How to Become a Financial Planner

The investment field is constantly increasing and more and more people and businesses are investing their money. Businesses and individuals often need professional financial advice and help designing their investment portfolios. Financial planners help their clients with financial decisions and create plans to meet their financial goals.

What does a financial planner do?

Financial planners help their clients make executive and informed decisions about their investment portfolios and other financial matters. They are extremely knowledgeable in all the available investment options and can effectively communicate the pros and cons of each option. Financial planners also provide tax advice to their clients and sell life insurance policies. They work with a variety of clients with many different needs and they gear their tasks and recommendations to meet those needs. They help their clients with general investment choices, retirement and estate planning, and setting up funding to pay for their children’s college education. Most planners offer advice on many different options, but some specialize in specific areas such as risk management or retirement planning.

What kind of training does a financial planner need?

Financial planners need at least a bachelor degree in finance or other related area. Most financial planners have a logical or mathematical background. Some large firms and companies prefer financial planners to have master degrees. Financial planners typically complete courses in accounting, economics, statistics, accounting, calculus, and stock market analysis.

Financial planners can obtain voluntary professional certification to remain competitive in the constantly evolving investment field. Most large firms require applicants to have completed the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. Many financial planners that are self-employed also obtain the CFP certification because it attracts more clients. The CFP certification examination evaluates the financial planner’s ability to apply their knowledge to real-life situations.

What are the prospects for a career as a financial planner?

Employment of financial planners is projected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 37% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increased level of investments and growing amount of people expected to retire will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be good with keen competition because financial planning is typically a high-paying and rewarding occupation. Financial planners with advanced education and extensive experience will have the best prospects.

How much do financial planners make?

As of October 2009, financial planners with the Certified Financial Planner certification earned average annual salaries between $44,452 and $88,618 depending on position and field (2).

A career as a financial planner is an excellent choice for individuals who have a strong interest in financial concepts and have a desire to help people with their investment decisions. Financial planners must be able to present financial terminology to clients in easy to understand language and answer any questions. They must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be extremely knowledge on financial options.

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