A personal financial advisor assesses the financial needs of clients and advises them on how to increase their savings and on the right investments to make. You do need to have a broad knowledge of tax laws, investments and insurance in order to help your clients with their needs. Planning for retirement and estate planning are two main areas that you will work in. Some of your clients may have short-term needs while others need planning for long-term goals. You can give tax advice, sell life insurance, help with educational savings plans, or you can specialize in one area of this accounting field.
You will have to do a lot of traveling in your role as a personal financial advisor. You will meet with clients, either in their homes or offices, or in your office. You can conduct seminars for groups of people interested in investing or planning for their financial future. You will have many different clients and you must look for them on your own. This is one area of accounting where you do have to set up your own business and operate out of your home or rent office space. You may need to hire office staff, such as a secretary to help you with the paper work involved in this type of business.
When you meet with your clients as their personal financial advisor, you need to gain as much information as possible about their financial situations. Then you can start to develop a comprehensive plan to help them find a solution to any financial problems, make recommendations for areas of improvements and find investments that are best suited to the clients’ needs. You may also need the help of an accountant in some situations so that you can offer the best possible advice to your clients.
Once you have a client base and are managing their investment portfolios, you should arrange an annual or semi-annual meeting with each one to review that portfolio. In this manner, you can make any adjustments that may be needed for the individual plans to accommodate changing situations. Clients also may have questions about their plans and benefits and this meeting gives them the opportunity to discuss their investment plans and needs in greater depth.
You do not necessarily need to hold a degree in accounting or finance in order to become a personal financial advisor, but you should have an undergraduate degree from a university. You will need to take courses in investing, estate and retirement planning tax laws and risk management in order to be knowledgeable about the business. You can also be certified in this profession with the Certified Financial Planner certification, known as the CFP. To be eligible for this certification, you must have at least three years of relevant experience in the industry, hold a Bachelor’s degree and pass a comprehensive exam. It is easy to advance in this accounting career if you have initiative and motivation, The more clients you have, the higher your salary will be and the more well known you become. You can also move into a managerial position with a large firm.