Careers: Financial Planner

Financial Planner CareerMaking Cents: For You and Others

Recently Yahoo! Finance posted a “Dream Jobs: Six-Figure Salaries and a Bright Future” article. Two of the five jobs – advi­sor and analyst – are in the financial industry. The position of financial planner was listed recently in U.S. News and World Report as one of the 20 hottest professions for the future.

Why will financial planning be a hot profession in the future? Two words: baby boomers. They are currently middle aged and in a few years they are set to retire. What that means is that today they need to invest in their future retire­ment and need to make wise choices – choices with which they need help.

What do they do?

Financial planning has usually been associ­ated with the wealthy; however, today (and definitely in the future) financial planners help individuals – regardless of income – plan their finances through investments. They help with current and long-term financial situations. The main aspect of the job is to help each person decide which kinds of investments are best, and advise on both where to put money as well as when to spend it on items like housing, educa­tion, and retirement.

Financial planners can also be teachers by offering learning workshops to provide clients information on how to control their own finances – since more and more people are required to be responsible for their retirement and for rainy-day situations like being laid off or unemployed for long periods of time.

Who should become one?

Those on an alternate career path will find financial planning a good choice since life ex­perience helps in this career. Think about it. You have saved to purchase something expensive like a car or a house, paid for college, and most likely had your share of financial challenges, so all of these provide insight and definitely empathy for clients, which will make you a well-rounded advisor.

To be successful, a financial planner must be familiar with the laws and legal restrictions concerning insurance, retirement plans, tax shelters, and trusts. They must have people and communication skills, technical smarts, and sales acumen, as well as understand compli­cated legal and financial documents. All of these skills can be developed and refined through education.