The Risky & Rewarding World of Financial Advisors: A STEM Career
People work hard to earn and save their money, and figuring out the best way to manage the latter is no easy task. This career option may intrigue you if you are comfortable with the responsibility of managing clients’ life savings and want to reap the rewards of helping them live the life they want to lead.
Financial advisors can earn a myriad of credentials. These include Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and more. Furthermore, a licence or designation is not required in Canada for someone to simply apply the label of “financial advisor” to themselves. This perception of an endless array of designations can cause their value to be tarnished. Some of these titles can be attained in a matter of weeks, while others require years of study. Ultimately, a financial advisor needs to be able to build an esteemed reputation and feelings of trust with their clients.
Communication skills are a must. Be prepared to meet with clients in person in order to help them figure out their goals. In addition to having an in-depth knowledge of investments and financials, you must also be able to clearly and effectively relay this information to clients who are not experts in the field. It is vital that they fully understand the risks involved in different types of investments, from bonds to stocks and beyond. These clients may be looking to retire or fund their children’s education. You are challenged with the task of building a portfolio of investments with the right amount of risk to ensure these plans come to fruition.
You may choose to specialize in certain areas, including retirement and risk management. This can help you make the best decisions for your client. You will have to monitor these investments, prepare reports that can be easily understood by your client, and meet with them at least once a year in order to provide updates and respond to queries.
Although financial advisors usually work in an office setting, approximately one quarter of people in the field are self-employed. This allows for greater flexibility and opportunities, but also presents challenges in securing clients. In addition to visiting clients during evenings and weekends, you will likely be going to conferences and teaching classes to boost your reputation. Nearly one quarter of financial advisors work in excess of 50 hours per week.
According to PayScale, financial advisors in Canada earned an average salary of $47 885 annually in 2016. The national salary range was $34 731 to $65 422, with commissions as high as $45 615. It was noted that financial advisors typically have less than 20 years of experience in the field.
From helping clients plan the road ahead, to aiding their offspring in preparing for their own lives, financial advisors carry a great burden of responsibility. With this responsibility also comes the opportunity to have a massive impact on people’s lives. You are building the foundation for their future.
Banerjee, Preet. ‘Financial advisers’: What exactly do they do? http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/not-all-financial-advisers-are-created-equal/article14028573/
Myers, Cynthia. The Starting Salary of a Certified Financial Planner. http://work.chron.com/starting-salary-certified-financial-planner-1121.html
PayScale. Financial Advisor Salary. www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Financial_Advisor/Salary
Sokanu. What is a Financial Advisor? https://www.sokanu.com/careers/financial-advisor/