Monday, October 07, 2013

Choosing a Financial Career

A Financial advisor helps clients reach their financial goals including retirement, paying for college, starting a business, budgeting and tax advice. The main focus is investments which require a series 65 license to buy and sell investments, no education requirements.  A financial advisor provides financial planning services by successfully meeting the needs of clients through proper management of their money by setting objectives and helping clients achieve their financial goals. 

A financial advisor provides services for a fee either fee based or commission.  Fee based is either an hourly rate or per-session rate or a fee is charged as an annual percentage of assets managed. A commission is received for the sale of financial products and Certified Financial Advisors often receive a percentage of the total amount clients invest in particular investment funds or products.

Skills needed to become a financial advisor are:  math skills are not required but helps, problem solving and analysis, negotiation, interpersonal, sales and marketing, business and strategic planning, team player, speaking, strong work ethic, relationship building, oral and written communication and organization. 

Companies that hire for finance industry positions are:  banks, universities, colleges, mortgage companies, financial companies, credit unions, insurance companies, accounting or law firms, credit counseling organizations or brokerage firms. 

A financial advisor can transition into a number of jobs and industries such as: financial coach or counselor, financial planner, a certified financial advisor, investment banker, educator, money manager or retirement specialist. The duties of each are as follows:

        Financial coach/counselor - knowledgeable about debt, credit, saving, retirement, budgeting, paying for college, and spending money wisely and educate people on the different types of investments and insurance.
        Retirement Specialist - specialize in creating, implementing and maintaining retirement plans for businesses. Must have Series 6 or 7 or Series 63. Develop, manage, and retain relationships with public sector employers. Conduct regular retirement education and planning sessions with company employees. Identify prospective employer clients, knowledge of the various industries, retirement plans and additional financial products and services.
        Money Manager (portfolio manager or investment manager) - employs people with expertise ranging from research and selection of investment options to monitoring assets and deciding when to sell them. In exchange for a fee, the money manager has the fiduciary responsibility to choose and manage investments for clients, including developing an appropriate investment strategy, and buying and selling securities to meet client goals and objectives.
        Educator – explains how investments work usually those managed by a financial advisor. Someone who has the investment knowledge and the ability to convey that information to adult learners in a real-world setting. They provide insight and information for employees reducing employer liability.
        Financial analyst - involves examining financial statements and information to prepare investment strategies. The financial analyst must summarize findings in a report for review by corporations, government agencies and banks. The focus may be on one sector of the economy or on global economics.
        Investment Banker - works as a liaison between corporations and investors. The investment banker assists large corporations in executing mergers and acquisitions. The job requires working long hours, traveling and meeting with clients that may be located anywhere in the world.
        Financial planner - may help you with budgeting, debt, tax advice, retirement planning, however some only focus on helping you choose investments which requires a license.
        Accountant - performs accounting functions such as audits or financial statement analysis. Accountants can either be employed by an accounting firm, a large company with an internal accounting department, or can setup their own practice. The work involves the collecting historical information and preparing financial reports for a business.
        A Certified Financial Advisor (CFP) - help clients reach their financial goals such as:  paying for college education, retirement, starting a business, budgeting, and credit or tax advice. The main focus of CFPs is investments which require a series 7 & 66 license, education requirements, and yearly fees. The licenses allow them to sell financial products.

Your success for transitioning into a finance career depends on your background, education, and years of experience and your ability to garner and maintain relationships. The state of the economy also plays a critical role in the success of your financial career. The financial industry is expected to continue to grow for many years.

If you decide to transition into a finance career there may be education requirements such as certifications or licenses which are required if you buy or sell securities and insurance policies. A financial advisor should have a Bachelor's degree or Master’s in accounting, business, economics, finance, financial planning, law, or mathematics but it is not required unless the job requires it. To help you successfully transition into a finance career you will need to:

  • Take a personality of career assessment tests to determine what skills sets you currently have or need to obtain and which industries match your skills set.
  • Perform research and conduct informational interviews to gain knowledge about the finance industry and the top financial companies.  Learn as much about the financial industry as you can.  Find someone who is an expert in the finance industry and pick their brain to gain knowledge.
  • Take a class in the finance industry to see determine if the topic peaks your interest.
  • Determine if what you need to do to transition into the finance industry if feasible.
  • Consider transitioning into a job where you want to ultimately work.
  • If you want to own your own financial business consider starting a part-time business while you are still working.
  • Create an action plan to help you achieve your financial career goals.   
  • Market Yourself.  Use your skills, expertise and education to market yourself to employers and negotiate a salary and benefits.
  • It may take a while before you can find the perfect finance job that meets your needs but be patient and persistent. 
  • Find a mentor once you begin your new career that can provide personal and/or professional guidance.

1 comment:

Homeloan Houseloan said...

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