How Do I Become a Financial Management Advisor?

D. Nelson

To become a financial management advisor, you first should find out if you can benefit from earning certification awarded by a national institute or agency. If certification is available, you may have to dedicate a number of hours to completing courses and then complete a proficiency exam. Even when advisors are not required to earn certification, many professionals who work in this field do have formal academic training in fields such as finance, economics, and sometimes accounting. Once you have earned the necessary qualifications, your next step should be to find a position in a firm that offers financial management advice.

A financial management advisor provides financial counseling to clients for a fee, commission or a percentage of assets.
A financial management advisor provides financial counseling to clients for a fee, commission or a percentage of assets.

A financial management advisor is a professional who assists clients in managing their finances and creating plans for the future. Advisors normally are employed by firms. They can assist managers and executives of organizations or individuals who need help with pensions or investment portfolios.

Financial management advisors strive to help businesses make better financial decisions.
Financial management advisors strive to help businesses make better financial decisions.

In some countries, such as Canada, an individual who would like to become a financial management advisor first is required to take a number of courses prior to sitting for a certification exam. Subjects covered in courses include market analysis, financial planning and budgeting, and management of wealth. In other countries, certification is not available to aspiring financial management advisors, though academic degree programs can provide students with similar education.

An individual who would like to become a financial management advisor and who does not live in an area where certification is required might want to enter into an economics or finance program. While an undergraduate degree can make you qualified to fill a number of positions in this field, many professionals recommend earning master's degrees. A post-graduate degree can further prepare you for challenges and can make you a more appealing job candidate in competitive job markets.

Communication and computer skills usually are necessary for a person who would like to become a financial management advisor. A professional should be able to communicate complex financial concepts clearly to clients who may not understand jargon or complicated mathematical concepts. Financial software is a common tool in this profession, so it can be a good idea to become comfortable analyzing and composing reports on computer programs.

Once you have received the education and certification or degree that can help you to become a financial management advisor, a good next step is to search for job openings. Many opportunities are not posted publicly, so it can be helpful to consult professors, colleagues, and other professionals with whom you have networked. Sometimes it is necessary to send potential employers cover letters in which you introduce yourself. Even if that employer is not hiring at the time, he or she might remember you in the future when a position does become available.

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