Preparing Yourself for a Career as a Financial Planner

The path to becoming a financial planner begins with genuine interest in a career providing financial advice to others. But your progress toward that goal is largely influenced by how prepared you are in three key areas: financial acumen, communication skill, and your own financial situation. You may need to spend considerable time, potentially years, on one or more of these items before you can launch a financial planning career, and that’s okay.

For most, this journey begins with an honest, self-assessment of career readiness. What do you lack? Can it be corrected? And how would you do that? From there, you can build a plan to get you ready enough to advise clients. You don’t have to know everything up front because you will continue to develop throughout your career, but you need to get to the point of being functionally ready.

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AFC Certification, Part of a Better Path to CFP Certification

The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) certification, granted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards is probably the most widely recognized credential in the field of personal financial planning. If you want to practice financial planning, you will likely want to become a CFP® practitioner. However, the required 6,000 hours of experience can be a seemingly insurmountable obstacle for some newer planners, especially those wanting to avoid brokerage and insurance sales careers.

It’s a Catch 22

New planners may be hesitant about going into practice before completing the CFP Board’s experience requirement, even under the mentorship of a more experienced planner. In order to gain experience, they need to deliver personal financial planning services to clients, but they must do so while lacking the credibility and credential that comes with the CFP® marks of distinction. So their clients must be willing to work with them instead of an actual CFP® practitioner.

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Is Financial Advising the Right Career for You?

One of the great tragedies of adulthood can be the letdown of expectations – especially in our careers.

When we’re kids, we imagine being dancers and firefighters and magicians and doctors. We give hardly a thought to the reality of those jobs, but instead focus on the output: we get to perform, to fight fires, to create magic, to save lives.

The funny thing is, we don’t necessarily start to see the reality of the jobs as we get older. Instead, we focus on the dream and give all of our time and effort into making it happen (and, through education, we also give much of our money).

Here are the things we don’t see until we actually do the jobs: the physical pain or short career span of a dancer, how much hurrying up and waiting a firefighter does (and the toll the life threatening nature of the job has on their family), the difficulty in making it financially as a magician, the small amount of time a doctor gets with their patients (and the amount of their earnings that will go to things like malpractice insurance).

None of these things have to make or break our careers, but they’re important to know when making a major life decision. At the very least, we should go into our chosen careers knowing the good and bad, knowing whether we want to spend our day-to-day lives doing what those jobs entail, and being able to prepare for the more challenging aspects of the job (both emotionally and practically).

With all that said, if you’re thinking of starting or switching into a career of financial advising, then there’s a lot you should know before you begin. That way you can determine if every aspect of the job is what you expected – and if financial advising is the right career for you.

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What is Fee-Only Financial Planning?

We’ve been talking a lot about the different types of financial planning there are lately, and it’s no secret that we hold a special place in our hearts for fee-only financial planning. But if you’re new to the world of financial planning and all that it entails, you’re probably wondering why.

The simple answer: fee-only financial planning = no third party compensation conflicts.

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Financial Advice is More Than Investing, Much More

The advancement of technology and emergence of robo-advisors have ignited discussion about the future of human financial advisors. Advisors are divided: some see robo-advisors as a threat to their livelihood, while others welcome the technology with open arms. The wide range of views can be attributed to the broad definition of financial advice.

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A New Approach to Financial Services (Hint: Not a Competition)

If you started your career in financial services at a large brokerage, then you were probably taught to be competitive. It’s an eat what you kill world – and this can come as a huge shock for anyone who set out to help people.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Financial advisors don’t have to compete to succeed. Financial advisors don’t have to sell products to survive. Financial advisors can build long, sustainable careers that enable them to empower others financially while also reaching their own financial goals.

There’s a new way to approach financial services – and it isn’t the competitive way.

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How to Choose the Right Financial Advisor Network for You

Starting a business can be a lonely endeavor. While it’s great to be your own boss and to be able to work on your terms, sometimes it’s nice to have a bit more of a support system around you. Even when you know what you’re doing, there will always be situations that make you wish you could access a second opinion.

Those moments of loneliness or needing a gut check are when a network can really come in handy. And for financial advisors, this is only the tip of the iceberg as far as what a professional network can do for you!

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How to Decide What Type of Financial Advisor to Be

So you want to become a financial advisor. That’s great! Do you know what type of financial advisor you want to be?

Do you know what types of financial advisors there are?

Believe it or not, deciding what type of financial advisor to be is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when you’re first starting out. While there are no right or wrong answers, the implications of your decision will impact your company, the types of clients you acquire, and your bottom line.

In short, think carefully before you decide.

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How Joining an Advisor Network Can Help You Reach Success

Calling all independent financial advisors: you don’t have to go it alone.

Even though you’ve already taken the brave step to start your own business, build the kind of practice you believe in, and take on the clients you most want to help, that doesn’t mean you have to go down that path without any support.

Enter financial advisor networks (aka your most reliable support system and cost savings tool).

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Lifting the Fog of the Financial Services Doctrine (You Don’t Have to Sell Products to Survive)

In the world of financial services, everyone’s thinking about one thing: money. How to make it, how to grow it, how to keep from losing it.

But you don’t have to be obsessed with making money to “make it” in financial services.

In fact, you can be a successful financial advisor without focusing on this at all. Contrary to what the traditional world of financial services would tell you, you don’t have to sell products to survive. You can make a living by giving reliable, unbiased advice. Here’s how.

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