As a Florida-based financial advisor for the Miami-Dade, Fort Lauderdale, and Boca Raton areas, getting into this profession was not easy. Financial advisors provide a variety of advice relating to investment strategies, mutual funds, bonds, stocks, and of course retirement plans. Becoming a financial advisor takes a lot of work, but at the end of the day can be a rewarding experience. If you are looking to make this a long-term career, here are some steps that I would advise for you on your path to success.
What should you study?
When entering your undergraduate career, it can be daunting at times to commit to a specific major, especially one a concentration that is for a specific niche. For financial advisors, majors such as fiancé, economics, business, statistics, or similar fields are acceptable in preparing you for your future work. These business background majors will provide you with the foundation and groundwork you are going to need before getting into the business.
Find an Internship
Like every college student, it is important to start building your professional background as much as possible to show diversity and necessary skills for your work experience. As much as academic instructions in the classroom will provide you the foundation for learning, internships or co-op programs will offer opportunities for individuals, especially ones who want to get into finance, to gain real-world experience. It is important for you to also build up your network and forge those relationships or partnerships. This can lead to mentors, letters of recommendation, and even sometimes a possible career opportunity after graduation.
Look for Training Program Opportunities
If possible, try and see if you can enroll and complete a training program for financial advisors. Such programs are incredibly competitive but are worth the work. This will give you the valuable skills and knowledge that will not only prepare you for the licensing exam, but also the job itself. Furthermore, this shows more of a commitment and investment to the career. Keep in mind this is an option step. But having this on your resume can put you in the best possible position especially during an interview.
Certification is one of the biggest hurdles in the field. Usually this requires specialized training or coursework, an exam, and continuing academic courses. Remember having a professional license is required to engage in this business. The following exams you can take are:
- Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
- Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)
- Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
- Charter Financial Analyst (CFA)
Get an Entry Level Job and Build Up Your Work Experience
Once you have passed all of the certification exams and completed all of the previous stated steps, you are now finally eligible to be a financial advisor. Keep in mind that the hours will be long and the work will be tough. Just know that is okay. You are still beginning your career and the learning curve takes time. But do not mistake this ask an excuse to slack off. You want to show both your employer and your clients the work you are capable of and the success that you can produce.