Career Satisfaction

For this career, by 19 people, from 10 (best) to 1 (worst).

Avg. rating: 7.3   

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Inside Financial Advisor Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you


Biggest Surprises

"It Is Relatively Easy To Become An Expert Very Quickly In This Field...
I was most surprised at how basic most of the info was, and how quickly someone can become an expert in the field." (Insurance; 2013)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, male
School: Studied Business Finance at College Of DuPage in Illinois; completed Associate degree in 2001

"Finance Is Certainly Not Recession Proof...
Most people think that when you get a job in finance, you're set for life. That isn't the case at all. Getting and maintaining my job has been difficult because of the recession. My co-workers and I put in a lot of overtime, but we what we do and know in the end it will be worth it." (Advisor; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in New Jersey, female
School: Studied Business at St Johns in New York; completed Master degree in 2009

"The Work Is Easier Than Anticipated...
It's easier work than would be expected. Once you "figure it out" it's pretty much plug and play, it can get a bit repetitive." (Financial Advisor; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, male
School: Studied Economics at Southern Illinois University in Illinois; completed Bachelor degree in 2010

"Lots Of Cold Calling...
Many individuals think that being a financial adviser is an easy job. However, the glamorous side of being a financial adviser is not often portrayed. Unfortunately, many beginning financial advisers spend many hours cold calling to try to generate business." (Financial Advisor; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied Finance at University Of Florida in Florida; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"It Was Interesting To Learn How Hard It Can Be To Get Out Of Financial Planning And Into Financial Analysis...
It's hard to move around and once you get into financial advising it can be hard to transition to other forms of finance. People assume that since I work with individuals that I have no clue how to read a business financial statement so I'm not even looked at for more analyst type jobs when I'm plenty capable of doing them." (Financial Planning Associate; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Colorado, male
School: Studied Finance at The Ohio State University in Ohio; completed Bachelor degree in 2008

"Really Just A Salesman...
I was surprised at how simple a lot of the work is. Working at a large bank mostly involves me selling the products that the bank offers. While my job title is advisor I feel more like a sales man. Even though there are much better products I feel compelled to push our banks money market accounts and CDs." (Financial Advisor; 2014)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Maryland, male
School: Studied Economics at University Of Maryland, College Park in Maryland; completed Bachelor degree in 2011

"Helping Clients Means Education...
It has surprised me the most about how little people know about investing and how important it is. A lot of my day is spent educating people on the basics, rather than building out complex portfolios which is what I had imagined." (Investment Counselor; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Maryland, female
School: Studied Finance at James Madison in Virginia; completed Bachelor degree in 2009

"Advisors Work With A Team...
Most people think that financial advisors are traders who choose stocks for their clients and make financial decisions by themselves. Financial advisors actually have a team around them and use company metrics and performance indicators to provide clients the best overall experience. It is not as scary or pressure filled an environment as most would think." (Financial Advisor; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Ohio, male
School: Studied Financial Management at Franklin University in Ohio; completed Bachelor degree in 1990

"Pay Differential With Men...
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." (Financial Advisor; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, female
School: Studied Economics at The University Of Illinois in Illinois; completed Bachelor degree in 2011

"Strong People Skills...
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." (Financial Advisor; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied Finance at University Of Central Florida in Florida; completed Bachelor degree in 2006

"Much Time Devoted Obtaining Clients...
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." (Financial Representative; 2012)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied Finance at Wharton Business School in Pennsylvania; completed Bachelor degree in 2010

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." (Financial Advisor; 2012)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, male
School: Studied Finance at Duke in North Carolina; completed Bachelor degree in 2006

"Obtaining Certifications...
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." (Financial Adviser; 2012)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in New York, male
School: Studied Business at Stony Brook University in New York; completed Bachelor degree in 2011

"More About Selling Than Wealth Management...
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." (Financial Advisor; 2012)

Career: 13 years of experience, currently based in Virginia, male
School: Studied Tourism Management at University Of Maine in Maine; completed Bachelor degree in 1995

