Are you confused by all the Financial Advice given by your adviser, reading articles or books from the gurus or your own online research? Often these new employees receive a base salary during an initial training period (and may, in some cases, thereafter). But the major part of their compensation comes from sales of financial products and/or insurance. And, along the way, the financial advisors in their firms learn valuable insights into dealing with clients, and they acquire experience in many aspects of financial planning. And, like any profession, there exist two major barriers to entry” to becoming an excellent financial planner – knowledge and experience.
Other worthwhile organizations to check out include the Alliance of Cambridge Advisors ( ), the Garrett Planning Network ( ), and the Financial Planning Association ( ); each organization offers various forms of support for its members, especially new financial planners. A finance degree most closely fulfills the education and training required for a career as a financial advisor.
One of these firms is Garrett Investment Advisors ( ), which financial planners from around the country utilize for a broad variety of back-office support and guidance. Some firms offer a professional atmosphere, with reasonable work hours (but, nevertheless, an expectation of new financial planners that evenings will be spent mastering the substantial knowledge base of financial planning and/or networking). Seek out a great mentor, both within your firm and outside of it (the Financial Planning Association, in particular, does a good job of matching new financial planners with mentors).
And, in the process, you’ll gain the all-important financial planning experience needed to become an excellent financial planner. The minimum educational requirement for financial advisors—also known as financial consultants or counselors—is a bachelor’s degree, typically in finance, accounting, business, economics, statistics or a similar field. Major firms or high-end clients may require their financial advisors to continue their education at the graduate level.
Financial advisors need to understand their clients’ short- and long-term financial goals—which may include retirement, saving for college, or other objectives—and offer ways to help their clients reach these goals. Most financial advisors obtain at least one of the many certifications available, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC).