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How to Become a Financial Advisor

Updated on March 24, 2011

A career as a financial advisor can be a profitable and rewarding one. Financial advising has grown in recent years as the baby boomer generation nears retirement. Providing retirement advice, estate planning, and investment strategies to clients requires thorough knowledge and skill. A financial advisor’s assistance can help people manage transitions in their lives and attain financial security. Here are some steps to becoming a financial advisor.

1. Get your degree.

A college degree will greatly increase the likelihood of your getting employment as a financial advisor. Get a degree in a related field such as accounting, finance, or math. Financial companies will expect a high grade point average, so you should graduate with at least a 3.2 GPA.

2. Find training programs offered by financial companies.

Some financial companies offer internships or training programs for those looking to get into the field. These can be incredibly valuable to you and help you get your foot in the door. Remember that financial advising is all about developing relationships built on trust, so use any training opportunity to meet with clients and become familiar with their needs.

3. Take professional exams and get your license.

Professional exams and required licenses to work as a financial advisor will vary depending on the state or country in which you live. Become familiar with the requirements and earn your license. Some financial planning companies and banks will even help defray the cost of exams and licensure, particularly if you have a relationship with the company through an internship, training program, or other connection.

4. Get a job at a bank.

Getting a job at a bank can be a great first step in becoming a financial advisor. Banks often offer better benefits than financial advising companies as well as higher salaries. In working at a bank, you can also get a lot of experience in working with clients without being dependent upon commissions. Banks are also more likely to hire you before you are licensed, provide training, and support you while you take your professional exams.

5. Consider the pay.

If you are hired by a financial advising company, your commissions and fees are usually low at first as you work to build your client base. Some financial companies will offer a higher salary for an initial period to compensate for this. Eventually, your salary will be only a small part of your income.

Image Credit:  great beyond, Flickr


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  • gogetter4u profile image


    7 years ago from Texas

    Very good advice.



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