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A college education is required by most financial planning firms. It is possible to work in this field without a college education, but the earning potential and the competition for jobs makes a college education essential. Financial planners need to be excellent communicators who can paint a picture for their clients of the financial future with their investment strategies. Degrees in fields like economics, accounting or business can be helpful, but other fields like psychology and communications are also excellent preparation for a career in this field.
Financial planners need to be licensed to recommend securities and other financial products to clients. The financial services industry is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Financial sales representatives need to pass a series of licensing exams that test their knowledge of the financial services industry. Passing a national and state licensing examination is usually required. Preparation for these exams can take many months of full- or part-time study. Aspiring advisers who begin preparing for these while in college will have
a leg up on the competition.
Many financial firms invest a considerable amount of time in training advisers in the practical aspects of the job in addition to the financial and regulatory requirements. Financial planners complete training in how to introduce certain financial products to clients. Depending upon the company, financial planners may receive training lasting several months or minimal training lasting a few days or weeks.
Aside from having excellent interpersonal communication skills, financial planners need a good understanding of math and statistics. They need to be able to use advanced financial planning software such as Finance Logix Retirement Planner, WealthTec Foundations, Ibbotson Portfolio Strategist and SunGard PlanningStation. Other software such as customer management software, spreadsheets and accounting software are also essential to the daily activities of financial planners. Financial planners need to be personable and trustworthy. An extensive background check is required to obtain a license to work in this field. Having a poor credit history or a criminal history can prevent you from getting hired as a financial planner.
Category: Personal Finance