Within the ever-changing finance sector, there has never been a greater need for individuals who understand its developments. Indeed, the necessity for professionals who advise clients on the appropriate directions within business and economics is crucial. Subsequently, let’s explore how to become one of those individuals. Specifically, let’s break down how to become a financial advisor.
A financial advisor is a career that allows you to help people make sound and secure financial decisions. The profession calls for your knowledge to help someone plan for their future, or take advantage of investment opportunities to the best of your ability.
Altogether, the career path is a rewarding one but also requires a few steps to be completed before you embark on that journey. Specifically, you will be required to do things like obtain required licenses, and partner with a firm. So, as you begin this journey, let’s provide you with some important guiding points to becoming a financial advisor.
What Is a Financial Advisor?
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Before we decipher how to become one, let’s first delve a little bit more into what a financial advisor does. In short, your role will be one of assistance to an individual financial well-being. Specifically, you will be tasked with guiding clients in the realm of investment, insurance, and financial planning.
You will also help these people set certain financial goals for themselves. This means possibly informing investment opportunities, retirement planning, or managing taxes. Moreover, you will help them navigate some of the biggest changes in their life. Whether that be a career change or a growing family, you are there to help them see it through financially.
Additionally, you will have certain responsibilities that are crucial to understand before setting out on this career. Firstly, you will need to study financial investment and strategies. This is vital to your guidance, as you must have a firm grasp on trends, and investment types, and know the optimal strategy for every situation.
Moreover, you will also be tasked with meeting with a host of different clients. This aspect of financial advising is crucial, and perhaps just as important as the finance side. You are partnering with these individuals. Subsequently, you need to understand their current situation, future goals, and encompassing needs. This way, you are poised to better assist them financially for both today and tomorrow.
Financial Advisor Licenses
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It is important to know that financial advising is a wide-ranging term that constitutes many different types. Although many advisors are finance experts who have acquired licenses that allow them to aid clients, there are also more specific advisors. Among those are clients who focus on financial plans, investment-centric advisors, and those who focus on one specific security.
However, let’s delve a bit deeper into the various kinds of licenses that you could acquire as a financial advisor. These will be acquired through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and have many different types. Moreover, each type has different requirements that you must reach to be eligible for one. However, all feature exams and education necessities to obtain one.
Firstly, there is the Series 7 license, which is the General Securities Representative Qualification Examination, and the Series 6, which is the Investment Company and Variable Contracts PRodcuts Representative Qualtifiaciotn Examination. These two are similar, as the 7 is the standard exam that allows someone to be a stock broker or trade securities. Moreover, 6 additionally allows you to sell mutual funds and other variable annuities.
Additionally, there are three primary licenses; Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66. Firstly, 63 is the Uniform Security Agency State Law Examination, which is required to sell securities in various states. Then, the 65 is the Uniform Investment Advisor Law Exmasinoatoino, which allows individuals to become investment advisor representatives. Finally, the 66 is the Uniform Combined State and Law Examination and combines both previously mentioned licenses.
How to Become a Financial Advisor
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Now, let’s explore how to put these all together and begin a career as a financial advisor. Firstly, you will need to get a job. This is the first step, and it is vital because this job will need to sponsor you as you set out to acquire the necessary licenses. Some firms take people with no finance experience and train them, often relying on sales skills and related talents.
Then, you are going to need to Pass the Exams. This is again vital because it will grant you the necessary licenses to begin to take clients. Additionally, this step is a little nuanced, because it requires you to pass exams and gain licenses connected to your field. However, most first pass the Seris 7 exam, and then continue to seek specific service licenses.
Thereafter, you will be required to have a thorough background check completed. This step in the process is a key part of the registration process for new financial advisors. Moreover, the process will be coordinated by the firm that employs you but can still take a substantial amount of time. Until the process is complete, you should be able to work as a financial advisor, so long as you are under the supervision of a licensed broker.
Book of Business
Once you have acquired the necessary licenses, and are working for a firm, you will want to work up the clients you partner with. This is an incredibly important process, as it will come to define your past success in the field. Moreover, this is called a book of business for financial advisors.
You will want to work on building a book of business. This part of the process is crucial to your success in this field. Any good financial advisor will likely tell incoming advisors that a strong book of business is of the utmost importance. This will display your clientele, and showcase the individual businesses that your services have helped. Yet, building this book is important, but also very difficult. It takes time, effort, and endless learning.