How to Become a Financial Advisor, Which Degree You Need

If you make a phone call or schedule an in-person meeting, make sure you walk away with something signed by you and your advisor via email or physical paper. Whether you send an email, place a call, or set up an in-person meeting, make sure to communicate your desire to end the relationship clearly. Be patient if they are hesitant to disclose certain information or if they choose not to follow your recommendations. Remember that your role is to support and guide them, not to dictate all of their financial decisions. Entering into a business relationship with your friends and family can be a delicate balance to manage. When discussing their finances, be sensitive to their concerns and tailor your advice to their unique needs and preferences. At first, it might be difficult for them to transition into an advisor-client relationship.

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It takes hard work and dedication to become a financial advisor without a college degree. Then, educate yourself through online courses and certifications, obtain necessary licenses, and gain experience with internships and entry-level jobs. Consider pursuing a finance degree later on to expand opportunities and deepen your specialization. Once you’ve started working as a financial advisor, pursuing higher education can offer new opportunities for professional growth — be it to broaden your career path or to specialize further. The fiduciary standard — the rule stating that financial advisors must place their client’s interests before their own — isn’t always as clear-cut as it sounds. Consumer protection advocates have long been pushing for a more strict and clear fiduciary standard across the industry.

Robo Advisors

That means you’re going to need a financial advisor at some point—someone who can explain complex investments in ways you can understand. Choosing the right financial advisor is daunting, especially when there are thousands of financial advisors near you. We make it easy by matching you to vetted advisors that meet your unique needs.

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There are also robo-advisors, which can be used for building and managing your investment portfolio. They’re typically more affordable than using a real-life advisor and have low starting balance requirements, but they’re also less comprehensive and personalized.

While there are no specific educational requirements you must meet to be a financial advisor, your advice won’t be worth much if you have no credentials whatsoever. Financial advisers were paid by commissions sent their way by the makers of the products they steered their clients into and taken from the client’s funds. These commissions were not only upfront but also ongoing each year, meaning they ended up costing clients a lot. A good adviser should be able to advise you on any big financial decision in addition to managing the details of your portfolio.

Your retirement is too important to stick with an advisor who’s not living up to their side of the deal. When you meet with a planning-based investment professional , you can expect them to answer your questions fully—no dodging and no sales pitches.

This dual registrant will work as a fiduciary when building a financial plan,  but then switch hats and work under the lesser brokerage firm standard of advice called Best Interest when selling financial products. Is the advisor required to affirmatively tell the client when they have switched hats and are working under the lower regulatory standard?

Read more about Legacy here. “Just about anyone can use the title ‘financial planner’ but many of them may not be required to put your best interests first.” Because of the typical fee structure, many advisors will not work with clients who have under $1 million in assets to be managed. The fees an advisor would receive for those smaller accounts just aren’t worth the time it takes to manage a portfolio properly.

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