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How to Become a Financial Adviser

How to Become a Financial Adviser
Panama Business 2 by thinkpanama Source: Flickr

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Financial Advisers: A Quick Look
Median Salary $67,520 per year or $32.46 per hour
Entry-level Education Bachelor’s degree
On-the-job training None
Primary employers Insurance, financial offices
Number of positions (U.S.) 223,400
Job Growth (2012-2022) 27% (Incredibly faster than the national average)
New positions (2012-2022) 60,300

Financial Adviser Job Description:

How to Become a Financial Adviser

Panama Business 2 by thinkpanama
Source: Flickr

The financial adviser job description includes providing financial advice to clients. Financial advisers may help their clients determine what investments to make and how to manage their money. They may also help clients with their taxes, and they may help them select insurance coverage. A financial adviser may help their clients establish long term and short term financial goals, and they may help them plan for life changes (such as having a baby, retirement, divorce, unanticipated health expenses, etc.) They may also help clients establish and maintain a budget. Financial advisers typically work for companies, or they may be self-employed. It is common for financial advisers to work full time, and likely over 40 hours each week. They work closely with clients and may work with other financial advisers. A financial adviser can specialize in certain areas and work primarily with clients who have those specific needs. You can discover more about the typical financial adviser job description here.

Financial Adviser Salary:

Data from the BLS indicates that the median value of a financial adviser salary is currently $67,520 per year (or $32.46 an hour) as of the year 2012. The top 10% of financial advisers earned an annual salary of $187,200. The lowest earning 10% of financial advisers earned annual salaries of less than $32,280. Financial advisers who worked in other financial activities were the top earners by industry at $83,400 per year. Financial advisers who worked in the technical services, scientific services, and professional services industry earned an average annual salary of $82,360. Financial advisers who worked in the credit intermediation industry earned the lowest annual salary at $47,780 per year. You can learn more about the typical financial adviser salary here.

How to Become a Financial Adviser:

Are you wondering how to become a financial adviser? To become a financial adviser, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in a related field from an accredited college or university. Certain types of financial advisers need to pursue state regulated licensure. Financial advisers may be required to register or pursue additional certification in certain states. If you’re interested, you can learn more about How to Become a Financial Adviser here.

CLICK HERE TO FIND LOCAL AND ONLINE FINANCIAL ADVISER SCHOOLS

Financial Adviser Job Outlook:

As per BLS data, the financial adviser job outlook is projected to grow by about 27% between the years 2012 and 2022. This is an especially fast rate of growth for a profession. In fact, that is much faster than the average rate of growth for all other professions. The following guide will tell you all about the financial adviser job outlook. Read more here.

Financial Adviser Salary:

According to the latest data calculated at a national level by the BLS, shows that the median financial adviser salary is $32.46 per hour for a total annual salary of $67,520 per year as of 2012. The median annual value reflects the exact ‘middle’ of all the salaries within the field of financial advising; half of all financial advisers earn slightly less than the median annual value, and the other half of financial advisers earn more than this amount. The lowest earning 10% of financial advisers earned annual salaries of less than $32,280, and the top 10% of financial advisers earned an annual salary of $187,200. However, these figures do not reflect the individual earnings of self-employed financial advisers which may differ from those of financial advisers who work for large investment companies. Financial Service Firms may pay their financial advisers substantial additional bonuses which can increase the total income earned. However, those bonuses are not factored into the average salary data discussed here.
  • The top 10% of financial advisers earned an annual salary of $187,200.
  • The lowest earning 10% of advisers earned annual salaries of less than $32,280.
Financial advisers who are self-employed or work for a financial planning firm commonly earn their salary by deducting a portion of their clients’ assets. Advisers may also charge their clients by the hour or earn money through a commission on various products they sell to clients. Self-employed advisers may have more control over their salaries because they can determine what portion of clients’ assets they will deduct as their pay. However, they do not have the opportunity to earn company bonuses that advisers may have when they work for large investment companies. If a financial adviser is promoted into management positions, they will typically receive significant pay increases.
  • The best paid financial advisers typically live in metropolitan areas
  • Some of the best paid financial advisers live in Wilmington, North Carolina, Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Eugene, Oregon
  • Financial advisers who work in New York City and Greenville, North Carolina also earn high salaries
  • The average annual salary of an adviser employed in Bridgeport, Connecticut is $144,270
  • The average annual salary of an adviser employed in Wilmington, North Carolina is $141,150
  • The average annual of an adviser employed in Eugene, Oregon is $139,060
  • The average annual salary of an adviser employed in Greenville, North Carolina is $138,720
  • The average annual salary of an adviser employed in New York City is $137,150.

