A financial consultant or financial adviser is an expert who offers financial advisory services to customers according to his/her financial capacity. They are often referred as financial planners or investment advisers. In most countries, financial consultants need to complete certain training and also be formally registered with a regulating body to give professional advice. Although not all such advisers are registered but a regulated professional body provides assurance to customers that the adviser is following an ethical code of conduct.
Most Financial Advisors offer a range of financial products such as retirement plans, wealth management plans and investing in stocks, shares and equities. They help individuals make informed decisions about how to invest and what products and funds would suit them best. Professional financial advisors use a variety of financial methods to assess a customer’s needs and preferences so as to create a bespoke financial plan for them. There are also companies which offer insurance-like services such as insurance investing and insurance brokerage. These types of services are usually only available to registered Financial Advisors. The Professional Controlling Account (PCA) is one such plan which allows advisers to manage multiple investments whereas the Wealth Builder Account (WBA) is more flexible in the way that wealth can be invested.
median annual salary for financial advisors typically varies according to experience, education and the type of the industry they work in. Senior advisors earn more money, since they have more important tasks to do. Some of their tasks include negotiating with clients and providing independent research. Junior advisors start off as associates and gain experience by working for professionals in their field. After gaining enough experience, they may opt to become a full-time employee of an investment firm or a brokerage firm. Advisors generally work with clients on the financial products they are planning to buy or sell, helping them to understand the implications involved.
To become a full-fledged financial advisor, you need to have a strong background in finance and in economic policies. At least three years of relevant work experience and at least two years of training on investment strategies are mandatory for these positions. Financial Advisors needs to understand the investment strategies that their clients use. They also need to know how to manage their clients’ funds. In addition to the education and work experience, potential financial advisors need to pass an exam conducted by the FINRA or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Typical duties of a financial advisor include: assisting clients with their investing plans; providing investment advice; providing financial analyses and recommendations; advising clients on asset allocation; and providing information on managed funds and pension plans. Typical charges for these services are hourly wage plus benefits. Some advisors will also bill for travel expenses to and from their workplace.
In order to get started in this field, you must be eligible for the job based on your educational background and work experience. Then you must complete the necessary seminars and training programs provided by the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). After completion of these requirements, you should get certified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. You should pass a test covering the major areas of business finance and accounting. The certification will then be valid in U.S. states.