Financial Advisor Qualifications
Although there are no strict educational qualifications for becoming a financial advisor, most entry level positions will require you to have earned at least an associates degree. Most practicing financial advisors have earned a bachelors degree or higher. A wide variety of degrees can lead to a career in financial advising but some are more closely suited than others. A degree in finance, accounting, economics, business, law, mathematics, or computer science can give you a great start. If you want to become a financial manager, you will need to continue on to an MBA. Regardless of your field, courses in investments, taxes, estate planning, and risk management will be very beneficial in a financial advising career. Some large corporations also provide training programs for financial advisors. Many financial advisors obtain professional licensure, which can help to showcase your qualifications and dedication to potential clients.
Financial advisors must possess strong analytical skills. You need to be able to remain aware of complex financial trends and how they will affect your client's investment portfolio. Because you will be constantly working with numbers, you should have excellent mathematic abilities. It is also important to have good communication and interpersonal skills. As a financial advisor, it will be your job to explain investments to your clients, gain their trust, and put their minds at ease.
Any financial experience you've been through can help prepare you for a career as a financial advisor, whether it's working for a brokerage or just refinancing your mortgage. The best way to gain valuable experience is through an internship while still in school. Expect to start at a more entry-level position before gaining enough experience to become a professional financial advisor. It can take awhile to build the necessary qualifications.
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