A personal financial advisor assists individuals with reaching financial objectives and educational goals, retirement and estate planning, and other investing decisions, and they make insurance/risk management recommendations for their clients. Entry into the financial advising field generally requires a bachelor's degree, preferably in accounting, finance, or a related field. The certified financial planner (CFP) designation is the preferred professional qualification. Additional licensing may be mandated by state and federal regulations. Common license requirements include Series 6, 7, 63, or 66. Continuing professional education hours are needed to maintain certification and licenses. Many successful advisors have prior customer service or sales experience.
Working as a personal financial advisor demands analytical skills and interpersonal skills. An advisor works frequently with computers and calculators to perform relevant computations. He/she should be comfortable reading financial reports and interpreting data. Personal financial advisors should be familiar with varied financial instruments and able to understand their benefits and risks as applied to client situations. While most work may be performed in a professional office during traditional business hours, it may be necessary to meet clients in their homes or places of business. Building the client relationship is the key to success. A personal financial advisor takes the time to understand the financial objectives of the client and tailors strategies to the deadlines and priorities of the client. The relationship is ongoing, and a successful advisor assesses client progress on a regular basis and may need to adjust recommendations. The development of prospective client relationships comprises a substantial percentage of the advisor's time.
Personal Financial Advisor Tasks
- Follow-up with clients on plans, track successes, and inform about modifications.
- Assist clients with estate management, tax returns, budgets, or other financial tasks.
- Guide clients through financial self-analysis, including goal setting and advice to reach goals.