3 Key Steps to Having a Great Career as a Financial Advisor

Posted April 09, 2015 by
Financial advisor talking to senior couple at home

Financial advisor talking to senior couple at home. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Financial advisors are becoming more and more important in these turbulent economic times that we are living in. Many people nowadays have realized that job security is not as guaranteed as it used to be a few decades ago. This has led people to look for financial knowledge and advice that can help them stay ahead of the curve.

A financial advisor is a professional who can give financial advice relating to investment vehicles such as unit trusts, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, variable annuities, life insurance as well as many other financial instruments.

To become a financial advisor, you need to be able to love the work because you will spend a lot of long hours on the job. If you work hard and are committed to being good at your job, a career as a financial advisor can be very fruitful for yourself and others.

These days, having strength in mathematics is not as important as it used to be a few years ago because of the proliferation of computers and technology. Computers and smartphones can now do most of the heavy lifting in terms of mathematics. This career, however, constantly needs people who can articulate complex financial concepts into ordinary language that most people can understand.

This means that people skills are becoming as important, if not more important, than a skill in numbers. Besides, traditionally, most financial advisors have always leaned more towards client acquisition, which means that they engage mostly in sales.

Below are the steps that you need to follow if you are to have a successful career as a financial advisor.

1. A proper education

It is very important to get a bachelor’s degree if you want to have as many options available to you as possible when pursuing a career as a financial advisor. A degree in finance, accounting, business administration, economics, computer science or any related field will be helpful.

However, it is more important that you display a capacity to choose a degree that you can stick to and complete it more than anything else. You can get further relevant education through professional certifications like CFA, CFP or ACCA.

2. Get work experience

As you are pursuing your education, it is good to keep in mind that most employers in the finance industry look for people with as much experience as possible. You will therefore benefit from looking to get as much experience as early as possible even when pursuing your education.

You can get a job as an intern without pay which is an opportunity to train and get experience for your manpower.

3. Get licensed

Once you have a good education and some experience, your next step should be to get the proper licensing in order to start a career as a financial advisor. You could choose to be self-employed, start a business or get a job with a company or organization.

To be a financial advisor and be able to legally give advice to people, you will need to be registered with a relevant financial body and/or have a professional certification.

Author Bio

Roy Fluharty is a financial analyst at a multinational bank. For the last 16 years, he has given insight to many people new to the finance industry. For more on his insights, click here.

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