Wondering how to become a financial advisor? Want to land an excellent job with one of the best companies to work for? Keep reading to find out some smart career steps you can take. Financial advisors provide advice relating to investment strategies, mutual funds, bonds, and stocks, and their knowledge is more necessary than ever as Baby Boomers approach retirement.
Becoming a financial advisor takes work, but it can prove extremely rewarding. You have several different options for starting out as a financial advisor. However, all of them involve time, effort, passion for the work as well as a commitment to the industry as a long-term career.
How To Become A Financial Advisor: Top Tips
Evaluate whether you’re cut out for it.
If you’re a numbers person and you enjoy the ins and outs of the finance field, this could be a great avenue for you to pursue career-wise. Many stages of a successful finance career, however, require long hours and an intense workload. Weigh the pros and cons against your own strengths and interests to decide whether this is the right path for you.
Get a bachelor’s degree.
The vast majority of financial advisors have college degrees. So, if you want a professional certification such as a CFP/CFA, having a four-year degree is required for licensing. Your major doesn’t necessarily matter as much as demonstrating your drive to stick with a program as well as meet deadlines. However, degrees in finance, accounting, economics, mathematics and computer science can look especially positive on a resume — so keep that in mind if you’re wondering how to become a financial advisor.
Get your foot in the door with internships and networking.
Seek out an internship that can help you learn the ropes within the business. Or, find an entry-level position at a bank or brokerage. Throughout this work experience, it’s crucial that you gather as much knowledge as you can about what the role entails as well as the various career paths financial advisors can follow.
One rewarding pathway to becoming a financial advisor is via an internship at Charles Schwab. Want to both broaden your experience and enjoy working for a truly stellar employer? Schwab is recognized as one of the 100 Best Arizona Companies and they offer opportunities for both experienced financial professionals as well as those new to the industry — making it an attractive workplace for interns.
Internships also offer opportunities for financial advisors to obtain real-world experience — and, above all, network with others in the field. You’ll gain instruction and insight from mentors working in finance. You’ll also potentially foster connections that will herald job opportunities and positive recommendations down the road.
Get trained and ultimately licensed.
Various certifications are available for aspiring financial advisors, typically after they have accumulated three years of work experience. Certification usually requires specialized training or coursework, an exam, and then continuing education. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) recommends at least one of the following certifications:
- Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
- Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)
- Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
Some specialty areas require licensing. For example, financial advisors who wish to sell insurance must be licensed in their state as an accredited adviser in insurance. Advisors who focus on investments, on the other hand, must register with their state or with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a Registered Investment Advisor.
Find a great job!
If you’re wondering how to become a financial advisor, then you just might find your brightest future at one of the 100 Best Arizona Companies — including Charles Schwab, which is currently hiring for their Financial Service Professional positions.
Charles Schwab stays true to their culture of service, teamwork and seeing challenges “through clients’ eyes.”
At Schwab, it’s not all just about stocks and bonds — it’s about improving people’s lives. To be able to change people’s lives for the better is a powerful purpose that Schwab has embraced throughout the years. It has made them both influential and progressive.
Here’s what the Charles Schwab financial service professional role entails:
- Complete a mix of instructor led classroom training and on-the-job learning (OJL)
- Learn about the unique position Schwab has in the industry
- Perform in a fast paced, inbound service center environment representing Schwab in every interaction
- Practice active listening and open ended dialogue, to gain a thorough understanding of clients financial needs
- Engage clients in discussions involving market conditions, trends and providing investment education
- Care enough to ask the difficult questions knowing that just one question, the right question, can change a client’s future
- Resolve client issues by leveraging technology and business experts within Schwab to identify efficient and effective methods to meet client goals
- Recommend solutions to clients which align to their goals and also promote Schwab growth
- Execute trades