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How to Become a Financial Advisor

In some ways, being a financial advisor is like being a therapist: You share in your clients’ biggest life events — like having a baby, retiring and handling inheritance — and are often tasked with helping them address their fears — like recessions or running out of money.

This is part of what makes a career as a financial advisor so rewarding — U.S. News & World Report ranked it as the eighth-best job in 2018 — but it’s also why becoming a financial advisor isn’t easy.

“Giving advice to clients is a privilege,” says Rianka R. Dorsainvil, a certified financial planner in the District of Columbia, and founder and president of Your Greatest Contribution. They’re trusting you with the intimate details of their finances. Earning that trust requires passing rigorous exams and holding yourself to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.

Is a financial advisor the right career for you? Read on to find out and, if it is, how to become a financial advisor.

What Does a Financial Advisor Do?

Financial advisors help their clients make more informed financial decisions. Those decisions can be around anything from how to start investing to retirement or estate planning.

They can work in a variety of settings, most common being large financial institutions like banks or brokerage firms with smaller firms and independent, self-employed advisors increasingly popular.

Some advisors specialize in a certain area (such as retirement planning or investment management), a particular client type (such as those within a given net worth or age bracket) or specific account type (such as workplace plans).

© 2019. Rianka R. Dorsainvil.