In this article, we will explore the details of the financial advisor job description, and what this career path is like. Financial advisors have fascinating careers built around helping people manage their money, particularly their savings and investments.
While there are different schools of thought that surround the practice of managing money, the most important factor is the needs of the client. Financial advisors can either work on their own in an independent practice or as part of a larger company like a bank or insurance provider. In many ways, their role and occupational organization is similar to a doctor or therapist.
Job Overview: What Does A Financial Advisor Do?
A financial advisor talks to individuals and helps them make decisions about things like how to plan their investments and save for retirement. They can work either on an hourly basis or for a commission on the number of trades they execute.
If they work for a big company, that company sets their hours, which are usually typical 9 to 5 ones. Otherwise, they can set their own hours. The daily work in the financial advisor job description consists of meeting clients in their office, creating a plan with them, and then executing that plan by buying or selling investments with the client’s money.
Financial Advisor Job Duties
- Work with clients to create a financial plan that helps them set and attain realistic savings goals.
- Research financial products that meet the diverse needs of clients with a variety of budgets, time horizons, and risk preferences.
- Become familiar with methods for minimizing fees and taxes on behalf of clients.
- Present choices to clients in an empathetic and considerate way.
- Proactively seek out market opportunities that could benefit clients due to their prices or projected growth path.
- Develop new products and packages that could appeal to the needs of current and future clients.
Financial Advisor Job Essential Skills
Financial mathematics. A financial advisor needs to be familiar with the mathematics of mainstream financial products like stocks, bonds, index funds, and many others. That means not just knowing how they work, but also being able to model how their prices will evolve individually and as a portfolio, to quantify risk and return.
Communication skills. Financial planners also need to be able to describe these products to people who might not have the technical background to fully understand them. They must also be able to converse with clients about topics like risk tolerance, and convert that into concrete instructions.
Becoming a Financial Advisor
The path to becoming a financial advisor starts with a bachelors in a relevant field like finance, economics, or math. After getting hired, advisors spend one to three years learning under a senior advisor. Then, they can begin acquiring licenses and certifications.
Qualifications and Training
A financial advisor can get hired with a bachelor’s degree with strong performance in relevant coursework and a good interview. Advisors must register with the SEC or a local regulator. Working directly with financial products requires a different license for each one, so a financial advisor must obtain a license for stocks, another for bonds, and so on.
The more licenses an advisor has, the more products and services they can provide to clients, which increases their value and potential customer base. After three years of training, advisors can take an exam for their Certified Financial Planner certificate, which is a significant step up in income and client interest.
They can also choose to get a master’s degree in financial mathematics or other areas. Other educational options for later-career planning include extras like financial and tax law, mortgage and real estate, estate planning and wills, and others.
The more licenses and classes advisors take, the greater the variety of financial services they can deliver, moving beyond just investments to anything to do with money and savings.
It is generally not hard to get hired with a good bachelor’s performance. An internship at a financial planning firm or other financial services company helps a great deal, both because of the learning experience and the connections.
The first few years are the most important, because they involve the most learning and growth, as well as the chance to build up connections to clients and other advisors. Networking is very important as a means for finding clients and jobs.
Unlike accountants, who face a major increase in their hours during tax season, the hours for financial advisors are generally steady. If they work for a company, that company will set the hours, which will generally be normal working hours.
The hours are typically higher during the first few years. As an individual working for themselves, independent advisors can choose the amount of work hours they desire.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
There are a few different types of advancement for financial advisors. First of all, demand for financial advisors is projected to be very high for the next several years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Advisors can decide to acquire more and more licenses and different skills to broaden their offerings, making them more valuable. They can also choose to go into management if they work for a company, where they might oversee the performance, compliance, and lead generation of a whole team of advisors.
Another approach to that same idea would be founding their own advising firm where they eventually hire people to work for them.
Financial advisors must balance talking to clients to find out what they want with the complex realities of financial markets. They have to become familiar with many different areas of law, with major investment classes like securities, real estate, and commodities, and learn how to help clients navigate problems like retirement savings, saving for college, or winding down a deceased relative’s estate.
The work is challenging but always new and usually remunerative, with a median salary of about $57,809. There is a clear progression from bachelor’s to licensing and a CFP, and even a master’s, but none of these steps are truly financial advisor job description requirements, except for the bachelor’s.