"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." (Financial Advisor; 2012)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, male
School: Studied Business at Franklin And Marshall College in Pennsylvania; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Investment Consultant: "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." (2011)

Investment Associate: "The worst part of my job is looking for new clients. It can be scary to reach out to people that you don't know well to ask if they'd like to sit down with you and talk about their finances. Some people don't like to talk to strangers about their financial lives. However, the best part of the job is the excitement you experience when you succeed in getting on of those people to work with you! There is also a lot of learning to do with this type of job. Your education doesn't end when you graduate from school. You must constantly self educate to keep up with the constantly changing financial services environment." (2011)

Director Of Investments: "Being involved in the markets is extremely interesting and speaking to our clients is a constant challenge that really requires you to be on your game. The worst part is trying to deal with all of the data and information that we see. Keeping everything organized is a real challenge." (2011)

Financial Planner: "The best part of this job is when the kids begin to receive their acceptance awards from their list. This is the culmination of a high school career, and a grueling application process. The next best part is when we meet with the parents, and are confident that the plan we have created for them will allow them to pay for college. The worst part of the job is to work with kids that have achieved in high school, but are not able attend their top choice schools because the finances do not work out. Some individuals are forced to take time off of school to work, and earn extra money, and additionally are forced to borrow large sums of money." (2011)

Career Background

Financial Advisor

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Video

Career Tips

"Financial Interns Rule...
I would do internships at financial firms before college graduation so that you have experience to apply for more specific financial jobs. For example, work at a brokerage so that you have experience already when applying." (Financial Advisor; 2014)

"Study Healthcare Instead...
Study something related to healthcare. You won't sit behind a desk all day and you'll make a more meaningful difference in people's lives." (Financial Planning Associate; 2013)

"Become An Expert Very Quickly...
Being an expert in this field wont necessarily lead to success. There are many other non taught skills that will help you in this field." (Insurance; 2013)

"Continuing Education...
One of the most beneficial things you can do is continue to get more education through licenses, certifications and further degrees." (Investment Counselor; 2013)

"You Are Amazing.....
Never believe you can't do it. Remove the words "I cant" from your vocabulary." (Advisor; 2013)

"Advanced Education Can Advance Career...
It is important to start out with an established brokerage that will be able to provide you a path to success. You should always be increasing your education level and gaining more licenses to take your practice to the next level." (Financial Advisor; 2013)

"Utilize The Knowledge Of Your Peers...
Get to know your peers in the profession, we are all pretty much following the same trends in the market place. Their knowledge is equally as valuable as your own." (Financial Advisor; 2013)

"Test The Waters...
Having an internship with a financial adviser would be greatly beneficial. Completing an internship prior to deciding on financial advising as a career would allow you to see first hand what the job is like. Testing the waters is a great way to see if you will like the job in the future." (Financial Advisor; 2013)

"Expect To Start As An Assistant...
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." (Investment Consultant; 2011)

"It's Possible To Start As An Admin...
If you'd like to start a career in financial services, some people take the same route I did and begin in an administrative role. It also helps to have a thick skin when getting into any sales oriented role. There is a lot of rejection and you need to keep pushing forward to be successful. It also helps to have a great network. Networking is another key to success." (Investment Associate; 2011)

"Put Your Clients' Needs First...
Deep knowledge of finance is a must. Really think about the quality of both your oral and written communication. Great ideas are of little use if you cannot communicate them. Understand that it is a client service profession. Doing the right thing for clients is paramount. Everything else is secondary." (Director Of Investments; 2011)

"Understanding People As Important As Finance Concepts...
The field of financial planning is very broad in scope. It is important to be able to grasp complex financial issues, but equally important to understand human psychology. Sometimes you have to work harder at getting a client to implement your recommendation, than it is to develop the plan. It is also critical that you enjoy dealing with people, and are willing to work at mediating among various family members." (Financial Planner; 2011)