A financial advisor is an individual who has extensive knowledge of investments, money management, and savings. He possesses a great skill to convince people.
A financial advisor provides their clients with specialist advice in terms of money management and how to invest their money according to the current situations. This procedure involves extensive market research and choosing suitable products for their clients. People have money but they don’t know how and where to invest for profit and growth. They cannot take a risk to sink their money by making a fool step. The advisor can be a specialist in a particular product. Depending on the clients, an advisor can pitch a product that is beyond the scope of the client like selling pension schemes to a private client can be a bit difficult.
Different roles of a Financial Advisor
financial advisors can be your financial planning partners and at the same time, they are product specialists. For instance, you are planning to retire after 15 years and you want to send your child to study in a private university after 10 years. To achieve this goal, you have to plan out your finances and you need a skilled professional with a license to advise people. By hiring a financial advisor, you can turn your dreams into reality.
With help of a financial advisor, you can plan and make arrangements and can think of how to collect all the money for the education of your child. You will discuss how to save money, what types of accounts you may need to secure the funds. What kind of insurance policy[i] you should consider? And to plan all the taxation throughout the period.
A financial advisor is not only an advisor he also educates people on how to invest their money and make better decisions for the future. This process may include a detailed study of financial topics. It is a key responsibility of an advisor to teach their client about the prospect of losing their money over investment. On the other hand, if they take a great risk then the reward will be beyond their potential.
At the corporate level, a financial advisor is responsible for the profit and loss of a whole company. For the companies, they can provide a second thought on development projects. For example, if a company wants to expand its operations across the border by building a new factory, then a financial advisor can help to make the feasibility report of this operation and can predict the future of the company. When the advisor’s opinion is included in the report then they can present it to the higher management for further working.
A financial advisor may have these typical duties as given below:
- Market Analysis
- Market Research
- Recruitment of clients
- Solicitation of clients
- Assessment of client’s needs
- Recommendation of strategies
- To execute the strategies
- Monitoring the accounts
- To identify new prospects and opportunities
- Follow the rules and regulations of different commissions
Salaries of Financial Advisors
An independent financial advisor typically charges a fee from their clients. It depends on what type of advice they are asking for and how big the entity is. Those who work for a company or a firm, are often paid a salary with bonuses according to their performance. Their annual median salary ranges from approximately $80,000 to $90,000. The top 15% annual salary ranges from $195,000 to $200,000 and the bottom 10 to 15 percent annual salary range is from $40,000 to $50,000.
Qualifications Required for Financial Advisors
There is no specific study and training that is required to become a financial advisor but you have to be eligible for the post. The eligibility criteria often depend on bachelor’s degrees and certifications.
The minimum education requirement is a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or economics. These are the best building paths for an individual to get started. A master’s degree in business administration, finance, would be a plus and will help to achieve goals. When you enter this field you learn day by day and polish your expertise over time.
A financial advisor who sell bonds, insurance policies, and stocks need to have a proper license. The advisors that manage the investments of their clients should register themselves with the state and other SEC departments. You can have a certification of Certified Financial Planner (CFP) from the Certified Financial Planner Board[ii]. It requires passing an exam conducted by the board.
Skills a Financial Advisor should have
A financial advisor needs to have an updated expert knowledge of the market and current investment strategies. Besides academic qualifications, a financial advisor must have good skills on how to deal with people. Since he has to recruit the clients and offer his advice to the people. There are some of the skills that a financial advisor must have, we have narrowed down them below:
- Analytical Thinking: The job of a financial advisor requires analytical thinking and problem solving during the process of tracking data and predicting the future of the market. He has to be able to project the future of stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments by assessing the current situation of the market. He must be a critical thinker to fulfill the needs of his clients.
- Communication: A financial advisor must be a good communicator and he should know what he is talking about to his clients. Working straight with the clients is a big part of the job. You must be a good listener to thoroughly understand the problems and goals of a client. Sometimes you have to give a presentation to your clients about your plans and strategies and convince them how you can grow their business in a given period.
- Computer-related skills: There are multiple software applications available to track the financial data in the market. A financial advisor should know how to operate computer programs to increase work efficiency. Proficiency in spreadsheets and other accounting and financial software is very important for the job.