Personal Financial Advisor Washington DC
Personal Financial Advisor Education
Personal Financial Advisors
Overview of Education & Training
Most Significant Source of Postsecondary Education or Training
In-Depth Look at Education & Training
Personal financial advisors must have a bachelor's degree. Many also earn a master's degree in finance or business administration or get professional designations. Math, analytical, and interpersonal skills are important.
Education and training. A bachelor's or graduate degree is strongly preferred for personal financial advisors. Employers usually do not require a specific field of study for personal financial advisors, but a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, economics, business, mathematics, or law provides good preparation for the occupation. Courses in investments, taxes, estate planning, and risk management are also helpful. Programs in financial planning are becoming more available in colleges and universities.
Licensure. Personal financial advisors who directly buy or sell stocks, bonds, insurance policies, or specific investment advice need a combination of licenses that varies based upon the products they sell. In addition to those licenses, smaller firms that manage clients' investments must be registered with state regulators, and larger firms must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Personal financial advisors who choose to sell insurance need licenses issued by State boards. State licensing board information and requirements for registered investment advisors are available from the North American Securities Administrator Association.
Other qualifications. Personal financial advisors need strong math, analytical, and interpersonal skills. They need strong sales ability, including the ability to make a wide-range of customers feel comfortable. Personal financial advisor training emphasizes the different types of investors, and how to tailor advice to the investor's personality. They need the ability to present financial concepts to clients in easy-to-understand language. Some advisors have experience in a related occupation, such as accountant, auditor, insurance sales agent, or broker.
Private bankers may have previously worked as a financial analyst and need to understand and explain highly technical investment strategies and products.
Certification and advancement. Although not always required, certifications enhance professional standing and are recommended by employers. Personal financial advisors may obtain the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) credential. This certification, issued by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, requires 3 years of relevant experience; the com...