Career spotlight: Financial advisor

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Studying for an MBA degree can prepare you for a number of high-powered and lucrative career paths across a range of industries, including marketing, health care and technology. MBA graduates particularly tend to excel in finance, given that many MBA curriculums feature financial management.

If you’re considering returning to the classroom to improve your prospects for a career in finance, keep the role of a financial advisor in mind. A varied position with room for financial success and great personal fulfillment, financial advisors are in high demand. Below, we have assembled the comprehensive guide to provide more information about this potential career path.

What does a financial advisor do?

Financial advisors offer advice and insights about  financial management  to clients, U.S. News & World Report explained. Financial advisors can work on behalf of larger organizations, although many will work independently, advising clients looking to manage their personal finances. Financial advisors offer advice about a range of money-related issues, such as saving for retirement, making large and significant purchases like homes and cars, buying stocks and shares, saving for college, and filing taxes. In some cases, contingent on the demand, a financial advisor will also make investments for their clients.

As outlined by The Balance, financial advisors are often enlisted to help clients manage their money and spending on a more consistent basis, advising clients about when to reduce spending, what not to buy, and how to rebalance their portfolio. Furthermore, they can offer help and advice in the event of an unexpected life change that could notably impact a client’s financial situation, such as a death, divorce or pregnancy.

In terms of day-to-day duties, financial advisors will make investments, research the economy and financial markets, meet with clients to strategize or offer updates, and carry out other administrative tasks related to the role.

Academic attainment

If you want to succeed as a financial advisor, you will need to accrue considerable experience in the financial sector, have a bachelor’s degree and in many cases have a master’s degree, the US Department of Labor detailed. Studying for an MBA is particularly useful since such programs often offer rigorous education on financial matters. Given that many financial planners are self-employed, the more experience and qualifications you have, the more likely it is that you will attract clients to your business.

As outlined by U.S. News & World Report, becoming a Certified Financial Planner is another effective way to stay ahead of the competition, attract more clients and impress potential employers.

Ideal qualities

The best financial planners will have both an aptitude for finance and math, as well as an ability to communicate clearly and effectively with clients. The desire to help others is especially crucial in this role. As Eric Schaefer, a professional at a Virginia financial planning organization, explained to U.S. News & World Report, understanding how a client is thinking in terms of his or her money is crucial.

“My colleagues and I agree that 80 percent of our job is psychology, and only 20 percent is financial. I know successful owners of financial advisory firms that specifically recruit psychology majors for this reason,” he said.

Salary ranges

Financial advisors can make a considerable amount of money. According to the US Department of Labor, the nationwide median salary stands at close to $90,000 per year, although it is quite possible to earn in excess of six figures per annum. As PayScale noted, salaries approaching $120,000 per year are by no means out of the question.

According to the US Department of Labor, positions in this industry will grow in the next eight years or so. The source predicted that between the years of 2014 and 2024 employment in this area will rise by an impressive 30 percent. Given the industry growth and room to become self-employed, this could be an ideal career path for those looking to achieve financial success while simultaneously helping others.

Consider Villanova University

A highly effective way to prepare for your career as a financial advisor is to earn an MBA degree. If you are hesitant about returning to the classroom (perhaps you already have a full-time job or family), the online MBA program from Villanova University can afford you the ease and flexibility of studying at a time and pace that best suits your busy schedule. To learn more and begin the application process.

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