If you’re good with money and good at working with people, you might be interested in becoming a financial advisor. Of course, there are multiple ways to become a financial advisor and countless certifications and specializations to pursue.
But whether you’re changing jobs after working for years or you’re just out of college, there’s a clear path to getting into this profession. If you’re interested, read his 6 steps to becoming a financial advisor.
If you’re looking to become an advisor and grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform.
Step 1: Understand What a Financial Advisor Is
A financial advisor is a professional who gets paid to give advice on what to do with money. This person may have various qualifications that allow them to recommend you various financial products or give you wealth building advice. Financial advisors typically help you save more, plan for retirement, and help you invest while managing your risks.
The first step to becoming a financial advisor should begin with understanding the scope of the role. Find out what the role entails and how the role varies depending on the advisor’s background and area of focus. If you know an advisor, ask them about the position and decide if it’s a good fit for you. If you don’t know anyone, start networking. Check out our list of top advisors by state and get started getting in touch.
Step 2: Get an Internship or Job
Your next step in becoming a financial advisor depends on whether you join a financial advisor firm or work with a sole financial advisor. Whether it’s an internship or a job offer, having your foot in the door helps you move through the certification process.
If you are still a student, an internship is a great place to start. The relationships you build during your internship can lead directly to work after school, and can be a great reference when looking for a job.
If you’re looking for a job, look for a company that will pay for your license. It doesn’t matter if you have no financial experience. Many companies are looking for someone with a sales background to sell their services, so if you have that experience, please contact us. If you demonstrate good sales skills, they may be able to provide you with the introductory training you need.
Step 3: Choose which type of financial advisor you want to be
Thinking of one kind of financial advisor is like thinking of one kind of doctor. The truth is that different advisors specialize in different areas. Yet, there are often two common titles among financial advisors: Investment Advisor and Financial His Planner.
A Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) is a professional who assists in the selection and management of investments. They focus on providing investment strategies to help you meet your goals and manage your risks. They are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and are legally obligated to act in your best interest.
A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) takes a more holistic approach. This professional provides investment advice, but also offers services such as budgeting, retirement planning, and inheritance. CFP is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). If they manage clients with over $100 million in assets, they may also be known as Wealth Managers.
Step 4: Get the Required Licenses and Certifications
There are some licenses that you should understand. These licenses are issued by FINRA upon him passing the exam. Let’s look at some of the major ones.
Series 3 License: This license is required to sell commodity futures.
Series 7 License: With this license, you can become a stockbroker or securities trader. To obtain a license, you must work for a FINRA member company.
Series 63 License: If you want to sell securities, you need a Series 63 license.
Series 65 License: This is the license you need to make recommendations and manage your customers’ investments.
Series 66 License: Series 66 is a combination of Series 63 and Series 65. This allows you to sell your securities and manage your client’s portfolio.
In addition to these licenses, if you want to advance your career, becoming a CFP is recommended. CFP certification requires four parts, also known as the four E’s.
education: You must have a bachelor’s degree (or higher) in any field and complete the CFP Board Registration Program courses.
test: Must pass the CFP exam. The exam will have him in two 3-hour sessions, with 170 multiple-choice questions per day.
experience: At least 6,000 hours of relevant professional financial planning experience or 4,000 hours of internship experience with a CFP professional is required.
ethics: A declaration of ethics must be signed and a background check will be conducted by the CFP committee.
Step 5: Build your customer base
Building relationships with customers is the key to success. You need to build and nurture connections with good service. Up to this part of the process, you have built your knowledge. Now is the time to use it to help others.
In addition to focusing on your customers, make connections with others in your adjacent business. Contact a tax accountant or real estate agent and refer the client to that expert. This karma will be returned and we can grow our business together.
Step 6: Continue your education
You may not realize it yet, but being a financial advisor means you’re always in need of knowledge. You should love learning. Regulatory requirements mandate additional education and testing to maintain your license.
Besides regulation, education is a great way to grow your career. For example, you can become a Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) to improve your ability to analyze investments. This new title can be marketed to attract clients with different needs.
If you want to know how to become a financial advisor, know that there are multiple routes. We’ve outlined the six steps here, but your path may not exactly follow this plan. The key is to start down that path.
Tips for becoming a financial advisor
If you don’t know how to become a financial advisor, start by contacting a financial advisor. Finding a financial advisor is not difficult. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors serving your area, allowing you to meet with advisors for free to determine which one is right for you. can. If you’re ready to find an advisor to help you reach your financial goals, start now.
The most important qualification required of a financial advisor is compliance with fiduciary duty. A fiduciary advisor has a legal obligation to act in the client’s best financial interests. Learn how you can exercise this fiduciary duty as a financial advisor.
Photo credits: ©iStock.com/Extreme Media, ©iStock.com/SDI Productions, ©iStock.com/kate_sept2004
This post, How to Become a Financial Advisor in 6 Steps, was originally published on the SmartAsset Blog.