Financial advisors occupy a unique space within financial services. They aren't usually bankers or accountants but people trained to help other people manage their money, usually savings and investments.
They are also known as financial planners or wealth managers. Each day, they help people plan their financial futures. And sound financial futures are a good thing for everybody.
Question One: Are You Good With People?
The biggest part of being a financial advisor is dealing with your clients. These could be:
Normally, you'll meet clients face to face, but be prepared for interactions over the phone, text, or virtual, sometimes at different times of the day.
On a typical day, you might:
Review your clients' portfolios
Look at market activity or review financial web sites
Check in with your colleagues (fellow advisors or local office leadership)
And of course, be in touch with clients
Does this appeal to you?
Question Two: Do You Have The Right Skills And Training?
A business background typically helps with being a financial planner, or a background in accounting or insurance. It also helps if you are interested or have experience in the stock market.
Are you be prepared to become accredited?
In Canada, the most common credential is a Certified Financial Planner. More info on that can be found here.
I've heard about a Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Is this the same as Certified Financial Planner?
Question Three: Are You Naturally Competitive?
People undertake financial planning in order to achieve a gain in their savings and investments. Successful financial planners want to be seen by their clients as winners.
Are you a competitive gamer?
Do you like winning?
Do you like having a following, and getting "likes"?
The compensation structure can be quite lucrative as it's usually based on a percentage of your clients' financial portfolios. So, the more they are worth, the more you get paid.
Six-figure salaries are not uncommon after a few years.
So, Would You Love This?
The answer is yes if:
you like building in-person relationships with people from all walks of life
you're interested in the stock market and working with numbers
you like to win for yourself and others
If you're not a people person and would prefer a more predictable income stream, being a financial planner is likely not a role for you.
Like what you see so far? Then consider these next steps:
Visit a bank and talk to a financial planner yourself, to get a feel for the role. An easy way to start this conversation would be to approach them as a possible client yourself.
Learn more about obtaining a credential like a Certified Financial Planner designation. Here's a great link to get started, to see the journey you embark on towards becoming a financial planner.