How To Get Started As A Financial Advisor

If you’ve ever considered a change in careers and were looking to the financial sector, it may seem like a daunting task to get started.  However with a little planning and an outline of how to get started as a financial adviser, you will be on your way to advising and managing your clients.

How To Get Started As A Financial Adviser

Obtain the Proper Financial Planner Certifications and Licenses

Depending on the route you want to take your financial career, you can obtain a license in the following:

  • Certified Financial Planner
  • Chartered Financial Analyst
  • Registered Investment Advisor

Understand The Business and realize that Financial Advising is a Business

In the realm of financial advisers, and finance in general there are typically two different types of people who work in the industry:

  • Those how love money and numbers
  • Those who love helping people realize their dreams

If you are a people person and don’t want to end up staring at a computer all day long researching businesses and scrutinizing finaancial reports, you would probably be a good fit in the financial adviser realm.  You also need to understand as a financial planner that no one will hand you clients.  As a business owner, you need to work hard to recruit, obtain clients.

How to Obtain And Retain Clients for Your Financial Planning Business

Sure there are various methods of marketing that can help you advertise your services and generate some interest in your financial planning business, but how do you actually get an interested potential client into a paying client that is satisfied?

  1. Provide quality services and show value.  You need to make your clients feel like they are getting something for their money and that you care about their success.  Answer the phone, don’t rush your clients and LISTEN to their unique situations.  Customer service is key and building trust is even more important.
  2. RESULTS speak volumes.  As a financial planner, you are in charge of helping the client reach their financial potential.  Someone who hires a financial planner expects to earn money in the markets or put together a balanced portfolio.  In order to be successful, you need to provide strong financial results and be able to show success stories to prospective clients.

Know the Education Requirements

Although not required, it helps if you have a degree in Finance, Accounting, Economics or Business.  Anything numbers related could also help such as computer science or mathematics.  In order to be a financial advisor that produces results and is viewed as reputable, having some form of formal education in the industry is very beneficial.

Get Practical Work Experience with a Financial Planning Internship

Sure businesses want you to have a degree, but lately practical work experience has been trumping some educational requirements.  To make sure you stand-out it may be in your best interest to obtain a financial planning internship while you are in college.  If you are planning on switching careers, you  may be able to work-in an internship so you can get a taste of what it is like to be a financial planner before you go jumping in head-first.

Don’t Stop Learning

If you have obtained your licenses and completed your schooling, don’t let that make you think it’s a free-ride to the promise land.  As a financial advisor, you need to keep learning and stay current on the market, trends and strategies.  Read books, take night classes and learn from others in your profession.  If you want to be the best and perform well for your clients, a continued learning plan is essential to financial planning success.

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