After college, I plan to seek a career as a financial adviser. Financial planner advises investors on how to make the best use of their capital and guide it to greater numerical growth and dividends. Often, investment consultants deal with financial firms such as mutual fund managers, banks and insurance companies. However, a person can choose to partner with either institutional clients or individuals to assist them in meeting their financial objectives and meeting their financial needs. Further they assist their clients to choose a plan for short term and long term goals such as planning for retirement, education expenses for those with children attending college and also recommend investments that match the goals of their clients such as stocks and bonds, real estate investments, and money market (Ross and Calum 10).
A financial advisor is entrusted with tasks such as interviewing their clients and gathering information to help them to come up with strategies for financial investments, prospecting, and maintaining clientele. In addition, they have the responsibility of reviewing the accounts and record changes, explaining financial strategies and plans to clients and getting in touch with their client’s creditors to adjust payments whenever necessary. They also participate in selection of financial aid winners, creating and disbursing funds to the creditors, performing risk analysis and coming up with strategies to mitigate them, handle complaints from clients as soon as possible, and redress them among others (Tan et al. 56).
In this field, a person can specialize in either restricted advice or independent advice. A restricted advisor is restricted to offer advice only on limited investments and products. This happens when a person is hired by a particular financial organization that does not recommend products from other financial institutions. By contrast, an independent financial advisor provides unbiased and unrestricted advice to clients and come from the Independent Financial Advisor. These advisors offer advice after researching thoroughly and analyzing retail investment products keenly. Further, a person can become a personal financial advisor by finding clients and retaining them for a successful financial advisory business (Ross and Calum 19). In this case, a person does not require any additional training but have to be extremely smart in marketing their financial advisory services and set up a complete business model. Personally, I would go for unrestricted financial advisor since it offers more opportunities and is much flexible.
It is expected that the job opportunities for financial advisors will increase significantly compared to other jobs. This is due to the fact that there are a high number of baby boomers who will be seeking retirement in future. Despite the current trend where human labor is being replaced with machine due to improved technology, professional financial advisors will remain relevant even in future. The profession has undergone numerous changes over the years. For instance, during earlier years, the financial advisors were not subjected to the fiduciary rule. However, they are currently subjected to the rule and are expected to observe the fiduciary standards through putting their clients’ interests first when making investment choices and charging the fees (Tan et al. 62). In addition, there have been other reforms such as the introduction of the (RDR) Innocuous Sounding Retail Distribution Review in 2012 in response to the increasing number of miss-selling scandals that had been experienced in the financial services industry. It managed to transform the role of independent financial advisors and eliminated the commission based selling of services.
The profession is also expected to change in future with the improvement in modern technology. For instance, through technology it will be possible to merge offline and online services hence improving the advisor-client experience through the use of client related tools. Technology will also pressure firms to increase the human labor with ample knowledge on financial services to gain an added advantage over their competitors (Ross and Calum 22). Furthermore, there is a current trend where people are shifting away from pension plans managed by companies to employee-directed retirements saving plans. Hence, more individuals will be seeking advice on the best financial plan to purchase for their needs. It is also expected that financial advisor will go beyond financial investments to become professionals, which in turn will lead to evolvement of compensation to ensure advisors run profitable businesses.
A financial advisor has a range of certifications from which they can choose their specialties. These certifications are proof that the financial advisor has met rigorous ethical, professional and competency standards. Some of the certifications for financial advisors include Certified Estate and Trust Specialist, which focus on asset allocation and estate planning and Accredited Tax Advisor, which gives a person the ability to solve more sophisticated issues relating to tax planning. Others include Accredited Retirement Advisor, which specializes in planning for older people, And Certified Private Wealth Advisor which deals with clients possessing high net worth portfolios (Chiu, Tzu-Kuan 219). A well-known credential is the (CIMA) Certified Investment Management Analyst certification program which deals with financial professionals who wish to attain competency in advanced investment consultant and can give a person competitive advantage. (CFP) Certified Financial Planner board of standards certification is also crucial for financial advisors who wish to prove their ethical, professional and competency while offering financial planning services. Licenses can also give a person a competitive advantage in the job market (Chiu, Tzu-Kuan 220). However, these licenses differ depending on the state residence and type of asset a person wishes to handle. For example, a financial advisor who wants to sell securities such as corporate bonds has to pass series 7 licensing exam administered by FINRA Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The body which writes and enforces rules as well as those of the federal securities laws and regulations.
A bachelor’s degree is fundamentals to becoming a successful financial advisor. However, a master’s degree and doctorate can give a person a competitive edge. A master’s degree gives an advisor the skills to effectively manage risks and evaluate information critically using financial methodologies and models (Ashiku et al. 35). A person may take a master’s degree as a master of business administration (MBA) focusing on finance or a master of science in finance (MSF). By contrast, a doctoral degree gives a person in-depth understanding of new development in areas such as efficient corporate decision-making. It is offered as Ph.D. either in business administration or as Ph.D. in finance. Further, if, a person wishes to take a course in any area and there is no School around or needs to be flexible, they can take accredited online courses that also are crucial in assuring a person a competitive edge.
