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4 Helpful Tips for Your Start in Finance

By: Andrew Deen


Businessman handshake during meeting, signing agreement for financial investment. Handshake of a manager with mature couple. Happy financial advisor shaking hands with his client after insurance deal.

If you love working with numbers (and people) then becoming a financial advisor could be a great option for you. You’ll have the opportunity to help people plan out their finances and prepare for their future so they can live and retire comfortably.

Getting started as a financial advisor requires training and education. You’ll need to develop certain skills and gain experience before you can start working with clients. Here are some tips for getting started in this important field.

  1. Get the Necessary Certifications and Skills

The good news is that you can become a financial advisor with a 4-year degree. A graduate degree is typically not a requirement, although it’s best to have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, like accounting, economics, finance, or business. These degrees will provide a solid foundation for your career as a financial advisor.

Once you have a degree, you will need to earn a license or certificate. The requirements vary from state to state, although you will almost certainly need to pass an exam. All financial advisors must have education in a number of topics, including risk management, taxes, investments, and estate planning.

As you advance in your career, you’ll gain on-the-job experience that will be extremely valuable. Many financial advisors eventually specialize in areas like wealth or portfolio management. Getting some initial experience will help you decide what you want to specialize in later on.

  1. Understand Average Salaries

Many people believe that becoming a financial advisor is a great way to get a high salary quickly. That’s not quite true—like most jobs, you’ll need to climb the ladder a while before you start making the big bucks. With that said, financial planners can make a good salary and earn an average of $64,000 per year.

The other financial benefit of this career path is the extras you can earn. On top of their base salaries, financial advisors can earn bonuses, commissions, and money from profit-sharing. These extras can add a lot to the final number, meaning that skilled financial advisors can become very successful.

  1. Consider an MBA

Even though an advanced degree isn’t strictly necessary to become a financial advisor, there are a few reasons you might want to consider pursuing an MBA.

If you’re changing careers and getting into the world of finance, an MBA can give you the strong foundational skills in business and finance you need to succeed. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field, getting an MBA can be a better choice than earning a second undergraduate degree.

Another reason to consider an MBA is that the coursework will help you hone key skills, including entrepreneurship, leadership, and strategic thinking. It’s a great degree for anyone who is transitioning in their career! It’s a great personal investment, especially for those considering a career in finance.

There are lots of great online MBA programs that allow for more flexibility, while still delivering a great educational experience. It’s a great option for busy professionals, especially those who are working and going to school simultaneously.

  1. Master Communication to Connect with Clients

You’ll encounter a wide range of clients as a financial advisor. It’s important to be able to connect will all kinds of personalities and build trust quickly. After all, people have to be able to trust you with their money and their future! That’s a big responsibility.

Financial advisors must always work in the best interests of their clients. But that’s not their only responsibility—they have to be skilled communicators and must develop the ability to put people at ease. As a financial advisor, you need to enjoy working with people!

Is the World of Finance Right for You?

Choosing your career path is challenging, whether you’re choosing a major in college or changing careers after years in the workforce. It’s important to be honest with yourself and choose a career that suits your personality, interests, and strengths.

If you can, talk to some financial advisors before you decide to move forward and get certified. They should be able to tell you the pros and cons so you can find out if the career is a good fit for you. Financial careers can be fulfilling, interesting, and well-paid for the right individuals, so get out there and learn as much as you can!

Published: March 30, 2021

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Andrew Deen

Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups in almost every industry from retail to medical devices and everything in between. He implements lean methodology and is currently writing a book about scaling up business. Twitter @AndrewDeen14.

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