of a financial advisor?
During your high school journey, it is ideal that you focus on your math skills so you are familiar with numbers. Financial advisors will work constantly with numbers and must be comfortable with crunching numbers in an estimated amount of time. After your high school education, you must enter a college program to earn your educational career. Those who are interested in becoming a financial advisor typically major in fields such as: finance, economics, accounting, business, mathematics, or law. In these majors, you will take courses that will focus on investments, taxes, and risk management. During your college career you may have an opportunity to enroll in an internship, which can provide you the necessary work experience you will need for your career.
While it is not necessary for you to pursue a master’s degree to have a comfortable career in financial advising, it can prove to be beneficial. Earning a master’s degree in finance or business administration can greatly improve your chances of moving up in rank and being promoted into a management position. Not only will you earn a better position, you will also earn better pay and can potentially increase your clientele.
What other requirements will I need to become a financial advisor?
There are also some other requirements you may need to fulfill in order to be a financial advisor. Some financial advisors can directly purchase or sell stocks but are required to have licenses based on what they sell. In order to acquire these licenses, you must pass whatever requirements issued by the state boards. Each state licensing and requirement may differ depending on where you live so you must do your research to see what you need to do to obtain your licenses. In addition to having all the licenses required to buy and sell certain stocks, you must also be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
While not necessary, certifications are also beneficial to have as a financial advisor. Being certified allows you to build your reputation as an advisor and also helps to attract new clients. To be certified you must pass the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards requirements and earn your Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. You must have a bachelor’s degree, at least three years of work experience, and pass the exam given in order to become certified. The exam would cover a range of topics including but not limited to: financial planning process, insurance and risk management, retirement planning, debt management, and statistical modeling. You must display that you have adequate knowledge in these topics to earn your certification.
Sources:
1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/personal-financial-advisors.htm#tab-4

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