How to Become a Financial Advisor

How to Become a Financial Advisor

  • February 14, 2021
  • Written by : Elizabeth Beall

Financial advisors are often seen as simply a professional who manages money wisely and provides advice based on experience and acquired knowledge.

What most don’t know is that there are actually many different kinds of financial advisors with varying skills and areas of expertise, who offer services ranging from wealth management to Robo-advisors, to financial planners.

If you are interested in becoming a financial advisor, we suggest that you know and understand exactly what it means to hold this title, what is required of you, and what level of experience is necessary or expected; knowing these will allow you to become a successful professional in this industry.

What is a financial advisor?

A financial advisor is so much more than a professional who hands out financial advice. An advisor will help you look at your previous, current, and future standing, and layout a customized financial plan allowing you to see the best ROI (return on investment).

More specifically, financial advisors have varying skill sets, meaning each individual may offer a different opinion, strategy, and category of services.

What does a financial advisor do?

With this job, according to Investopedia, a professional is expected to help you make decisions about what you should do with your money, which may include investments or other courses of action.

Investopedia provided a great summary of the key responsibilities of a financial advisor; we concluded that a financial advisor will have many responsibilities, including but not limited to executing trades in the market, using their knowledge to create customized financial plans, optimizing savings, and budgets, and providing tax strategies.

How to find a financial advisor

We like to suggest two major tactics here: (1) use an online advisor search such as the Garrett Planning Network or (2) ask your friends and family for a trusted suggestion.

Above all else, do not forget to strategically compare your options based on pricing, offerings, customer service, level of experience and expertise, etc.

How much does a financial advisor make

Forbes explains that the industry annual wage average for a financial advisor ranges from $125,000 to $166,000+.

How much does a financial advisor cost?

According to Smart Asset, when hiring a financial advisor, you can expect to pay a “flat fee of around $1,500 to $2,500 for a financial plan, 1% give-or-take of your assets under management, and fees and compensation that tie along into this.”

How to become a financial advisor

To become a financial advisor, there are five main steps in the process:

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree or higher. The higher the educational background, the better.
  2. Continue your education. Whether you choose to have a mentor, perform a shadow program, complete an internship, or score a job, you should be learning.
  3. Become a Certified Financial Planner.
  4. Decide on your particular area of interest and expertise, and acquire the necessary certifications and licenses for this practice.
  5. Practice. Always seek to evolve your skillset to stand out in a competitive market.


What kind of education do I need to become a financial advisor?

A bachelor’s degree is necessary to begin in this field. Your success as a financial advisor will depend solely on your level of expertise and experience. If you are a marketing major and a wise money manager, you may perform just as well as someone who is a college graduate with a finance degree. However, you should continue your education by retaining licenses, certifications, and more.

Do I need a license to be a financial advisor?

While no license is truly required to become a financial advisor, one or more licenses may be required to sell investment products such as stocks and bonds.

Are there certifications required to be a financial advisor?

As for most careers, financial advisors also have the opportunity to continue their education through a number of certifications, classes, and courses. One of the most reputable and common of these is the Certified Financial Planner Certification conferred by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards in the United States.

It is highly recommended that advisors continue to grow their skillset to compete in a booming and competitive industry.

How to choose a proper financial advisor?

First, you’ll want to research what kind of advisor is best for you or your situation. To do this, search for specifics. For example, local financial advisor for retirement.

Next, decide whether or not you’d like to interact with your advisor virtually or in person. Determine what matters most to you: hands-on guidance, patience and strong customer service, transparency, personalized services, etc.

From there, you should have a few options to begin narrowing down with filters such as cost, distance, service offerings, etc. The next step is to meet your financial advisor in person or online to determine if both parties would be a good fit. Remember to work with those you trust; that’s why we provide you with strategic, transparent, and efficient financial services.

What are the different types of financial advisors?

There are many different types of financial advisors, all varying in skill level and area of expertise. For example, some focus on retirement, while others focus on stocks and bonds. Here are a few of the most common financial advisors, according to Nerd Wallet:

  1. Robo-advisors, or those who help you invest for retirement
  2. Financial planners, or a professional offering investment management and financial planning
  3. An investment advisor or someone to help you strategically invests
  4. Wealth management, or someone to help you manage a large amount of money

How can I get more leads as a new financial advisor?

The best way to gain more leads is to create a working portfolio and continuously ask for referrals from your clients. Word of mouth is the greatest marketing power. This also includes increasing your 5-star reviews; focus on Google My Business and website reviews.

With all of this knowledge, we are confident that you are on your way to becoming a strong, wise financial advisor. We’d love to support you, whether it be through financial advisor guidance throughout your journey, or financial support to help you get started.


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