Hi, I am likely going to be retiring from Active Duty in the next 10-12 months and I am interested in starting a new career as a financial advisor. I have an MBA, I have always been very fluent in financial topics, I excel at analyzing conditions, and I really enjoy helping others.
What steps can I take now to prepare for starting in this field? Should I pursue additional education and/or training, or is there a way to obtain some practical experience?
As a financial advisor you’ll need to obtain a series 7 license as well as others, but the 7 is the challenging one. It’s just a lot of information as opposed to complex. I’d pickup a series 7 prep book and get a head start on the material and practice tests. You can get one on amazon. The series 7 study guide and practice exams is available there for $38.00. Money well spent.
Many companies offer excellent training programs and often prefer veterans. I became a financial planner as my second career at age 55 ... before that I was a telecommunications executive. You can learn a lot online about investments ... stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities etc. This will give you a head start when you get licensed (Series 7, 66 etc) following separation from the military (your new employer will sponsor you for and pay for these certifications). I admit I have a bias in favor of Fidelity Investments ... great training, focus is on the client and not sales commissions!
By "financial advisor" do you mean RIA/financial planner? Check out the curriculum connected with the CFP program https://www.cfp.net/become-a-cfp-professional/cfp-certification-requirements. (Remember, CFP is a private certification, not a license.)
Also consider working as a para-planner for a financial planner. Make sure your Excel skills are first-rate and that you read all the top financial press. Think about whether fee-only or commission-based work suits your personality. This article might interest you: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2018/01/19/second-career-becoming-a-financial-adviser/#5e82dda01ecb
There are some working financial planners on AdvisorNet, so hopefully they will weigh in. Good luck!
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