Career as financial advisor

Career as financial advisor

Financial advisor is a generic term and many different types of financial professionals fall into this general category, explains Suman Chakravarthy.

A  financial advisor is one who provides financial advice or guidance to customers for compensation. They provide many different services, such as investment management, income tax preparation and estate planning. They must carry the Series 65 license  to conduct business with the public. A wide variety of licenses are available for the services that a financial advisor can provide. Financial advisor is a generic term, and many different types of financial professionals fall into this general category. Stockbrokers, insurance agents, tax preparers and financial planners are all members of this group. Estate planners and bankers may fall under this umbrella as well.
Job prospects

When it comes to saving our money, we have choices. We can put it under the mattress or we can invest it. The experts usually suggest a combination of the latter (most will discourage the first option). Who are these experts? They are financial advisors whose job is to help their clients to plan for their short and long term financial goals. These goals may include their own retirement and their children's education expenses. He or she may provide investment, tax and insurance advice. While the primary part of one's job involves advising clients, a great deal of one's time is spent getting more clients. In order to do this, financial advisors must be skilled networkers.
Employment facts

Most Financial advisors work in offices, but also spent time outside the office attending conferences and teaching classes with the goal of attracting business. About a quarter of financial advisors were self-employed. Long hours are a reality of this career. Most financial advisors work full time and about a quarter work more than 50 hours a week. Expect to work evenings and weekends as well.
Basic skills

Financial advisors provide advice relating to investment strategies, mutual funds, bonds, and stocks, and their knowledge is more necessary than ever as Baby Boomers near retirement. Becoming a financial advisor takes work, but it can be a rewarding experience. Soon, you will be assisting home owners in meeting their goals like children’s education, car purchase, vacation, retirement and so on, by way of appropriate management of the finances.

A financial planner needs a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance or business. In-depth knowledge of useful and relevant topics obtained through education includes investments, estate planning, insurance, retirement planning and risk management.
Excellent math skills are necessary for a financial planner, along with the ability to calculate and analyze complex financial data. Accounting skills and a close familiarity with banking are necessary and broad knowledge of economics and financial markets are important when it comes to making recommendations to clients.

Financial planning is service-oriented business, so good interpersonal skills are crucial to success. You must be good at communicating clearly with clients verbally and in writing, and be comfortable distilling complex topics into easy-to-understand summaries for clients who may not have a lot of knowledge in the areas in which they are seeking advice.

Financial planners tend to look at the big picture when advising clients on important topics like how to manage their money, handle taxes and prepare for retirement. However, many planners find that specialized skills appeal to a broader range of clients.

Financial planners often become licensed to sell products, such as insurance, annuities, stocks and bonds, and make agreements with clients to directly invest their funds. In-depth knowledge of the law, particularly in areas such as estate laws and tax laws, is often useful in preparing a comprehensive long-term plan for clients.

Financial advisor should has good communication skills with good analyzing power of market and ability to make client understand properly.

Careers Overview:  Financial advisor (FA) and financial consultant (FC) are contemporary job titles for what used to be called a stockbroker, broker, account executive or registered representative. A variant spelling, financial advisor also is used sometimes.

 Role of Financial Planner is to make financial planning work for you. You are the focus of the Financial Planning process. As such, the results you get from working with a Financial Planner are as much your responsibility as they are those of the Planner.


Education: A bachelor's degree is expected for a financial advisor. Coursework in finance, accounting and economics is helpful, though not required. Strong quantitative and analytic skills are vital.  An MBA can give you a leg up in the hiring process, depending on the firm and the situation, as might legal studies or a law degree. In any case, compensation is tied strictly to performance, not to academic credentials.

Institutes for financial advisors Training course: The Indian Institute of Financial Planning, New Delhi; Institute of Chartered Financial Analyst of India, Dehradun; Institute of Financial Planning and Investment, Mumbai; Institute of Company Secretaries of India, New Delhi; Indian Institute of Capital Markets, Mumbai; BSE Training Institute, Mumbai.
Duration of course

It is 1 and 2 year (two and four semesters) course of Financial Planning Diploma.

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