Some of the international organizations that a financial advisor should be a member of including the Financial Planning Association (FPA), which is a definitive association for CFP. Another organization is the Society of Financial Service Professionals, which is an association with more than 11,000 members worldwide and only requires that a person have a current credential such as CLU or CFP. The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors is another international organization that a person may join if one is a financial advisor. Further, if a person charges their planning services and do not receive any commissions, they may join NAPFA the national association of personal financial advisor, which was formed specifically for that type of financial advisors. A person may also register with the securities exchange commission (SEC) to aid in easy verification of your certification by people seeking your services (Chiu, Tzu-Kuan 220). For the aspiring financial advisors, a group such as NexGen can be a useful association to join. While in college, a person can join the financial planners association, which is a student organization, affiliated to financial advisors. In San Antonio, a person can join the local association called the San Antonio, Texas free only financial advisors network.
There is a strong demand for financial advisors all over the world. Besides, the demand for qualified financial advisors is growing at a higher rate due to the increasing number of people in need of financial advice. Further, most Americans are in need for personal financial advisors and are mostly demanding for those with CFP certification. According to a recent career cast report, financial advisor positions are one of the positions on high demand (Ashiku et al. 55). In the United States, states such as Florida, Illinois, San Antonio, New York, California, and Texas have the highest demand for personal financial advisors as well as the highest level of employment.
I would like to live and work in the state of Texas specifically in San Antonio. Currently, there are 12, 660 employed financial advisors in Texas and the demand for the same is the very high. The unfilled positions of financial advisors in this state are estimated to be around 1000 posts. The growth in demand for the services of advisors can be attributed to the fact that people have become more cautious and need to plan for the future just in case something unexpected happens. Further, the number of financial investors and baby boomer has increased significantly hence resulting in high demand for financial advisors.
On average a financial advisor gets a salary of $ 57,059 per year .The salaries of financial advisors have a positive trend based on the number of years of experience of the person (Payscale.com, 2017). At entry level, a financial advisor who has less than five years of experience can get a salary of $52,000 inclusive of overtime, tips, and bonuses. One with a mid-career with five to ten years of experience gets a total salary of $76,000 while an experienced one with ten to 20 years gets an average salary of $98,000 (Payscale.com, 2017). At late career level, a financial advisor with more than twenty years of experiences gets an average salary of $132,000 (Payscale.com, 2017). The national average salary for a financial advisor is $ 63,200. Some cities such as Boston, Dallas, Columbus, and Philadelphia have average salaries s higher than those of the entire nation while others like Charlotte, Jackson, and Houston have lower salaries than the national average national salary (Payscale.com, 2017).
Some important websites where a person can search for financial advisor jobs include https://www.indeed.com/q-Personal-Financial-Advisor-jobs.html, https://www.forbes.com/…/financial-advisor-jobs-employment-leadership-careers-care, and https://www.glassdoor.com/Job/financial-advisor-jobs-SRCH_KO0,17. My career as a financial advisor will progress through the four levels that is entry career level, mid-career level, experienced level and late career level. For my career path, I would start as an unrestricted financial advisor, then to financial consultant and later become a PMD financial advisor. For the first five years, I would work as an unrestricted financial advisor for five years, the work as a financial consultant for ten years then spend the rest of my career life as a PMD financial advisor. I intend to pursue this career for at least thirty years before retiring.
I would like to work and live in San Antonio Texas. This is because there is high demand for financial advisors in San Antonio. The company I would like to work for is the Merrill Lynch in San Antonio. I like this company because it offers wealth of knowledge and management experience through the PMD program (Chiu, Tzu-Kuan 222). The program is geared towards developing knowledge and the critical skills for building an efficient wealth management practice. The other reason for selecting Merrill Lynch is that it has all the qualities that I would look for in a company before becoming its employee. For instance, the company identifies and develops diverse talents in their employees, its career paths offers independence, and makes a meaningful difference in the lives of its clients hence creating a sense of fulfilment in the employees, which are important factors for me when seeking a company to work for (Chiu, Tzu-Kuan 225). Other important factors include providing a successful career path, a culture of achievement, and a company that offers opportunities for their employees to advance in their career. Some companies that are hiring in my include companies like Merrill Lynch, BB&T, investment professionals, CUNA Mutual Group insurance ,the Ayco company and Barnum Financial Group.
I have concerns about entering into this career. First, the financial industry is affected by external shocks such as global geopolitical uncertainty and has high risk of systematic shocks. Secondly, the career could be affected by the changing United States political landscape and regulatory environment making the income uncertain (Chiu, Tzu-Kuan 230). Thirdly, the career is affected by market volatility, which is hard to manage, and affects business. A reservation I have about the job is that the job is demanding, as it requires a person to manage the expectations of each client. In addition, it requires you to get emotionally engaged with all clients which a difficult task to do, and there is sense of loneliness in the career, and lack of group support as a person has to work alone in most cases.
My second career option is being a sales manager. This career relates closely to a financial advisor, which is my dream career and hence makes a perfect alternative. In case I pick this option, I would advance and become a national sales manager. In case I do not get a job as a financial advisor, there is a lot I can do with my degree. For instance, I can open up a business of my own using the knowledge acquired in school or go for other careers that relate to financial advisor. Some of the other jobs that I can pursue with my degree include, marketing, product management, accountant and bank branch manager.
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