Financial advisors are the working professionals who specialize in providing expert-level financial advice. They typically work with investment planning, tax preparation and correspondence, and insurance contracts. Financial advisers earn their salary by their intensive legwork; meeting with clients in person, having long conversations about financial products, explaining various investment opportunities, and breaking down potential life changing events, such as marriage or children.
Much of the work is in personal advisement. Wealth managers and private bankers are on the personal end, whereas institutional investors work for companies.
Modern Salary Quotes for the Profession
The average advisor made a median wage of over $64,000 in May 2010. The lowest end of workers made less than $32,000 while the highest earners made over $166,000. This is a job that handles wealth and spreads it, when the advisor exercises good judgment.
One factor that might influence salary is whether you are self-employed, employed by one individual or one company. Self-employed workers who offer consulting services are not considered in the median average, and may earn well beyond or less than the typical financial advisor. Correspondingly, they get paid based on a percentage of the assets they handle, meaning great success brings great benefits. However, many get paid by the hour or flat rate, especially if they have a reputation.
Other Influencing Factors
This is a tough job, one that sees full time hours and some weekend and night work. About 24 percent of the total advisor population works over 50 hours per week, since it is such a client-comes-first industry. The most successful career points include major cities like Bridgeport, Fayetteville, New York City and Charlottesville. Large cities attract wealthier people, not to mention big business.
As a whole, the industry is growing and is set to increase 32 percent over the next seven years. Much of the industry is dominated by an aging demographic; baby boomers who are retiring and requiring advice about income and assets. Remember that decreased funding from corporations is a major issue and affects pension plans, directly impacting this profession.
Specializing in a niche is a shrewd move. For example, there are advisors who become financial reporting managers, reporting directors, financial executives and financial reporting accountants. Yes, it is a competitive profession and one in which higher education is practically a prerequisite. Do not underestimate work experience, analytical skills, leadership, and people skills when building a resume.
Start Your Career with a Solid Education
Don’t try to achieve the minimum when aiming for a high-ranking job. Work hard and study intensively, starting with a bachelor’s degree in finance, business management or a related field. An MBA degree is impressive to employers who avoid hiring “qualified” applicants, in favor of applicants who bring more skill sets to the table.
Now is the time to apply yourself. You can pursue a degree from the University of Maryland College Park, UCLA, University of Miami, Ohio State University, or any college of your choice, and start building a successful resume for a future career in financial advisement.