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Financial Advisor

What Is a Financial Advisor?

Financial advisors assess other peoples’ finances and use their financial expertise to advise them on how to best manage their money. Financial advisors set up consultations where they gather as much information as possible about a client’s finances and help them clarify short and long term goals. Based on this information, they establish financial plans that will enable clients to reach their goals.

This involves determining problem areas, defining strategies to improve these areas, and setting up plans for clients to follow. They also advise clients on how to make profitable financial decisions and analyze clients’ finances and how things like investments, insurance, taxes, benefit plans, and job changes will affect them.

Financial advisors typically work during regular business hours either in professional offices or from home. Most often it is up to them to find their own customers so much of their time is spent establishing contacts and advertising their services. They also may travel from time to time to attend conferences, training sessions, or seminars.

How to Become a Financial Advisor

To become a financial advisor, one should earn at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, business, accounting, or economics. In these types of majors, students learn about aspects making financial decisions such as planning and budgeting, investments, risk management, insurance, and interest rates. Common courses in these types of majors include financial markets and institutions, analysis of financial statements, accounting and statistics for financial analysis, tax accounting, managerial finance, and economic theory.

Employers like to see applicants who have practical experience, so completing an internship or working a part-time job that is relevant to finance or accounting can provide students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and learn how to work with clients. It’s also important to develop strong problem-solving skills and communication abilities. For more advanced positions, some employers may require applicants to have taken a licensing exam or hold certain certifications.

Financial Advisor Career Outlook & Salary

With finances becoming increasingly complicated, more and more people need experts who can help them make wise decisions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of financial advisors is projected to grow by 30% within the next decade. This is due to a large population that will need professionals to help them plan for retirement as well as wealthy individuals who will require help in managing their growing assets.

As the demand for financial experts increases so will the popularity of this career field, therefore, there will be more competition when it comes to job opportunities. Highly analytical Individuals with a relevant college education, work experience in a related area, and strong qualitative and interpersonal skills will have the best chances at employment. The Bureau reported that the median annual wages of financial advisors was $69,058 in May 2008.

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