People often confuse the role of a financial planner with other similar jobs such as financial advisors. Although there may be similarities between these tasks, there are also some key differences. Financial consultants are usually people who help people manage funds, while financial planners develop personalized financial plans for clients.
The two professionals may also differ in their educational backgrounds and professional titles. Financial planners may also have special areas of expertise. If you are considering becoming a financial planner, you need to consider some key points.
Do you have the right education and skills to succeed? Is this the right career path for you? Read on to learn more about financial planning and take our quiz to help you make a more informed decision.
- Financial planners help people manage their funds while sorting out financial issues.
- Finding customers and building a customer base are critical to the success of financial planners.
- Becoming a financial planner requires a bachelor’s degree, as well as investment, taxation, estate planning, and risk management courses.
- If you are satisfied with sales, are good at dealing with people, have excellent analysis and communication skills, and can work independently, then financial planning may be for you.
- There are often differences between financial planners and financial advisors. Financial planners focus on long-term goals, while financial consultants have a narrower vision and only help individuals manage funds.
Financial planner: basic knowledge
Financial planners help people manage their funds while sorting out financial issues. Just like financial consultants, they help clients set long-term financial goals. These professionals assess the client’s life stage, risk tolerance, and potential investment.
Financial planners also make a living by helping people sort out and choose investments, insurance and other financial products. Since many financial planners also specialize in specific areas, they may provide tailor-made services for their clients. Some of these services include but are not limited to retirement planning, general investment analysis, estate planning, tax planning and education planning.
Get new business
Finding customers who need these services and building a customer base are critical to the success of financial planners, because recommendations from satisfied customers are an important source of new business. Whether you are looking for new customers through seminars or lectures, through social or business contacts, or just through phone calls, you must find them.
Your success as a financial planner depends on your ability to find and retain a client roster.
Having a wide range of social networks is one of the reasons why many successful financial planners enter the field after engaging in related occupations (such as accountants, auditors, insurance sales agents, lawyers or securities, goods and financial services sales agents).
Financial planning employers look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, economics, business, mathematics, or law. Courses in investment, taxation, estate planning and risk management are also helpful. Financial planning courses are becoming more and more extensive in colleges and universities.
Financial analysts may also seek special titles such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Financial Advisor (ChFC) titles.
Normally, working as a personal financial advisor does not require a license, but an advisor who sells stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or insurance may require a license, such as Series 6, 7, or 63. These exams are managed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and in order to take most of these exams, sponsorship from member companies or self-regulatory organizations is required.
Where does the consultant work?
More than half of financial advisors work for financial and insurance companies, including securities and commodity brokers, banks, insurance companies, and financial investment companies. However, many personal financial advisers are self-employed, usually operating small investment consulting companies in urban areas.
Financial planners and consultants make money by charging commissions on the investment products they sell or by charging annual, hourly, or fixed fees for their services.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2020 and 2030, the overall employment rate of financial consultants is expected to increase by 5%, which is lower than the average for all occupations.
This is the result of increased investment by businesses and individuals, an increase in the number of voluntary retirement plans, and an increase in the number of elderly people.
As baby boomers save for retirement and a well-educated and affluent population needs investment advice, personal financial advisors will benefit more than financial analysts. In addition, people are living longer and longer and must plan to fund more years of retirement.
Is financial planning suitable for your career?
Taking this quiz can help you understand:
Quiz: Is financial planning right for you?
1. How do you feel about doing sales?
Answer: I can sell my grandmother a ticket to the SuperNova concert, but there is no guarantee that she will enjoy the show.
B. I can sell that SuperNova ticket to my grandmother, but if she doesn’t like the show, I will feel guilty.
C. Only bad guys will sell SuperNova tickets to their grandmother.
2. Where are you in your life?
A. I just graduated from university.
B. I have been away from school for several years.
C. I have been working in my job position for several years, but I am ready to change.
3. How outgoing are you?
Answer: I am the chairman of almost every club I have joined.
B. I have enough friends to make me happy.
C. A good book, a room of my own, no interruption is my view of heaven.
4. You can be described as:
A. Good at analysis and good at communication.
B. Good at analysis but not good at communication, or good at communication but not good at analysis.
C. Neither analysis nor communication.
5. At work, I prefer to do my job:
A. Completely independent
B. A bit independent.
C. As part of the team.
6. What attracts me most to becoming a planner is:
A. The challenge of building a customer base.
B. Start my own business.
C. Investment analysis.
7. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income of financial consultants in 2020 is $89,330. What is your opinion on this?
Answer: I have never been average, and my income will exceed the median.
B. That works for me.
C. Working for a commission will only make me nervous.
If your answers are mostly As, then financial planning may be the right career for you. The idea of earning a lot of rewards through commissions makes you energized, not afraid. If you have the right connections and energy to work on this network, you can succeed in this difficult career.
If your answer is mostly B, then you need a backup plan.Financial planning may be effective, but according to William F. Cole, you are likely to be one of 80% of planners Complete financial advisor, Engaged in business for less than five years. When sales are unsuccessful, what will you do next and how will you sell yourself to the next employer?
If your answer is mostly C, then don’t even think about financial planning. If you like the aspect of portfolio analysis, please consider working as a financial analyst. If mathematics is your strength, go to financial engineering or quantitative analysis. You will make more money without having to sell all day.
Demographics of the financial advisor profession
There are approximately 380,000 financial advisers with an average age of 44.9 years. The average salary of financial consultants is US$143,617; the average salary of male financial consultants is US$165,768, while the average salary of women is US$95,388.
The industry’s estimated 10-year growth rate is 4.41%. The main locations for hiring financial advisors are Murray Hill in New York City, Gramercy and Stuyvesant towns in New York City, Boston Back Bay, Boston Beacon Hill and Charleston. The highest salaries are in Washington, DC, Hempstead, New York and North Hempstead, New York.
The industries with the highest employment rate of financial consultants are securities, commodities, funds, trusts and other financial investments (60.6%), banking and related activities (11.1%) and insurance companies (6.09%).
The workforce consists of 260,000 men and 119,000 women. About 80% of occupations are made up of whites, and then about 7% are Asians.
How to become a registered financial planner?
To become a certified financial planner, you need to complete the CFP certification process and finally obtain CFP certification. Need to pass the CFP Commission registration plan to complete the financial planning course, obtain a bachelor’s degree, and then take the CFP exam, these are the requirements to become a certified financial planner.
Is there a difference between a registered financial advisor and a registered financial planner?
Yes, generally speaking, there is a difference between financial consultants and financial planners; however, there is no financial consultant certification, only financial planner certification. That’s because every financial planner is a financial adviser, but not every financial adviser is a financial planner. Financial planners help individuals and companies achieve their long-term goals. This involves managing funds, making savings plans, helping to buy houses, and helping to plan for retirement. On the other hand, the vision of a financial advisor is much narrower, it just helps you manage your funds.
What should I major to become a financial consultant?
No matter what the profession, anyone can become a financial adviser. However, certain professions help to become a financial adviser. These include economics, business administration, finance, accounting, statistics and other similar majors.