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Become A Wealth Management Advisor

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Working As A Wealth Management Advisor

  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $74,662

    Average Salary

What Does A Wealth Management Advisor Do

Personal financial advisors provide advice on investments, insurance, mortgages, college savings, estate planning, taxes, and retirement to help individuals manage their finances.  

Duties

Personal financial advisors typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients in person to discuss their financial goals
  • Explain the types of financial services they provide to potential clients
  • Educate clients and answer questions about investment options and potential risks
  • Recommend investments to clients or select investments on their behalf
  • Help clients plan for specific circumstances, such as education expenses or retirement
  • Monitor clients’ accounts and determine if changes are needed to improve the performance or to accommodate life changes, such as getting married or having children
  • Research investment opportunities

Personal financial advisors assess the financial needs of individuals and help them with decisions on investments (such as stocks and bonds), tax laws, and insurance. Advisors help clients plan for short- and long-term goals, such as meeting education expenses and saving for retirement through investments. They invest clients’ money based on the clients’ decisions. Many advisors also provide tax advice or sell insurance.

Although most planners offer advice on a wide range of topics, some specialize in areas such as retirement or risk management (evaluating how willing the investor is to take chances and adjusting investments accordingly).

Many personal financial advisors spend a lot of time marketing their services, and they meet potential clients by giving seminars or through business and social networking. Networking is the process of meeting and exchanging information with people, or groups of people, who have similar interests.

After financial advisors have invested funds for a client, they and the client receive regular investment reports. Advisors monitor the client’s investments and usually meet with each client at least once a year to update the client on potential investments and to adjust the financial plan based on the client’s circumstances or because investment options may have changed.

Many personal financial advisors are licensed to directly buy and sell financial products, such as stocks, bonds, annuities, and insurance. Depending on the agreement they have with their clients, personal financial advisors may have the client’s permission to make decisions about buying and selling stocks and bonds.

Private bankers or wealth managers are personal financial advisors who work for people who have a lot of money to invest. These clients are similar to institutional investors (commonly, companies or organizations), and they approach investing differently than the general public does. Private bankers manage a collection of investments, called a portfolio, for these clients by using the resources of the bank, including teams of financial analysts, accountants, and other professionals.

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How To Become A Wealth Management Advisor

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.

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Wealth Management Advisor Career Paths

Do you work as a Wealth Management Advisor?

Wealth Management Advisor Demographics

Gender

Male

65.3%

Female

31.7%

Unknown

3.0%
Ethnicity

White

58.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

11.6%

Asian

10.7%

Unknown

4.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.9%

French

20.7%

Chinese

5.2%

German

5.2%

Mandarin

5.2%

Cantonese

5.2%

Portuguese

3.4%

Dutch

3.4%

Hungarian

3.4%

Romanian

1.7%

Russian

1.7%

Serbian

1.7%

Korean

1.7%

Arabic

1.7%

Czech

1.7%
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Wealth Management Advisor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.4%

Florida International University

5.8%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.8%

Fordham University

5.8%

Northwestern University

5.0%

University of Miami

5.0%

University of Florida

5.0%

DePaul University

5.0%

University of Houston

5.0%

American College

5.0%

Webster University

4.3%

University of Connecticut

4.3%

Villanova University

4.3%

New York University

3.6%

Baylor University

3.6%

University of Texas at San Antonio

3.6%

Arizona State University

3.6%

University of Pennsylvania

3.6%

Georgetown University

3.6%

George Mason University

3.6%
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Majors

Business

31.7%

Finance

22.7%

Accounting

6.2%

Economics

5.3%

Management

4.6%

Marketing

4.2%

Political Science

2.8%

Computer Science

2.6%

Law

2.6%

Nursing

2.5%

Psychology

2.3%

Education

2.0%

Communication

2.0%

English

1.5%

Human Resources Management

1.4%

Health Care Administration

1.2%

Liberal Arts

1.1%

Project Management

1.1%

Criminal Justice

1.1%

Information Technology

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.4%

Masters

28.8%

Other

15.5%

Doctorate

4.0%

Certificate

3.2%

Associate

3.0%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.1%
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Top Skills for A Wealth Management Advisor

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  1. Comprehensive Financial Plans
  2. Asset Allocation
  3. Investment Strategies
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepared comprehensive financial plans with an emphasis on tax and estate planning strategies.
  • Developed asset allocation portfolios based on client input* Ensured customers' assets were aligned with their expectations* Converted brokerage accounts to advisory
  • Drive client acquisition by consulting with consumers, developing and presenting relevant investment strategies, and maintaining effective client relationships.
  • Developed an efficient organizational plan to assist clients in creating stronger investment portfolios.
  • Assisted new clients with enrolling and education of the available options within various retirement plan options.

How Would You Rate Working As a Wealth Management Advisor?

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Top Wealth Management Advisor Employers

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