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Career profile Financial Advisor

Also known as Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Financial Advisor, Financial Consultant, Financial Counselor, Financial Planner, Investment Adviser, Investment Advisor, Portfolio Manager, Wealth Advisor

Financial Advisor

Also known as Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Financial Advisor, Financial Consultant

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
  • Social
Pay Range
$44,100 - $208,000+ (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Interview clients to determine their current income, expenses, insurance coverage, tax status, financial objectives, risk tolerance, or other information needed to develop a financial plan.
  • Recommend to clients strategies in cash management, insurance coverage, investment planning, or other areas to help them achieve their financial goals.
  • Manage client portfolios, keeping client plans up-to-date.
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What does a Financial Advisor do?

Financial Advisors advise clients on financial plans using knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, insurance, pension plans, and real estate.

In addition, Financial Advisors

  • duties include assessing clients' assets, liabilities, cash flow, insurance coverage, tax status, and financial objectives,
  • may also buy and sell financial assets for clients.

What kind of tasks does a Financial Advisor perform regularly?

Financial Advisors are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Interview clients to determine their current income, expenses, insurance coverage, tax status, financial objectives, risk tolerance, or other information needed to develop a financial plan.
  • Recommend to clients strategies in cash management, insurance coverage, investment planning, or other areas to help them achieve their financial goals.
  • Manage client portfolios, keeping client plans up-to-date.
  • Implement financial planning recommendations or refer clients to someone who can assist them with plan implementation.
  • Analyze financial information obtained from clients to determine strategies for meeting clients' financial objectives.
  • Answer clients' questions about the purposes and details of financial plans and strategies.
  • Review clients' accounts and plans regularly to determine whether life changes, economic changes, environmental concerns, or financial performance indicate a need for plan reassessment.
  • Contact clients periodically to determine any changes in their financial status.
  • Investigate available investment opportunities to determine compatibility with client financial plans.
  • Explain to clients the personal financial advisor's responsibilities and the types of services to be provided.
  • Recommend financial products, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or insurance.
  • Prepare or interpret for clients information, such as investment performance reports, financial document summaries, or income projections.
  • Monitor financial market trends to ensure that client plans are responsive.
  • Guide clients in the gathering of information, such as bank account records, income tax returns, life and disability insurance records, pension plans, or wills.
  • Recruit and maintain client bases.
  • Meet with clients' other advisors, such as attorneys, accountants, trust officers, or investment bankers, to fully understand clients' financial goals and circumstances.
  • Devise debt liquidation plans that include payoff priorities and timelines.

The above responsibilities are specific to Financial Advisors. More generally, Financial Advisors are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

What is a Financial Advisor salary?

The median salary for a Financial Advisor is $89,330, and the average salary is $122,490. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Financial Advisor salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Financial Advisors earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Financial Advisors earn less than $44,100 per year, 25% earn less than $59,450, 75% earn less than $157,020, and 90% earn more than $208,000.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Financial Advisors is expected to change by 4.6%, and there should be roughly 21,500 open positions for Financial Advisors every year.

Median annual salary
$89,330
Typical salary range
$44,100 - Over $208,000
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
4.6%

What personality traits are common among Financial Advisors?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Financial Advisor are usually higher in their Enterprising and Conventional interests.

Financial Advisors typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Financial Advisors typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Financial Advisor tend to value Independence, Achievement, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Financial Advisors strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Financial Advisors strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Financial Advisors moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Financial Advisors must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, dependability, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Financial Advisors, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

What education and training do Financial Advisors need?

Many Financial Advisors will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Financial Advisors usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Financial Advisors

  • 0.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 3.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 9.4% completed some college coursework
  • 4.2% earned a Associate's degree
  • 53.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 23.3% earned a Master's degree
  • 5.7% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Financial Advisors

Financial Advisors may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, economics and accounting, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Financial Advisors might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Economics and Accounting
Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

Important Abilities needed by Financial Advisors

Financial Advisors must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Financial Advisors need abilities such as oral comprehension, written comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Financial Advisors, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Critical Skills needed by Financial Advisors

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Financial Advisors frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and writing to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Financial Advisors, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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