If you are someone who looks at the financial news section, seeks excellent financial investments, and checks stock market activity, you’ll want to know what a day in the life of a financial advisor looks like. This profession is noted as one of the best entry-level jobs in business analytics.
In this guide, we will explore a typical day in the life of a financial advisor, what the position entails, how you can become a financial advisor, and details about financial advisor salary expectations.
What Is a Financial Advisor?
A financial advisor is a professional that offers financial consulting. Financial advisors work with individuals and corporate groups, and their main role is providing advice to clients. They can offer advice on financial planning, risk management, retirement planning, estate planning, life insurance, and investment portfolio management to achieve the client’s financial goals.
What Does a Financial Advisor Do On a Daily Basis?
Financial advisors perform various tasks relating to financial planning and advice. These include administrative chores and meeting prospective clients. Providing excellent service is key to navigating and managing client relationships and their financial portfolio goals.
- Financial Markets Research. Keeping up to date on financial markets will help you facilitate the financial goals of client portfolios. By reading the news and other related publications, you can stay up to date on this aspect of finance by tracking the activity of banks and investment account performance rates.
- Client Relationship Communication. Financial advisory relies heavily on interpersonal skills, relationship building, and growing your clients’ confidence in you. When a situation affects investment accounts or portfolios, strong communication skills will put the client at ease or prevent further investment loss.
- Meeting Potential Clients. Before meeting with prospective clients, you need to do client-based research to assess what financial planning services you can offer.
- Meeting Other Financial Professionals. Some clients may have existing investment accounts, and as a financial advisor, it is essential to create a financial plan that compliments current investments. As such, you may need to meet with attorneys, accountants, trust officers, and investment bankers to ensure your plan is viable.
- Administration and Other Communication. Communicating adequately with administration staff is important to complete administrative tasks. Managing client expectations is vital, and you may field many calls or emails from clients. You may even have to provide supporting research for your recommendations.
How Can I Become a Financial Advisor?
There are various ways to become a financial advisor. Typically, you need a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Finance, Math, or a related field. Some opt for a Master’s in Administration (MBA) or a Master’s of Science in Finance (MSF). Experience is highly valued, and an internship could offer additional on-the-job training.
Financial Advisor Degrees
Acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Finance, Math, Economics, or a related field can be a strong entry point for this career. Further studies at an MBA or MSF level can deepen academic knowledge and add credibility, and working in finance is listed as one of the top careers for MBA graduates. These degrees can be done in person or online.
Financial Advisor Online Courses
There are several online certified financial planning (CFP) programs, as well as financial management courses that you can take for additional training or to enhance your certification. These will increase your credibility and improve your abilities as a financial advisor. Completion of training and ongoing education have high value amongst potential clients and corporations.
Financial Advisor Certifications
Although certification is not always necessary, financial services are highly competitive. Standard licenses include the Series 65 and Series 66 licenses and CFP (as above). Senior advisors may opt for the Chartered Financial Analyst certification to gain a competitive edge. Note that the Series 65 license is a state license required by almost all 50 states for investment advisors.
How Can I Get a Job as a Financial Advisor?
Financial advisors typically work at finance and insurance companies. These include securities and commodity brokers, banks, insurance providers, and financial investment companies. Finance professionals can also work independently or remotely.
Since this is a highly competitive field, relationship building with clients is crucial. You have to maintain a high level of credibility and professionalism to attract and retain clients and get referrals. A strong client base is essential for your success as a financial advisor.
Steps to Finding a Job as a Financial Advisor
- Get the Right Education
Getting foundational degrees and further education, like supplementary online courses or a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) opens up opportunities for advancement in the financial field. At the very least, it’s necessary to get the Series 65 license to practice as a financial advisor in most of the US.
- Update Your Financial Advisor Resume
Once you are accredited to work as a financial advisor in your state, you should update your resume and prepare your cover letter. Include all education, training, certification, and transcripts. Also include information about any internships you have completed, which count for financial experience and on-the-job training.
- Internship and Networking
An internship is an on-the-job approach to financial learning that provides fantastic networking opportunities which could prove very valuable in the future. An internship can help you decide whether a profession is the right career path for you and enables you to accumulate valued experience in the field.
- Build a Portfolio
As you acquire experience, clients, and manage your own investments, you build your evidence portfolio for clients to assess your abilities. Make sure your portfolio is detailed and highlights successes, outlines solutions to threats and weaknesses, and articulates your financial plan with evidence and reasoning.
- Search and Apply for Jobs with Job Boards
There are various reputable job boards to refer to, such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn. For a financial industry-specific search, you can also use the Association for Financial Professionals website and Financial Job Bank.
What Is the Average Salary of a Financial Advisor?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for a financial advisor is $89,330 per year. This profession has also been listed among the happiest careers to pursue in 2022. Let us take a closer look to see the financial advisor average at entry-level, mid-level, and senior advisors.
Salary for an Entry-Level Financial Advisor
The average salary for an entry-level advisor is $49,846, according to Payscale. Skills that affect the salary at this level are customer service and financial analysis abilities. It is an excellent idea to improve your financial analysis skills early in your career.
Salary for a Mid-Level Financial Advisor
A mid-level advisor will earn an average salary of $69,901, according to Payscale. Salary-affecting skills are financial modeling, financial compliance, strategic planning, investment planning, investment management, customer service, financial advising, tax preparation, client interactions, and portfolio management. You can take free and paid courses to upskill.
Salary for a Senior-Level Financial Advisor
Payscale lists the average salary for senior advisors as $80,532 per year. Gaps in abilities for investment management, financial modeling, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), investment planning, insurance, portfolio management, financial analysis, and financial advising can affect your salary.
While you may already have an advanced degree at this level, minimizing knowledge gaps in in-demand areas is paramount here. You will also want to consider whether you have appropriate business management tools and be well-informed about successful finance companies.
Job Outlook for a Financial Advisor
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the current job outlook at five percent, which is lower than the average. Trends in tech have been fast-tracked due to the pandemic, and financial advisors should embrace tech applications and tools in their work.
Should I Become a Financial Advisor?
Yes, despite the slower than average growth reflected during periods with the most severe pandemic restrictions, there is still much opportunity for a meaningful career as a financial advisor. Financial advisors don’t just benefit businesses, but can provide guidance to the average person. They can provide you with insight into possible focus areas and specializations.
With a range of financial benefits and rewarding interpersonal opportunities, financial advising is a desirable career and is noted as one of the highest-paying jobs for people over 50 and one of the highest-paying jobs for extroverts.
A Day in the Life of a Financial Advisor FAQs
Yes. According to Payscale, the most common career advancement path is from a financial advisor, to a financial planner, to a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). However, some have gone on to roles like financial manager, financial planning and analysis expert, and merchandise planning manager.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the high-paying states for personal financial advisors are New York, Maine, Montana, Minnesota, and Massachusetts.
According to Glassdoor, the best companies hiring financial advisors are Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Edward Jones, and Wells Fargo.
The fees for financial advisors are divided into three sections. Human advisors fees are between one and two percent per year, automated robo-advisor fees are between 0.25 and 0.35 percent, and hybrid advisor fees are between 0.5 and 1.5 percent.
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