Personal Financial Advisors
Also called: Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Financial Advisor, Financial Planner, Portfolio Manager
Produced by CareerOneStop
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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.
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.
- Answer clients' questions about the purposes and details of financial plans and strategies.
- Recommend to clients strategies in cash management, insurance coverage, investment planning, or other areas to help them achieve their financial goals.
- customer service
- accounting and economics
Arts and Humanities
- English language
Math and Science
- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Engineering and Technology
- computers and electronics
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- reading work related information
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- communicate by speaking
- listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
- use rules to solve problems
- add, subtract, multiply, or divide
- choose the right type of math to solve a problem
People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
- Concern for Others
- Analytical Thinking
You might use software like this on the job:
Financial analysis software
- Finance Logix Retirement Planner
- Ibbotson Portfolio Strategist
Customer relationship management CRM software
Document management software
- ScanSoft PaperPort Pro
- SunGard LockBox
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.