Thinking of a new career and want to know how to be a financial advisor?

Working as a financial advisor can be a challenging but wonderful career choice for many people. Financial advisors are the individuals that empower their customers with the monetary resources they need so that they can make their dreams come true. Your customer’s dream could be saving money for his or her children’s college education to saving enough for retirement. Those might be two lofty goals, but financial advisors can turn those dreams into reality for their customers. As with most jobs in the financial industry, being a diligent worker, having strong work ethics, and possessing a good social network sets you up for success. Here are a few other things that can be helpful if you want to learn how to be a financial advisor or certified financial planner.

The difference between financial advisors and certified financial planners

Before we get started, let’s clear something up. Many people use the term financial advisor and certified financial planner interchangeably, but there is a substantial difference between the two. The main difference is that a certified financial planner is someone who has an official designation that is achieved by a rigorous course of study, passing a challenging two-day examination, and having at least three years of work experience in the field. While there are many companies that prefer their financial advisors to be certified, many businesses do not require the certification.

Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses

If you are considering learning how to be a financial advisor, it is important that you know if the job is right for you. The best financial advisors typically have strong technical skills, are hard-working, are good at sales, and enjoy working directly with customers. So if you have an inclination towards accounting, business, and meeting new people, then working as a financial advisor or a certified financial planner might just be the right fit.

Get started with an unpaid-part-time internship

When discovering how to be a financial advisor, many people might be tempted to initially quit their day jobs. After all, according to Forbes, it is estimated that as many as 80% of all financial advisors have different first careers. Quitting your job might be tempting when starting your new role, but you might have to settle at first for an unpaid internship that could help you expand your professional network and establish yourself in this new field.

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Apply for corporate training programs

Several companies including Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and Wells Fargo Advisors offer a corporate training program. Each provides an excellent opportunity for you to receive training from some of the top experts in the field. Plus, these programs are generally welcoming for those of you who might be considering a career change. So if you are a professional who wants to learn how to be a financial advisor, this might be a good option. And once you are started in the field, you will need the best follow-up software around to help you meet your business targets. Discover how Blitz can help you save time, help you meet more leads, and win more accounts.

Become a certified financial planner

For those of you that want to become a certified financial planner (CFP), one of your first steps should be to visit the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards website. From there you will learn of the preliminary education requirements required and which degrees and credentials would fulfill those requirements. Then you will need to take (and pass) the rigorous CFP certification exam, which is typically a two-day, 10-hour test. So prepare yourself in advance and be sure to study!

Less than half of all test-takers pass the CFP exam on their first try, but don’t let one fail derail your career dreams! Once you pass the test, you must then have at least three years of qualifying full-time work experience before you can become a CFP. The final step to becoming certified is a background check and the submission of the CFP certification application. After you become a CFP there are some ongoing educational requirements that are necessary to keep your credentials up-to-date, just so you are aware.

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Do you know now how to become a financial advisor or do you still have a few questions? What information would be helpful for you to know about the position or the financial industry? For those of you who are financial advisors or a CFP, how has Blitz helped your business? Please post your comments or with us by commenting below.