School and Career Surprises: Tips From People on the Job
Each comment from a financial advisor includes their career and school ratings.
Career: "I was surprised by how difficult it was to get the certifications to be a financial adviser and how much work it was going to be. I was also surprised how much confidence you need to have in yourself for others to trust you with their future."+/-
Career: "I was surprised how salesy it is. The first few years is more about selling yourself and your services and less about actually planning and managing people's money. Having a basic selling skills class in college would definitely help people prepare for a career as a financial advisor."+/-
Career: "I was surprised the amount of technical skill that is required to be a financial adviser. In order to be able to buy and sell the financial instruments for the job, I was surprised at all the licensing exams that I had to take in order to be able to do the work required."+/-
Career: "I was really surprised by how much freedom I had on the job. I expected it to be a tight cubicle office type job but it really has it's space to move around. Once you get established you can start your own practice if you choose."+/-
Career: "I was most surprised by the amount of work it takes to obtain and maintain clients. It consists of fostering relationships with my clients that involves frequent communication and even house calls. This was not expected when I entered the industry."+/-
Career: "The training for investment management focuses upon developing analytical skills, familiarity with statistical tools, general and specialized financial and economic knowledge, and case studies. However, the difference between success and failure can be found in the management of sources of capital, i.e. clients. For every sharp manager who closed shop due to temporary volatility in asset valuations, there is a mediocre manager who retains funds due to deliberate cultivation of loyalty and credulousness."+/-
School: "I was surprised to find out how well the University of Central Florida had prepared me for my career. Many of the classes that I took were directly related to my field. I was given a very broad coursework and it worked out very well."
Career: "I was surprised at the amount of people skills that is needed to perform this job well. I deal with clients on a daily basis."+/-
School: "I was surprised that The University of Illinois was so research-focused considering their academic reputation. If you have the money and the grades, go to a private college."
Career: "I was surprised at how much less I was paid then my male counterparts. However, this was temporary and as I proved myself I was rewarded with a lot more perks."+/-
Best & Worst Things About This Career
As reported by people currently doing the job
"The best parts of my job is meeting different people from all over the country, using my knowledge of investments to help them and also using my knowledge of investments to help myself with my personal investments. I find investments interesting. The investment world is constantly changing. Every day you will hear, "the market is up, or the market is down". Part of my job is interpreting all the economic data and assisting clients on how best to take advantage of the trends in the market. I enjoy this aspect from both a personal and professional standpoint."+/-
"Working with clients, understanding their needs and being able to help them. One of the best parts of the job is receiving a heart-felt "thank you" when you've helped them reach their goals. The job can involve long hours at times, and can be very stressful when the economy and the market falls. It can take you away from your family more than you may like, but is a very rewarding career, both personally and professionally."+/-
Tips for Succeeding in This Career
Helpful info from insiders
"Tip 1 - You will need at least a college degree and more likely a masters degree in Finance or Economics and/or a Certification such as a "CFA" Chartered Financial Analyst Tip 2 - Before you see clients you should plan to spend a number of years assisting those that do see clients. During this time plan to learn more about investments, clients and the job."+/-
"You should have a strong background in finance, math and have great analytical skills. Take as many business, finance and economic classes as possible. Always be flexible. Things can change in a moments notice. You need to be comfortable switching gears quickly. Take public speaking classes. be truthful and honest to your clients. They are trusting you with their hard earned money."+/-