Personal Financial Advisors

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Also known as:  Certified Financial Planner, Estate Planner, Estate Planning Counselor, Financial Counselor, Individual Pension Adviser, Individual Pension Consultant, Personal Financial Advisor, Personal Financial Planner, Personal Investment Adviser

ABOUT PERSONAL FINANCIAL ADVISOR CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Personal financial advisors are not just for the wealthy. Every working person can benefit from objective help with cash flow, savings, tax strategies, insurance coverage, investing for children's education, and retirement planning. This is a profession for people with good communication skills comb ...
ined with an understanding of how business works.

You could work for an insurance company, a bank, a brokerage firm, or have your own business, but it is vital to understand the products you are guiding people to purchase. Your earnings could come from a commission on sales, salary, or fees paid by clients, or by a combination of these sources.

Business schools and college courses could get you started, or you can join a firm that offers training. You may need to study for and pass specific licensing exams to sell insurance, mutual funds, stocks, and bonds. Some of those licenses are administered by federal agencies, some by the state where you do business, so you should have a good idea of where you'd like to settle before getting the process rolling.

Financial advisors need to update themselves constantly on new services and tax laws that might be good for their clients, so this is a field that requires a lifetime of continuing education.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Advise clients on financial plans using knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, insurance, pension plans, and real estate. Duties include assessing clients' assets, liabilities, cash flow, insurance coverage, tax status, and financial objectives.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Meet with clients' other advisors, such as attorneys, accountants, trust officers, or investment bankers, to fully understand clients' financial goals and circumstances.
Devise debt liquidation plans that include payoff priorities and timelines.
Contact clients periodically to determine any changes in their financial status.
Explain and document for clients the types of services that are to be provided, and the responsibilities to be taken by the personal financial advisor.
Analyze financial information obtained from clients to determine strategies for meeting clients' financial objectives.
Guide clients in the gathering of information, such as bank account records, income tax returns, life and disability insurance records, pension plans, or wills.
Interview clients to determine their current income, expenses, insurance coverage, tax status, financial objectives, risk tolerance, or other information needed to develop a financial plan.
Recommend strategies clients can use to achieve their financial goals and objectives, including specific recommendations in such areas as cash management, insurance coverage, and investment planning.
Review clients' accounts and plans regularly to determine whether life changes, economic changes, or financial performance indicate a need for plan reassessment.
Implement financial planning recommendations or refer clients to someone who can assist them with plan implementation.
Prepare or interpret for clients information such as investment performance reports, financial document summaries, or income projections.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Developing Objectives and Strategies Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Economics and Accounting Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Number Facility The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
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