Where do you want to work?
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 Planner
Top Careers After Finance Planner
Hispanic or Latino10.2%
Black or African American0.8%
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University of Phoenix20.2%
University of South Florida6.1%
Arizona State University5.8%
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee5.4%
Michigan State University4.7%
Kansas State University4.3%
Western Kentucky University4.0%
George Washington University3.6%
Texas Tech University3.6%
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities3.6%
Florida State University3.6%
University of Denver3.6%
Southern New Hampshire University3.6%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Senior Financial Planner||NMP Planning Co., Inc.||Melville, NY||Oct 21, 2014||$138,445|
|Financial Planner||Francis Financial||New York, NY||Apr 18, 2011||$100,343|
|Financial Planner||Linda S. Lubitz, CFP, Pa||Miami, FL||Sep 14, 2013||$95,000|
|Financial Planner||Linda S. Lubitz, CFP, Pa||Miami, FL||Oct 21, 2013||$95,000|
|SR. Financial Planner/Auditor||Bridgepoint Education, Inc.||San Diego, CA||Sep 30, 2014||$94,500|
|SR. Corporate Financial Planner||Konami Gaming, Inc.||Las Vegas, NV||Sep 02, 2015||$87,500 -
|Financial Planner & Administrator||International Pioneer, Inc.||Los Angeles, CA||Sep 18, 2015||$83,814|
|Senior Corporate Financial Planner||Konami Gaming, Inc.||Las Vegas, NV||Apr 12, 2015||$82,118 -
|Senior Corporate Financial Planner||Konami Gaming, Inc.||Las Vegas, NV||Jan 01, 2016||$82,118 -
|Financial Planner||Entholpy EMC Inc.||Fremont, CA||Jan 15, 2016||$78,800|
|SR. Financial Planner||Clarfeld Financial Advisors, LLC||Tarrytown, NY||Jul 14, 2016||$76,000|
|Financial Planner and Analyst||Praxair, Inc.||San Ramon, CA||Sep 13, 2010||$75,450|
|Inventory Financial Planner||Restoration Hardware, Inc.||Corte Madera, CA||Aug 08, 2016||$75,000|
|Financial Planner/Analyst||E and C Enterprises, Inc.||Woodbridge, VA||Apr 14, 2010||$75,000|
|Financial Planner||Entholpy EMC Inc.||Santa Clara, CA||Sep 17, 2015||$68,400|
|Financial Planner||International Underwriting Agency Inc.||NY||Sep 04, 2014||$67,431|
|Financial Planner||Solomon Agency Corp.||NY||Sep 04, 2014||$67,431|
|Financial Planner||Phil Art Studio Inc.||Fort Lee, NJ||Sep 18, 2014||$67,431|
|Financial Planner||Metlife||New York, NY||Mar 06, 2008||$67,184|
|Human Resource Financial Planner||Futurewei Technologies, Inc.||Plano, TX||Jul 21, 2010||$65,000|
|Financial Planner||Pandit & Thomas, CPA's, PC||New York, NY||Sep 17, 2015||$63,752|
|Financial Planner||ALWS, Inc.||Los Angeles, CA||Sep 16, 2013||$58,853|
|Financial Planner||Mina, Inc.||West Palm Beach, FL||Oct 01, 2010||$51,382|
|Financial Planner||4Wealth Advisors, Inc.||Burr Ridge, IL||Oct 01, 2015||$50,818|
|Financial Planner||Tricolor Auto Group, LLC||Irving, TX||Sep 06, 2014||$50,794|
|Financial Planner||Carloha, Inc.||Westbury, NY||Sep 14, 2016||$50,045|
|Associate Financial Planner||Klein Financial Advisors, Inc.||Newport Beach, CA||Sep 26, 2014||$50,000|
|Financial Planner||Cambridge Wealth Management, Inc.||Elmwood Park, IL||Oct 01, 2012||$50,000|
|Financial Planner||4Wealth Advisors, Inc.||Burr Ridge, IL||Oct 01, 2015||$50,000|
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