Financial planners offer financial advice or guidance to the clients based on their financial situation. Depending on the license they hold and training they have had, they provide customers with investment products and services, and money-saving tips. From income tax preparation to investment management, and from estate planning to financial risk management, financial advisers provide many different services.
Financial planners are majorly categorized into four different types:
Registered Investment Advisers: They are independent advisers associated with firms that are independent of insurance companies, brokerage houses, large banks, and financial institutions. Unlike other planners, they offer advises for more complex financial needs.
Commissioned: Also referred to as brokers, agents of broker-dealers, or registered representatives, they sell you financial products with the motivation of quotas and commission.
Fee-based: Fee-based financial advisers not only earn commission from the fee paid by their clients, but they also get payments through the compensation from the products, including mutual funds with higher costs and up-front sales loads.
Fee-only: They are registered advisers with the fiduciary responsibility to act in client’s best interest. They don’t accept a commission for selling an investment or insurance product and only charge fee by a percentage of assets managed.
A career in this field is one of the few where the pay is high, and employment opportunities are expected to grow. However, there are a few things which you must keep in mind before getting a job as a financial planner.
If you don’t have sales ability, then the job is not for you
Certain jobs require candidates to have a specific skill-sets so that they can become assets to the organization. As a financial adviser, you should possess excellent sales skills to expand your network. No matter how great you’re at providing financial advises, at the end of the day, you’ll have to go out and bring in new clients by calling, emailing, meeting in person, public speaking, referrals, seminars, and many other forms of marketing. If you don’t have a knack for pursuing clients to buy your company’s products and services, then you’re not fit for this job.
Don’t go for commission-only positions
Many firms offer commission-only positions where they encourage you to sell investment products and insurance to your close ones. If the products or services don’t work out for them, then it can ruin your relationships. Besides this, the turnover rates for these positions are quite high. So, it’s likely that you would leave quickly. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get success as a financial adviser when opting for such jobs. Just keep the odds in mind and acquire a sound knowledge of the products and services that you’ll be selling.
This job can be gratifying
As a financial adviser, you provide financial guidance to people who are dependent on their savings to lead a healthy and long life. Your advice helps them save hundreds of thousands of dollars over their lifetime and gain a comfortable retirement, and nothing can be more rewarding and gratifying than this.
It’s a dirty business
The industry of financial advisory involves cut-throat competition. As the money is lucrative in this field, many advisers play dirt and try to poach each other’s clients. To do so, they don’t even hesitate in stretching the truth and doing unethical things. However, these cheap tactics are less used now as the industry is heavily regulated by both Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), but you need to be careful.
These were a few things that you should keep in mind before becoming a financial adviser. Know about the organization you’re getting associated with and gain a deep insight of its products and services so that you don’t encounter any setbacks in the future. To get a job in the finance industry, you’ll also need to develop some skills, including interpersonal, analytical and problem-solving, technical, communication, and creativity.
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