A financial advisor goes over paperwork with a potential client

How to Become a Financial Advisor

Financial advisors can provide a wide array of client services. Common services include investment planning, guidance, and management, as well as estate and retirement planning. Whether you’re mid-career, headed to college, or looking for an entry-level job, it’s important to learn about career options. However, it’s always important to do a little research regarding the steps you need to take to get into any occupation. Follow these step-by-step instructions to be on your way toward becoming the next best financial advisor in your area.

Do a Little Research

You should never make a career choice without doing extensive research beforehand. It’s always hard to determine whether or not you’re going to like something without talking with someone about it first. Find information about financial advising on the web, but remember to treat website information as a secondary to first-hand information. Use alumni and social networks to find current financial advisors to get advice and here about the day-to-day experiences of someone already in the financial advising field.

Get an Education

Every financial adviser has to go through training programs, and the only way to go through a training program is to first have a bachelor’s degree. While there are no strict degree requirements for financial advising, it’s important to pick a major that relates in some way. Common undergraduate majors to prepare you for financial advising include business, finance, economics, mathematics, accounting, and even pre-law programs.

Get Work Experience

Most financial advisors enter that occupation after having worked in the business or financial field for a while. Once you graduate from college, try to find business or corporate finance experience that will help you gain business skills and also make connections for later down the road when you’re looking for financial advising titles.

Find a Training Program

Many financial advisors are investment brokers, so many large investment-banking companies offer great training programs for future financial advisors. These programs can be quite competitive, so be sure to use your connections to get into these programs. Other smaller companies will have less structured training programs but will train you to be a financial advisor just the same. The latter option can be good if you want to work for a smaller company.

Obtain Licensure

There are few licenses you can obtain if you want to be set apart from competitors in the workplace. Many financial advisors become a certified financial advisor or a chartered financial analyst. Others become registered investment advisors. Each of these certifications and licenses typically require ongoing training programs or state exams. 

Last Updated: May 22, 2017