How to Become a Financial Advisor

The Money Magazine has ranked the job of a financial advisor at #3 among the best jobs in America. So, there is no doubt that a financial advising career is one of the most rewarding careers for aspiring candidates. Though the financial advisor’s job is a much profitable career option, it brings work challenges as well. Professionals continuously try to reach their targets while working with a range of clients. Financial advisors are responsible offer expert advice to clients regarding bonds, stocks, mutual funds and other investment strategies.

Depending on their individual preferences and experience, financial advisors may also choose to have job specialization. For example, some of these professionals work with individual clients. On the other hand, there are advisors that specialize in working with business clients.

Educational Qualification
To kick-start a career in financial advising, candidates will need to have a bachelor’s degree. If you want to remain competitive in this field and want to gain an extra edge over others, you should consider obtaining an MBA degree. One important thing to note here is that the compensation will be provided on the basis of your work performance rather than your academic excellence.

Depending on the state where you work, you will need to fulfill some licensure requirements as well. To become certified, candidates need to pass the state level examination offered by FINRA. To be able to sit for this Series 7 examination, you need to fulfill the continuing education requirements. In addition, a FINRA member (your employer) must also sponsor you to enable you to take the Series 7 examination.

Job Duties
As mentioned above, financial advisors work with a wide range of clients offering advise to fulfill their individual investment needs. While counseling clients, they need to consider a specific client’s needs and goals. To perform their job duties efficiently, advisors need to keep abreast of all the latest development in the financial market, monitor clients’ investment portfolio and come up with new investment strategies for their clients. Besides having the relevant degree, financial advisors also need to possess some essential skills including excellent people skills, communication skills, decision making ability, capability to handle time pressure etc. In addition, advisors also need to be prepared to handle failure and know how to deal with dissatisfied clients.

Salary Range
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of financial advisors was around $66,000 in May, 2006. Actually, the compensation of these advisors is based on the commission that clients pay. Advisors who possess extensive work experience can work up to $100,000 or more annually. The annual salary of financial advisors can go up to $145,000.

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