The weighty responsibility of investing individuals’ savings and helping them build a secure retirement… takes both financial knowledge and interpersonal skills. Personal financial advisors provide advice on investments, home ownership, estate planning, and more… to help people manage their finances and plan for the future. Personal financial advisors start by determining a client’s financial needs and how much risk they’re comfortable with, then helping set short- and long-term goals. Advisors are experts on the benefits and limitations of many different types of investments, such as mutual funds, stocks and bonds, real estate, and related issues such as insurance and the tax implications of different investments. Marketing their services to potential clients is an ongoing part of the job. To build their client base, personal financial advisors give seminars, participate in networking events, and seek referrals from current clients. Typically, advisors meet annually with clients to discuss their investment portfolio and make adjustments. Most personal financial advisors work in the finance and insurance industry, and many others are self-employed. They usually work full time in offices, and some may meet with clients during evenings and weekends. Personal financial advisors typically need a bachelor’s degree; majoring in finance, economics, accounting, math, or law are all good preparation. Finance is a highly regulated field: specific licenses are required to sell different investment or insurance products. Advisors may need to register with state regulators or the Securities and Exchange Commission.
What they do:
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. May also buy and sell financial assets for clients.
On the job, you would:
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 to clients strategies in cash management, insurance coverage, investment planning, or other areas to help them achieve their financial goals.