Most financial advisors work with a wide range of investments, including stocks and bonds. Often, their goal is to help clients build financial wealth for short-term and long-term goals like retirement.
Perhaps you love to watch the stock market and find economics interesting. You may enjoy helping others make financial decisions. You might also love numbers. Whatever your goal is, we can help you achieve it.
Financial advisors need to stay up to date on the changing economic climate. They also need to regularly update their skill set to meet new goals and adapt to changing regulations. The insight below can help you understand what it takes to be a financial advisor, and if it’s the right career for you.
Top reasons to pursue a career as a financial advisor
Working as a financial advisor can provide a wide range of benefits. It’s a job for those who love working with other people and who thrive in challenging situations. There are several regulatory requirements in this field, so it’s important to pay attention to the industry’s constant changes.
If you do well in a competitive environment, there are many reasons to consider this path. Your success as a financial advisor depends on several factors, but those who do well will see countless benefits, including:
Make a meaningful difference
Many financial advisors work closely with overwhelmed, frustrated, and worried clients. Part of your job will be to offer them financial peace of mind. You can feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when you help your clients achieve their goals.
No earnings limit
A financial advisor’s salary depends on how successful his or her advice is. This means there’s virtually no limit to how much you can earn. Most financial advisors work through either a fee-based or commission-based model. The amount you earn is related to how many clients you have or the amount of profit you help your clients earn.
Work for yourself
Though you can work at a financial advising or investment firm, you don’t have to. Many experienced advisors found their own private firm. This can increase your financial independence, allowing you to work from home and set your own hours.
You can specialize
As you begin to build your business and clientele, you can specialize your skills and focus on the areas that interest you the most. For example, some individuals can develop a lucrative skill set for clients seeking high-risk investment strategies.
Top trends for financial advisors
Here’s a look at some of the expectations for financial advisors. It’s important for advisors to keep up to date on technological innovation in this rapidly changing field.
Technology is becoming more important to financial advisors because of the increased use of cloud-based systems. Many consumers expect to have hands-on access to their financial information, which requires advisors to offer more transparent, easily accessible account data.
Technology and a digital world are creating more opportunities for financial advisors to use automation and data to gain better insight. Advisors will still need to be experts in financial management, but they will have access to more data to help improve their strategies.
Another way financial advisors can expect to see changes going forward is with new types of investment. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are continuing to increase in demand. More so, consumers are looking for a one-stop shop for all their investment needs. This includes life insurance, savings opportunities, and versatile retirement planning strategies.
Areas of opportunity for financial advisors
Financial advisors serve in various positions in numerous industries. While many help individuals, others can work at companies. You can be a generalist or choose to specialize.
Industry opportunities for financial advisors include:
Mutual fund representatives
Investment advisors for individuals or companies
Customer-focused advisors in investment firms
What are the different types of financial advisor jobs?
Financial advisors have a positive job outlook. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the business and financial industry will grow 5% between 2019 and 2029.
In 2019, 263,000 people worked in this field. Between 2019 and 2029, an additional 11,600 advisors are expected to be needed. The agency also states that the 2019 median pay for a financial advisor was $87,850 per year, but income potential is virtually unlimited. The BLS predicts that financial advisors are poised to be one of the finance industry’s top careers for growth through ￼2029:
Entry-level career options
If you’ve just earned a bachelor’s degree but have limited experience, you may find a role at a financial management company:
Entry-level Financial Advisor: $48,627 per year on average
Entry-level Equity Research Associate: $65,751 per year on average
Entry-level Financial Representative: $42,425 per year on average
Advanced career options
Higher education, including a master’s degree and additional certifications, can give financial advisors an edge in landing more lucrative and advanced jobs. These can include:
Certified Financial Planner (CFP): $66,662 per year on average
Financial Advisor (private firms): $59,255 and up
Financial Planning and Analysis Manager: $100,263 and up
Do you need a license or certification to be a financial advisor?
Technically, financial advisors don’t need a license to provide advice to their clients. However, you will need proper licensing if you’re selling securities. This includes Series 6, Series 7, Series 63, and Series 65 licenses.
Certifications can also be valuable in this field. This includes earning a Certified Financial Planner or Chartered Financial Analyst certification. These allow advisors to have more authority and will aid in building trust with your clients.
Top skills and digital tools for financial advisors
The following are the fastest-growing and most in-demand skills employers will be looking for over the next five years. Gaining these skills can help you stand out from the competition.
Recent research shows that some of the core job functions of a financial advisor involve the skills that will be in demand through 2023:
In addition to these skills, companies also frequently look for financial advisors with the following soft skills:
The top requested specialized technical skills are:
Top emerging skills
As part of the broader finance field, advisors are likely to benefit from increasing their expertise in the areas listed below. These are skills specific to financial advising that have the highest projected growth through 2023 for skills employers are ￼seeking:
Projected Posting Growth (2018–2023)
Financial Risk Management
Source: Burning Glass Technologies
Emerging tools being utilized in this field are:
Financial advisors often earn their bachelor’s degree and begin working at an investment firm. It’s not uncommon to work through internships that lead to earning certifications and advanced degrees.
As an intern, you’ll research investments and prepare presentations for senior advisors. You may also help update financial plans for clients and work on other specialized projects.
Early opportunities include summer internships and positions as an entry-level financial advisor. These roles, which are often paid, are generally found at investment firms. Some private firms may also employ a finance intern to help with clientele if the firm is expanding.
Key financial industry associations to consider
Financial advisors can be part of multiple financial industry associations. These organizations provide support for advisors who operate private firms, as well as for those looking to expand their client base.
Some examples include:
Financial Planning Association (FPA)
National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA)
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
Society of Financial Service Professionals (Society of FSP)
A financially rewarding career
Financial advisors will become more in demand in the future, especially as investing becomes increasingly accessible. Evidence indicates that as millennials gain more wealth, they are likely to choose professionals over low-cost alternatives to manage their money. Many baby boomers, who are worried about the stability of their retirement investments, are also looking for advisors who can properly balance risk and growth. We’re here to help you find your path forward as this industry continues to change.