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How To Become A Financial Planner: Degree & Career Guide
When you consider the importance of managing your finances, it can be extremely overwhelming. Add to this the stress of saving money and setting funds aside for your future, regardless of what it may hold, while also trying to pay for and manage your day-to-day and month-to-month expenses, and you may feel like throwing in the towel with all that math.
It is for that reason that there is an entire career dedicated to helping people manage and plan their finances. Financial health is not only about maintaining your funds for the long run and for the long term, but it is also about handling your finances in an immediate time frame.
As the world becomes increasingly more expensive, we are required to be diligent in our spending, and financial planners are there to help us achieve long-term and immediate financial health.
To become a financial planner, you would need to earn a bachelor's degree, you would need to obtain training and acquire skills through hands-on experience, you would need to obtain your relevant licenses and certificates, and you may consider pursuing a higher degree.
Let us delve into this career path and take a closer look at this field and the steps you would need to take to pursue this role.
What Is A Financial Planner?
Financial planners not only help their clients manage their finances effectively, but they also have a career that provides them with significant potential for earning really well themselves. Through their knowledge and expertise, financial planners can use themselves as an example by making sure that they manage their own finances effectively.
Being a financial planner is more than just measuring your expenses against your income. It is about making sure that you live within your financial means and that you keep your head afloat no matter what unexpected financial situations may arise.
From large organizations to private individuals who have high earnings, each needs financial planning assistance and advice. Financial planners help these individuals and organizations to meet their long-term and short-term financial goals.
But before they can meet these financial goals, financial planners will assist them in establishing these goals, making sure they are realistic and achievable, and that the organization or individual doesn't head toward bankruptcy while trying to achieve these goals.
The role of financial planners and the need for financial advisors has grown recently and the demand has exponentially increased. Prior to having financial planners, many individuals and businesses would receive financial advice from bank managers and those who generally work in the field of finance. However, this was not always feasible.
Granted, the demands for financial planning were so great that it branched off as its own field within finances. Now, through extensive knowledge and understanding of current finances and the projected change in the value of currencies, financial planners are extensively educated in the field and well-versed in providing their clients with superior financial knowledge.
What Does A Financial Planner Do?
We know that it is realistically impossible to earn $5,000 each month and save $6,000. This is not feasible because you don't earn enough to meet your savings goal, and you still need finances to survive from month to month.
If you are hoping to save but don't know how much to save if you want to retire in a certain number of years, or if you are hoping to send your kids to college in the foreseeable future, chances are that you are going to need the advice of a licensed professional to help you meet these financial goals. Enter: a financial planner.
A financial planner is first and foremost, someone whom you will need to trust. You will be divulging all your financial details to this person, so they would need to be someone you trust completely.
Then, you will be privy to all the services and insights that your financial advisor has to offer. They are licensed and certified to provide you with investment opportunities, and they are able to help you compile a financial portfolio that suits your current financial status.
Over and above helping you plan a budget, they assist you in designing and implementing effective debt management strategies, which in turn will help you achieve your financial goals much faster. From retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, college planning, and planning for healthcare and health insurance, financial advisors are experts in providing you with advice.
Becoming a financial planner can be an extremely rewarding role. Not only are they able to help others with their financial endeavors, but they are also able to take this knowledge and expertise that they have garnered and apply it to their own lives and their own finances.
Steps To Become A Financial Planner
Step One: Earn Your Degree
You would first need to obtain a bachelor's degree in either accounting, finance, or business, but any related field may prove to be beneficial. During your degree program, you may opt to take courses that include tax, risk management, and investment.
Step Two: Get Training
Once you get your degree, you can gain hands-on experience by either obtaining an internship or an apprenticeship or applying for an entry-level role as a financial planner where you will work under the supervision of a more experienced planner
Step Three: Obtain Your License And Certification
If you're providing investment advice, you would need to be licensed to do so. Additionally, you would need to become a certified financial planner (CFP), which will require you to sit for and pass the official CFP examination, and you would need to sign and agree to a professional code of ethics.
Step Four: Consider A Graduate Degree
You may want to consider applying for a graduate degree program such as a master's degree in accounting or in finances. You may also consider completing your master's in business administration. While this is not always necessary or a requirement, it may open the door for greater career growth and unlock greater prospects in the field.
How Much Do Financial Planners Earn?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), personal financial advisors earn a median annual salary of $94,170, and they earn a median hourly salary of $45.27.
What Is The Job Outlook For Financial Planners?
The BLS states that the job outlook for personal financial advisors expects to see a projected 15% growth over the next decade. Year on year, an average of 30,500 new jobs are expected to be available in the field.
Do You Need To Be Certified To Be A Financial Planner?
Yes, you would need to become a CFP, especially if you consider that you will be providing potential investment advice to clients.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Financial Planner?
Including the time it takes to complete your bachelor's degree, it would take around four years to get an entry-level role as a financial planner.
If you are trustworthy and good at handling finances, perhaps considering a role as a financial planner is a great idea for you. But remember, with great power comes great responsibility.
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