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How to be a Personal Financial Adviser

Career News August 26, 2013

Joseph P. Kennedy, father of JFK, was often accused of having inside information because he voided himself of all stock holdings in late October in 1929. In his defense, he said that he was getting his shoes shined, and the shine man was giving advice and other people in the chairs were listening intently. His statement was, words to the effect, when a shoe shine boy gives stock advice, and it is listened to, it is time to get out of the market. His instincts were right.

The point being, financial advisers need to have education and experience to be able to do the job. Today, we may be in a situation similar to his. CNBC and Fox Business have made some people feel like they know more than they actually know. So, coming into this environment someone may find it difficult to become a financial adviser. However, a solid college education will prepare you, and educate you as to what millions of other “followers” do not really know.

What Kind of Education Do You Need?

It is obvious that you would need the gravitas of a bachelor’s degree, but that is only the start. You need to be intimately familiar with Eliot Waves, as well as other forms of prognosticative tools. Simple education will not be enough to sway most people to your fold. Continuing and on the job education from a broker will also be necessary. You have to be able to make money yourself to create a client base. Professional journals and some mainstream information will also be helpful. Knowing history will be helpful too, especially how government intervention has affected the markets.

Any accredited school would be appropriate, with the understanding that certain schools have more prestige, even though the education may be exactly the same. Any school with a business school is a starting place, and there are also bachelor’s and master’s degree courses available. You should also look at a school that has a significant focus on interpersonal skills, probably as strong of a tool as any you will have.

What Are the Requirements to Be a Personal Financial Advisor?

The requirements vary from state to state, so hard rules are difficult to make, but, for the most part, you set the requirements. Aside from basic education, you can seek certification and some states do require licensure. As you advance in the profession, you can specialize in various areas such as insurance, securities, retirement and estate planning. The more varied your areas of expertise, the more money you can make, naturally.

There is almost no way that you can put up an individual shingle without, at least, some work time. Working for a broker or insurance company might pave the way for you to work as a personal financial adviser at some point. It gives you training, a place to establish a success record, and access to the latest training, mostly free of cost. Working for someone else also lets you find strengths you may not know you had, such as an affinity for the Asian markets. It’s difficult to simply start as a personal financial advisor, without having the work experience that clients’ desire.

As with any competitive industry, you will need to create a way to set yourself apart from the madding crowd. You may try to write a column in a local paper or get on any number of various self help radio shows in your area for publicity. Creating your own clientele allows you to become an independent advisor, which allows you to set your own goals and working hours, giving you a significant ability to create a life style that you desire. It all comes down to your taste for risk and the need for independence. These are also two words synonymous with the profession.

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