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Financial Planning Career - Planning Someone Else's Retirement

Show me the money with a financial planning career! If you're considering a career in financial planning then you better enjoy working with numbers and people, more specifically, people and their money. Arm yourself with information found in this article to assist you in making an informed decision.

What is a Financial Planner?

A financial planner is someone who acts as an adviser to his or her clients. They find out what the client's financial goals are and use this information to create a plan. This plan gives clients a roadmap to follow in achieving their financial goals (such as retiring by a certain age, having a certain amount of money saved for something etc.). Contrary to what some believe, a financial planner is a lot different from an accountant, as financial planners advise how to use money, whereas an accountant keeps track of the money.

Financial planners are considered "jacks of all trades" because they must know a lot about the financial world. They must be well versed in stocks, savings bonds and other forms of investments. This does not mean that they do not consult with others, however. Good financial planners also consult with a client's other advisers (lawyers, accountants etc.) to fully understand a client's situation so that they can offer good information. Because of the variety of things they must do, a financial planning career is very intriguing for those who like variety in their day-to-day activities.

What Does it Take to Become a Financial Planner?

A financial planner should have a bachelor's degree that includes coursework in mathematics, statistics, economics, & business. A degree is not a requirement, but in nearly all instances a planner will need the Series 7 and Series 66 or 67 license to conduct business on a client's behalf. These licenses allow them to act as a representative of a securities organization and give financial advice.

What is the Pay?

Financial planners, like many others in the corporate/business world, are usually very well paid. Many financial planners earn at least $55,000 a year, with some pulling in as much as $100,000 or more per year. How much you make will depend on whether you're working for a financial firm or going it alone. Typically, as long as you have a good client base, freelance financial planning is more profitable.

Cautions About Financial Planning Careers

A career in financial planning is not for everyone. Some people are cut out for the work, but others are not. Some of the cautions about financial planning include:

  • The high level of stress. You are responsible for other people's money. You need to be prepared to deal with clients who may be angry with you if their money doesn't work for them as well as they want it to, or if, by some chance, you make a mistake and they lose money.
  • Keeping up with trends. The finance world is constantly evolving. As such, you need to be able to stay with the times and be aware of what's going on so that you can smartly advise clients. This can add to the stress level.
  • If you don't like "sales" then you may want to avoid this career field. Even if you start with an organization they may or may not provide you with any leads. Building your client base will be your responsibility.