I am looking to get into a career as a financial advisor but I dont know where to start.
Also happy to add my $.02. Explore all the firms and ask lots of questions. I did that and landed right where I belong.
How are you compensated? How do you source your clients? What licenses do I need? Who pays for these? What's the training process? Are you a fiduciary, or are you encouraged to push annuities and insurance first? What types of investments can you offer?
I disagree that your school pedigree or event field of study means anything in the client-facing financial advisor world. None of my high-net-worth clients have ever asked me where I went to school or what I studied. They hired me because I mastered my process, set realistic expectations, and followed through on what I said I was going to do for them.
Call me if you want an unbiased opinion on my own firm and others I've explored. (317) 209-9497.
Check out First Command. They are mostly veterans and retirees and have a fast start program for guys like us. It's what I'm in now. They pay for your training and certification then make the transition as smooth as possible. You hit the gates (sales quotas) and you're in. Hit me up if you want to know more.
I am a Financial Advisor and a Vet. If you would like to talk, please call; 203-861-5934
Anthony as I read through the other replies and your comments I start by asking why you want to be in the financial services industry? Before you leap, how many people have you spoken with who are in the industry? What is it about the industry that attracts you? I have worked with over 5,000 professionals in the industry. The major carriers are always looking for new people as the current population is aging faster than qualified replacements can be found and trained.
Although the major carriers have good training programs only a small percentage of the people hired are still in the industry over a four year period. About 1 in 10 make it. It is important to understand what the agency you join has to offer. For example will you be assigned to work on a team where you can learn and be mentored by experienced, successful producers versus a situation where you sink or swim by yourself with the assistance of a sales manager? Trust me when I tell you the right team is the answer. You will see 4 out of ten people succeed when you are on a team versus one out of ten when left on your own. To find out the answers to these questions you need to speak to current producers. Learn the facts not what you hear during the recruiting pitch. Every agency is different and the answers to the questions I am raising are provided by the local management team. Understand what the thinking and practices are before you decide who to join.
You are trying to decide on what education to get. That is a good step but could be a wasted step if this is not right for you. Financial services is a hard business. The first 3-4 years are 70 hour work weeks. Then it may drop to 55-60 hours. To make real money you need to learn your craft. Prospecting, cold calling, building new relationships, becoming qualified to advise people on their insurance and investment needs, selling, closing business are just some of the challenges. People can make real money and I have personally worked with over 500 millionaires. However, the mountain is high, the challenges significant and it takes years to attain high levels, If what I have said scares you off then I have saved you lots of time. If you like what you heard then this may be the career for you.
I have a couple of thoughts on becoming a financial advisor. The first is that technology is quickly disrupting that industry. The younger generations are turning to "robo-advisors" over a traditional advisor, and your average person out there gets what they need from Dave Ramsey or Susie Orman books, and a free app or website. There has been a huge trend of fee compression in that space over the past 10 years. This will make becoming a successful advisor to the masses out there quite difficult over the next few decades.
There will always be a need out there for advising high net worth individuals and businesses. This can be accomplished by working for companies like UBS, JP Morgan, Goldman, etc. I can tell you that this side of the business is extremely competitive. Going to a school that is online or self paced just isn't going to cut it, unless of course you have a great reason like currently being deployed. If this is the world you want to work in, you need to go to a real university and get a degree in finance or a related field. Then you need to get your CFA or CFP designation (which are self paced). And after that, you may need to go get an MBA or a masters in finance.
As someone else above replied, where you go to school makes a big difference. While something like an Ivy league school may be out of the question, the name and reputation of a school makes all the difference. I strongly advise you not to attend a school like University of Phoenix. I'm sure I will get some backlash for saying it on this forum, but it is not taken seriously in the finance world. In fact, I have personally heard from more that one hiring manager that they frequently have to tell applicants that their company does not recognize University of Phoenix as a valid school. Going the route of a traditional school is your best bet. Good luck.
I'm doing an MBA in Finance at University of Syracuse- Whitman. Its online but I need to do online to keep doing my job in Afghanistan currently. Big name schools are key and Univ. Of Syracuse isn't tier one but is very well connected and is a great program. Rated 11 by Financial Times. Use your GI bill to get the best Finance degree from the best school possible From my outlook over the past two years since I retired from the Army- the school brand is very important. BTW HR is your enemy in the corporate world. They are not connected at all to the job you will do yet will judge you based on the most pedantic and myopic information. Combine that with hiring "managers" who give unrealistic expectations in their job descriptions, go through scores of good people and then settle for the wrong person at the last minute. Most companies are dysfunctional in their hiring practices, I'm struggling to get past HR as they have derailed every effort I've made in spite of successful connections with senior people in the Company. I get endorsed by senior people, do well at interviews, then the final HR interview stops me dead in tracks. If at all possible cultivate connections with people who can override the HR mafia. Every Interview I've gained has been outside HR channels. My job now is high paying and rewarding but its 100% military and their HR is awesome. Unlike what I see elsewhere. If your a vet- HR hates you. I firmly believe that now.
One school to look at is University of Phoenix. It is online and expects a lot of te training credits from military training.
In Michigan you can prepare for and take the insurance licensing exams without having an affiliation with any company. Today you can also prepare and take the new FINRA SIE part 1 exam without broker-dealer sponsorship. What I would do is:
1) Reach out to anyone you may know who is in the business and talk to them about what the career entails.
2) Reach out to a local financial industry association like the society of financial services professional and asked to be connected with someone in the industry.
3) Reach out to the "recruiters" or HR of some of the larger financial services firms in your marketplace, typically they are the ones you see and hear advertisements from in the media.
4) Reach out to pre-licensing education companies to find out how best to prepare for the licensing and registration exams.
5) Reach out to some local colleges or universities that may have financial courses available and talk with the person(s) leading the sessions.
You can of course give me a call to discuss what other ideas that may work for you. Best of luck.
There are a variety of possible options depending on how you wish to position yourself and the type of clients you wish to serve. Happy to provide my thoughts and insight via a call. Let me know.
I am trying to find a school that fits me and offers online classes at a self pace. I'm also thinking of going through Dave Ramseys course as well.
Where are you at in terms of school and certification?
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