How to Become a Financial Adviser:

Do you want to learn how to become a financial adviser? That is great if you do, because we are about to tell you! You typically need to receive a bachelor’s degree in a related field from an accredited college or university. A related degree would be in finance, business, math, economics, or accounting. It is helpful if people who want to become financial advisers take classes in risk management, taxes, investing, and estate management. Some institutions of higher are beginning to offer financial planning programs for students who are interested in pursuing a career as a financial adviser. Licensure may be required for financial advisers depending upon the state in which they work. Some states also require that financial advisers be registered with the Securities and Exchanges Commission and/or state regulators. If a financial adviser sells insurance, they must be licensed by the state in which they are selling insurance. A financial adviser can also opt to pursue certifications. For example, they can pursue Certified Financial Planner Certification. In order to receive this certification, a financial adviser must possess a bachelor’s degree, complete and pass an examination, agree to obey a code of ethics, and have at least 3 years of pertinent work experience as a financial adviser. The Financial Planner Certification requires financial advisers to be knowledgeable about a variety of topics (such as taxes, liability planning, managing debt, planning for retirement, insurance planning and management, etc). If a financial adviser pursues a master’s degree related to financial planning, they may be able to secure a financial advising management position.

Financial Planner Job Description:

The financial adviser job description primarily includes providing financial advice to clients. The financial advice may be about how to plan for retirement and other life events, how to create and manage a budget, how to create long term and short term financial goals, and so forth. Financial advisors may also help clients with their annual taxes. They typically meet with their clients face-to-face to discuss their financial plans.
  • Financial advisers often have to educate their clients on various financial options and risks they may be taking if they invest their money in certain ways. Sometimes, they may suggestions for ideal investing strategies, and other times they make the investments for their clients.
  • Financial advisers commonly monitor their clients’ investments and may need to make changes based on the clients’ current life circumstances. For example, if the client becomes seriously injured, the financial adviser may need to help the client adjust his or her investments and finances to afford care and treatment.
  • Financial advisers must be able to accurately assess the clients’ financial needs. A financial adviser needs to knowledgeable about many content areas relating to financial investment. However, a financial adviser can specialize in one or more particular areas. For example, a financial adviser may choose to specialize in an area such as retirement planning and work primarily with clients who need assistance planning for their retirement.
  • A financial adviser may spend a great deal of time networking and trying to expand their clientele base. They may also try to sell financial products and services that they are licensed to sell. These products may include insurance, bonds, and/or stocks.
It is important that financial advisers have a strong set of analytical skills as they often look at a variety of variables when making investment recommendations. Financial advisers must also have strong communication and people skills. They need to be able to communicate effectively with clients while building a sense of trust. A financial adviser must be a good, convincing salesperson. Finally, financial advisers should have excellent math skills.

Financial Adviser Job Outlook:

The financial adviser job outlook is projected to grow by about 27% between the years 2012 through 2022. This is much faster than the average growth of all other jobs. The financial adviser outlook is positive because of the large number of people belonging to the baby boomer generation who will need assistance planning for retirement. These individuals will need assistance planning for retirement and will seek the help of financial advisers. There will likely be many financial advising positions available in the future, and those who have certifications will have the best opportunities in the field. *All numeric data in this post has been provided by courtesy of the BLS (the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics), unless explicitly otherwise mentioned. The data was calculated in May 2014.

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