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Financial Advisor – 3rd Best Job in America?

November 1, 2006

Ok everyone please quit sending me emails on how to become a Financial Advisor. I have been bullied enough that I will spill the beans.

According to CNNMoney.com I have the 3rd best job in America. To see the entire list click on this link

Before you run out and decide to change careers let me provide you with my thoughts:
* You have to be good at taking test and going to school
* To be good you have to love numbers (and I mean truly love numbers)
* This is also one of those professions that requires a unique personality mix – you have to be very analytical (to the point that you are truly a numbers nerd), but somehow enjoy talking with and building relationships with others. Trust me there are not many of us out there; most are good at one but not both and that can lead to limited success.
* This is also one of those industries where you are not paid what you are truly worth for a number of years (3 years of experience required for CFP certification & 2 years of experience required for CPA).

If I have not scared you off let me provide you with some good news:
* If you are good you can make very good money (the average pay for advisors’ is $122,462 (according ot the CNNMoney.com research)
* It is quite fulfilling to help others reach their financial goals
* Service industry that allows you the opportunity to be your own boss

There are hard choices to be made:

What type of advisor do you want to be? (Fee-Only, Fee-Based, Commission Based, or Some Combination)

Commissioned Advisors are the Rock Stars of the Group (not always a good thing)- Easy to get a job as a Commissioned Advisor because you do not get paid unless you produce clients and revenue.

Fee-Only Advisors are the Warren Buffetts’ of the Group (slow and steady wins the race) – Harder Nut to crack in the industry because there are not as many, and honestly everyone wants to work at these firms. Typically there is not pressure to generate new clients or revenue while you learn the process and receive on the job training

As you can see I have an opinion on this matter, but I feel that I have the right because I have worked on both sides of the industry.

Next step if you decide to enter this industry:
* Many colleges now allow you to major in Financial Planning (this was not an option when I was in school). This is also great because many of the good firms recruit directly from the school.
* If your school does not offer such a program I personally love working with Accounting majors because to make it through accounting you already show a love for numbers and an analytical personality (the only catch is finding the social accountant in the bunch of dry individuals). Remember that I am an accountant so do not send me hate mail my fellow number crunchers.
* Try to find a good firm to work with and adsorb as much information and training as possible.
* Do not expect to make 6 figures right out of school. Remember like most good service industries there is a period where you are not paid what you are truly worth while you are trained.

Now Good Luck on planning your future!

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