Personal Financial Advisors: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more
- Education Required
- Personal financial advisors typically need a bachelors 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 Required
- 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.
- Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 14% (Faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
- A masters degree in an area such as finance or business administration can improve a personal financial advisors chances of moving into a management position and attracting new clients.
- 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.
- Median pay: How much do Personal Financial Advisors make?
- $90,530 Annual Salary
- $43.53 per hour
Personal financial advisors provide advice on investments, insurance, mortgages, college savings, estate planning, taxes, and retirement to help individuals manage their finances.
What do Personal Financial Advisors do?
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 financial 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 participating in 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 clients 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 clients 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 clients permission to make decisions about buying and selling stocks and bonds.
Careers for Personal Financial Advisors
- Certified financial planners
- Consultants, financial
- Estate planners
- Estate planning counselors
- Financial consultants
- Financial counselors
- Financial planners
- Individual pension advisers
- Individual pension consultants
- Personal financial planners
- Personal investment advisers
- Private bankers
- Wealth managers