How to become a Financial Advisor: What beginners need to know

The country is witnessing a steep growth in opportunities in different sectors, especially the service sector. The services in banking, insurance and finance have gone up. Now is the best time to build your career as a financial advisor if you are interested in this area.

A financial advisor helps individuals or organisations to make decisions related to investment, tax, retirement planning, stock market and money management and helps their clients to achieve their financial goals and prepare an investment plan. Financial advisors need to assess the client’s current financial situation and make necessary arrangements accordingly to achieve this goal. It is a high profile job and will always be in demand in the job market.

How to become a financial advisor?

Let us understand the steps involved in becoming a financial advisor.

Evaluate your skills

You need to have a set of skills to shine in every career. A financial advisor’s job is no different. The first skill you need to enhance is your financial skills. The financial skills include researching and recommending investments for clients, financial planning for specific subjects like education and retirement, offering tax advice, developing short and long term financial goals, and buying and selling financial products such as stocks, bonds, annuities and insurance.

Interpersonal skills are yet another area in which you need to focus when it comes to various financial advisor skills. You will be working with clients who have differences in opinion. You need to gain their trust and build connections with them. Advisors will be dealing with sensitive financial questions. So it is necessary to give proper advice without leading to any conflicts.

Entrepreneurial skills are another skill you need to acquire if you plan to become a financial advisor. As a financial advisor, you will be advising most business people. But if you are not much aware of the business and its various strategies, you are not in a position to give suggestions to them. So sharpen your entrepreneurial skills before becoming a financial advisor.

Pursue an education

A degree in business, finance, accounting, mathematics or law will make you a strong candidate during the hiring process. Employers are also favoring candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree certificate is always an add on to your resume when pursuing a career as a financial advisor.

Work experience

You will agree that experience has the upper hand over education when it comes to a job. When education gives you theoretical knowledge, work experience helps you develop the required skills needed for the job. Most employers nowadays don’t have time to train freshers and so favor hiring experienced candidates. Freshers can apply for various internship programs to gain the desired work experience. You can also work under professional financial advisors, which will give an overview of your duties and how to build your client network.

Get certified

Certifications always help to enhance your resume. Depending upon the field you want to specialise in, you can choose various certifications. The finance field is no different. These certifications show your commitment and drive toward your profession; many certifications require work experience or sponsorship. So you can enroll in these finance certification courses while working or training in finance.

There are plenty of job opportunities waiting for financial advisors in metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru. Financial advisors can set their foot in brokerages, credit counselling firms, financial consultancies, fund managing companies, investment banks, life insurance companies, wealth management firms, etc. Financial advisors have the freedom to work in both the public and private sectors. Some of the top private sector companies hiring financial advisors are HDFC, HSBC, Kotak Mahindra and ICICI. Public sectors like LIC and NIACL are also hiring financial advisors.

The starting salary of a qualified financial advisor is around 3.5 lakhs PA. Your salary will increase once you start gaining more experience. Financial advisors with 15 years of experience negotiate their wages. Self-employed financial advisors can also become successful in their way.

I hope this article gave you an overview of becoming a financial advisor. A financial advisor is much more than an investor and a financial planner. Along with technical skills, soft skills are equally crucial to becoming a successful financial planner.

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