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3 Tips How to Become a Financial Advisor

( How to Become a Financial Advisor - Financial advisors provide advice on investment strategies, mutual funds, bonds and stocks. You can work at a bank or brokerage firm or at an insurance company. To become a financial advisor, you typically need at least a four-year degree and some experience in the financial services industry. Most financial advisors also have professional certification.

  • Acquiring the necessary skills and education

How to Become a Financial Advisor (with Pictures)

Get a bachelor's degree in a finance-related discipline. Most financial advisors have at least a four-year degree in a discipline such as finance or accounting. Choose an area that interests you and that you would like to pursue professionally.

Take introductory courses in retirement and estate planning, income tax, investment strategies, and risk management. Then take advanced courses in the areas that interest you most.

Your specific major doesn't usually matter that much, but degrees in finance, accounting, economics, math, or computer science can look good on a financial advisor's resume.

How to Become a Financial Advisor (with Pictures)

Look for certification prep programs. If you are planning to earn a professional certification, such as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), a program that specifically prepares you for the certification exam can be of great help.

In some countries, such as B. Canada, a CFP is required if you wish to work in any capacity as a financial advisor, although some other financial certifications or licenses are accepted as equivalent.

How to Become a Financial Advisor (with Pictures)

Look for an internship while you are still at school. Many financial advisors begin their careers as unpaid interns before graduating from college. Provided you have the means, an internship can provide you with connections and experience in the financial services industry.

Typically, your school will have information about available internships through the department office or careers office, as well as other resources to help you find a position.

Some internships may count toward your degree.

How to Become a Financial Advisor (with Pictures)

Take some psychology courses. As a financial advisor, you spend a lot of time advising people. Some understanding of how people think and behave can help you advise your customers and predict the market.

How to Become a Financial Advisor (with Pictures)

Go further with a master's degree or doctorate. A college degree will make you a more valuable financial advisor. You will be able to earn a higher salary and when you eventually start your own company, you will be able to charge your clients more for your services.

Degrees or professional qualifications also open up further opportunities for you. For example, if you have a law degree, you can provide legal and financial advice to clients.

If you have a Masters or Ph.D. in finance, business, or economics, you may be able to skip all licensing and certification exams.

  • Gain work experience

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Find an entry-level position in the financial services industry. Even before studying, an entry-level position can help to familiarize yourself with the work. It also gives you the opportunity to talk to financial advisors.

For example, you could get a job as a teller at a bank or as a junior at a brokerage firm.

Insurance agencies also prepare you for a career as a financial advisor, especially if you want to work in the retirement planning field.

It's okay if you don't get your dream job right away! Just take advantage of all the opportunities that are around you and focus on improving your knowledge and skills.

How to Become a Financial Advisor (with Pictures)

Sign up with a training program. Larger investment firms typically hire new financial advisors on a formal training program, where you work side-by-side with a senior financial advisor, or on additional training leading up to your licensing or certification exams.

Typically lasting a year or more, these programs provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to pass certification exams and become a successful financial advisor.

Larger, more established companies tend to have very competitive training programs. In order to be accepted, you need top grades and impeccable certificates. In addition, look for other opportunities that can set you apart from other applicants, such as research projects or competitions.

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Try starting with a smaller company. While training programs at large investment firms are very competitive, smaller firms typically offer more hands-on learning opportunities and one-on-one meetings with a senior advisor.

Small independent investment firms also typically have access to a wider range of investment products than some of the larger firms. This gives you a broader range of experience, which gives you more flexibility in your career.

For smaller companies in particular, do some research into the background and reputation of the company itself and the people who work there. You don't want to get involved in any unethical or fraudulent activity, especially when you're just starting out.

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Work towards starting your own company. You may be content working for an established company, or you may choose to start your own business. Starting your own company gives you more flexibility and control over your business.

During the training, focus on how to streamline the work process and make it more efficient. Research the policies of the company you work for, but think about how you can adapt those policies to make them work better.

  • Get licensed and certified

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Decide what kind of work you enjoy. Financial advisors work in different areas. There are a number of different professional certifications or licenses that financial advisors can hold. Once you know the path you want to take, you'll know what certifications or licenses you need or want.

Licenses and certifications can become expensive if you acquire more than one, and multiple licenses or certifications may not increase your value as a financial advisor. Choose wisely what you want to do.

For example, if you enjoy the most complex global transactions and international investment opportunities, you may want to obtain a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) license.

If you want to work for an insurance company, you usually need to be licensed as an insurance agent.

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Become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) if you want to become a personal financial planner. The CFP is one of the more flexible financial advisor certifications. In some countries, you cannot work with the public as a financial advisor without this certification.

This designation does not allow you to actually buy and sell investment products - it is merely a professional qualification. Depending on the type of work you want to do as a consultant, you may need additional licenses.

To get a CFP, you must have a four-year degree, three years of work experience, and a two-day, ten-hour exam. You can take an exam preparation course through a university or a self-study course.

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Get a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) license if you want to pursue a career in global investing. The CFA primarily prepares you to manage large global investment portfolios or to become a financial analyst.

To qualify for a CFA, you must have at least a bachelor's degree and four years of experience as a financial advisor. The CFA is offered by the CFA Institute, which offers a three-phase self-study program with a six-hour exam at the end of each phase. In order to receive the charter, you must become a regular member of the CFA Institute.

The CFA is a globally recognized career award designed to help you differentiate in the competitive financial advisor marketplace. It also gives you a chance at a job at big investment firms like Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan Chase.

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Become a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) to get paid for investment advice. Other financial advisors may receive a salary from their employer or receive commissions from the sale of investment products. However, if you have an RIA, clients will pay you directly for your investment advice.

You don't need an RIA if you're just being paid for general investment advice. But if you give clients specific investment advice about buying or selling a particular commodity, you must be registered as an investment adviser.

This designation may require additional licenses or registrations depending on the laws in your country and the size of the portfolios you manage.

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Register with the Securities Commission. Securities registration may be required depending on the amount of investments you manage. Registration requires you to pay a fee and may require you to take exams or otherwise demonstrate your competency as an investment adviser.

You are normally required to register with the Securities Commission when buying and selling investments and commodities directly on behalf of your clients. Generally, this requirement arises when you are managing portfolios with total investments greater than $100 million.

In addition to national commissions, you may also need to register with state or local regulatory agencies.

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Get all the necessary insurance licenses. Generally, when working with an insurance company, you must be a licensed insurance agent. The license usually requires you to take an exam that tests your knowledge of insurance law.

Insurance licenses tend to be the most basic of all the licenses a financial advisor might need. All you have to do is pay a fee and take a two or three hour exam.

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Follow the continuing education. Many licenses and certifications have a continuing education requirement that you must complete in order to keep your license or certification in good standing. In addition, you usually have to pay a renewal fee every year.

For example, while an insurance license is one of the easiest financial advisor licenses to obtain, they typically require quite a bit of continuing education to maintain.

Education also keeps you abreast of various market and investment trends that could directly impact your clients and the success of their investments.

Don't think of continuing education as something you must do to keep your license, but something you want to do to be the best financial advisor possible.

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