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Personal financial advisors typically need a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree and certification can improve one’s chances for advancement in the occupation.Education
Personal financial advisors typically need a bachelor’s degree. Although employers usually do not require personal financial advisors to have completed a specific course of study, a degree in finance, economics, accounting, business, mathematics, or law is good preparation for this occupation. Courses in investments, taxes, estate planning, and risk management are also helpful. Programs in financial planning are becoming more available in colleges and universities.Training
Once they are hired, personal financial advisors often enter an on-the-job training period. During this time, new advisors work under the supervision of senior advisors and learn how to perform their duties, including building a client network and developing investment portfolios. This training usually lasts for more than a year.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Personal financial advisors who directly buy or sell stocks, bonds, or insurance policies, or who provide specific investment advice, need a combination of licenses that varies with the products they sell. In addition to being required to have those licenses, advisors in smaller firms that manage clients’ investments must be registered with state regulators and those in larger firms must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Personal financial advisors who choose to sell insurance need licenses issued by state boards. Information on state licensing board requirements for registered investment advisors is available from the North American Securities Administrators Association.
Certifications can enhance a personal financial advisor’s reputation and can help bring in new clients. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards offers the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. For this certification, advisors must have a bachelor’s degree, complete at least 3 years of relevant work experience, pass an exam, and agree to adhere to a code of ethics. The exam covers the financial planning process, insurance and risk management, employee benefits planning, taxes and retirement planning, investment and real estate planning, debt management, planning liability, emergency fund reserves, and statistical modeling.Advancement
A master’s degree in an area such as finance or business administration can improve a personal financial advisor’s chances of moving into a management position and attracting new clients.Important Qualities
Analytical skills. In determining an investment portfolio for a client, personal financial advisors must be able to take into account a range of information, including economic trends, regulatory changes, and the client’s comfort with risky decisions.
Interpersonal skills. A major part of a personal financial advisor’s job is making clients feel comfortable. Advisors must establish trust with clients and respond well to their questions and concerns.
Math skills. Personal financial advisors should be good at mathematics because they constantly work with numbers. They determine the amount invested, how that amount has grown or decreased over time, and how a portfolio is distributed among different investments.
Sales skills. To expand their base of clients, personal financial advisors must be convincing and persistent in selling their services.
Speaking skills. Personal financial advisors interact with clients every day. They must explain complex financial concepts in understandable language.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Finance Consultant
Top Careers After Finance Consultant
Hispanic or Latino10.0%
Black or African American1.0%
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University of Phoenix12.2%
New York University7.6%
Arizona State University6.4%
University of Southern California5.9%
George Washington University5.3%
Georgia State University5.1%
Michigan State University4.6%
Pace University - New York4.5%
University of Chicago4.1%
George Mason University4.0%
University of Houston3.8%
Fairleigh Dickinson University3.8%
University of Connecticut3.8%
Southern Methodist University3.6%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Financial Consultant||Syngery Services||New York, NY||Feb 01, 2015||$221,556 -
|Financial Consultant||It Spin Inc.||Frisco, TX||Mar 08, 2016||$163,883|
|Bi-Lingual Financial Consultant||Saad & Associates Inc.||Anaheim, CA||Oct 28, 2016||$149,656|
|SAP Finance Consultant||Populus Group LLC||Redmond, WA||Oct 14, 2015||$125,220|
|Finance Consultant||Pricewaterhousecoopers Advisory Services LLC||Seattle, WA||Nov 23, 2016||$124,571|
|Lead Financial Consultant||Metlife Group, Inc.||New York, NY||Aug 18, 2016||$124,093 -
|Financial Analysis Consultant||Dell Products L.P.||Austin, TX||Apr 09, 2016||$118,400|
|Financial Analysis Consultant||Dell Products LP||Austin, TX||Jun 22, 2016||$118,400|
|Financial Analysis Consultant||Dell Products L.P.||Austin, TX||Aug 23, 2015||$118,400|
|Finance Consultant||Eli Lilly and Company||Greenfield, IN||Aug 24, 2015||$117,530|
|Oracle Financial Consultant||Global Applications Solution LLC||New York, NY||May 24, 2016||$117,437|
|Oracle Financial Consultant||Global Applications Solution LLC||New York, NY||Jan 06, 2016||$117,437|
|Financial Analysis Consultant||Dell Products LP||Austin, TX||Dec 13, 2016||$115,900|
|Financial Consultant||David Lewis Company LLC.||Los Angeles, CA||Mar 24, 2015||$98,000|
|Financial Consultant, Actuarial||Nationwide Insurance||Columbus, OH||Nov 21, 2016||$96,000 -
|Finance Consultant||IMG Advisory LLC||Bethesda, MD||Jan 08, 2016||$95,000|
|Dynamics AX Finance Consultant||Mazik Global Inc.||Park Ridge, IL||Aug 28, 2015||$95,000|
|Dynamics AX Finance Consultant||Mazik Global Inc.||Park Ridge, IL||Aug 19, 2016||$95,000|
|Dynamics AX Finance Consultant||Mazik Global Inc.||Park Ridge, IL||Feb 09, 2016||$95,000|
|Peoplesoft Finance Consultant||IBM India Private Limited||Stamford, CT||Apr 22, 2016||$94,819|
|Staff Financial Consultant||IMG Advisory LLC||Bethesda, MD||Jan 09, 2016||$76,000|
|Financial Consultant||Onesource Virtual Hr, Inc.||Irving, TX||Apr 06, 2015||$75,774|
|Financial Planning Consultant||Salem Health||Salem, OR||Jun 24, 2015||$75,067|
|Advisory Corporate Financial Consultant||Deloitte Corporate Finance LLC||New York, NY||Feb 15, 2016||$75,000|
|Financial Consultant||M.C. Byrd Wealth Management||Bellville, TX||Sep 11, 2015||$74,714|
|Principal Financial Consultant||Global Applications Solution, LLC||San Mateo, CA||Jul 25, 2016||$72,488|
|Consultant-Financial Planning & Analysis||Cellco Partnership||Ridgefield, NJ||Dec 12, 2015||$72,184|
|Oracle Financial Consultant||Satnam Data Systems Inc.||Washington, DC||Jul 12, 2016||$71,000|
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