Financial Advisor Training
Financial advisor training usually begins with the completion of a four-year college degree. Financial advisors are licensed professionals tasked to counsel clients on financial matters such as investments, retirement, college education, insurance, and estate planning. Those aspiring to join the field would therefore do well to equip themselves with no less than a bachelor’s degree, with focus on an analytical or business-related discipline. They can even strengthen their knowledge and skills base by pursuing a graduate degree in finance or business.
Financial Advisor Training and Academic Requirements
Adequate and high-quality financial advisor training and education prepare aspirants to undertake the duties and demands that accompany an investment management career.
While not mandated, most employers favor applicants with college or university degrees. Degrees in accounting, finance, economics, business, mathematics, and law are deemed most appropriate for those wishing to build a career in financial advising. Students may also attend classes in investments, taxes, estate planning, and risk management, and sign up for a financial advisor training program.
On the other hand, a good number of aspirants use their previous work experience in related fields such as securities, financial services, insurance, accountancy or law to launch a second career in investment management.
Financial advisors need above-average mathematical, computer, analytical, and problem-solving skills to serve their clients well. They must possess excellent communications skills that will enable them to clearly explain complicated financial theories and strategies to clients.
A Master of Business Administration or Master of Science in Finance program is highly recommended to students or even practitioners wishing to undergo advance, intensive training. Requiring at least 30 credit hours on top of a student’s bachelor’s degree studies, these programs feature in-depth analysis of case studies as well as subjects in financial modeling, business law, leadership, corporate and international finance, and global economics.
While not a prerequisite to employment, certification can enhance one’s chances for professional advancement and boost one’s financial advisor salary. Many financial companies also strongly recommend it for their employees. Practitioners may apply to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), both of which serve as proof that they have undergone extensive financial advisor training programs.
The CFP Board of Standards confers the CFP designation only on advisors who have accumulated relevant experience, completed financial advisor training and academic requirements, taken and passed a comprehensive examination, and continuously adhered to an enforceable code of ethics.