Financial advisers work with individuals to assist with investments and other financial decisions. These advisers help clients create short-term and long-term financial goals. Some of these professionals sell products, such as insurance and securities. As of 2008, job growth for financial advisers is expected to increase 30 per cent by 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, before getting started, you'll need to complete a bachelor's degree and pass the necessary exams.
- Skill level:
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Complete a bachelor's program. Employers strongly desire that financial advisers have a bachelor's degree, according to the BLS. Majors in accounting, business, mathematics or finance are preferred. Coursework in taxes, risk management and investments is also helpful.
Consider earning a certified financial planner credential (CFP). After completing your bachelor's education, apply to take the CFP exam. Tests cover investment planning, insurance, tax planning and estate planning. Request study guide materials to help focus preparation efforts.
Contact your state board of licensing. If you plan on selling insurance, you'll need to get licensed with your state department of insurance, according to the BLS. State licensing information can be obtained by contacting the North American Securities Administrator Association (See Resources).
Take care of licensing requirements for selling securities. Financial advisers who sell securities need to get licensed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, also known as the FINRA. Request study guide materials (from the FINRA) to take the series 7, 63 and 66 exams.
Consider applying for financial aid. If you need assistance paying for education and training, complete the free application for federal student aid (See Resources). Completing this application will allow you to apply for student loans and grants to fund your education.
Tips and warnings
- Taking the FINRA exam is costly. As of 2010, the exam cost £162 for each subject area. If the test isn't passed the first time, you'll need to pay the fees again to retake the test.
- Financial advisers work in a stressful environment, according to the BLS. Make sure you're ready to work long hours and put in the study hours to pass the necessary exams.
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