If you’re interested in finding great financial planner jobs , I think I can help. Remember, its one thing to become a financial planner. It’s another to find a job. I’ve been in the business for over 25 years and I’ve seen scores of people try to get into this business. I have some experience with what works and what doesn’t. First of course, it’s important to understand the basics of the job and how the industry works. Then, you can get to your job prerequisites. As I see it, there are two:
When you talk to would-be employers and clients, you need to demonstrate an understanding of the field.
This doesn’t have to be formal training. There are plenty of people who know more about financial planning than the “experts”. They’ve learned by reading a lot and having personal experience with their own finances.
If you don’t know much about financial planning, you have to get up to speed. You can read my other posts on how to get financial planner training and you should also pick up my book “Money School for Couples”. I’m not going to apologize for hawking my book because it is a great primer for you if you want to learn how to advise clients. It points out the basic areas clients need help with. I hate to say it, but Suze Orman also has a few books that might be helpful to you. To learn about IRA’s…there is no better author than Ed Slott. Pick up every book he sells.
Of course you’ll have to continue learning. I strongly suggest the CFP ® course of study but it’s not a must. Ultimately, you’ll learn most of what you know in the trenches and as you go.
And while we’re on the topic of education, it’s important to understand your competition. Some clients are asking about robo investment companies and wondering why they should hire an advisor when they can get financial services for almost free. Make sure you understand the differences between what you do and what they do. If you can’t, you will it difficult to build your business.
If you want to be a financial professional, you have to get the right licenses. Depending on how you get into the business, you’ll need to take care of licensing. Rather than repeat myself, I’ve written a long post on this subject. Check out “How To Start Your Career As A Financial Planner”.
In some (or most) cases, you shouldn’t wait to get your license before starting your career. As you’ll see below, you can start down your career path immediately.
With these two prerequisites out of the way, we’re ready to get to the heart of the matter.
The reality of being a financial planner is that you are a business person. As such, you have to attract clients. There are very few firms that will hire you and bring you clients. That poses an obstacle for most people who are just starting out.
However, I have an idea for you that is, if I must say so myself, genius.
Start off as a tax preparer.
You heard me right.
March yourself down to H&R Block and take the tax preparer course. Work a few seasons with them. Learn all you can about tax. Become invaluable to your clients.
These companies might bar you from approaching their clients with investment ideas but that’s fine.
Once you have tax training and a few hundred tax returns under your belt, look for your own tax clients and start building your financial planning practice around them.
Not many people use this approach and that’s why it will work for you. I happen to have a degree in accounting and it’s helped me assist clients. Getting a tax background will only help you serve your clients and grow your business.
What I love about this idea is that you can earn money, learn, and grow your business all at the same time. Can you beat that? Another idea is to tap into the growing popularity of automated investing services like Betterment or Wealthfront. They are beginning to offer financial planning services to clients and they might be willing to train you.
If you are interested in this career path, what have you tried so far? What’s worked? What hasn’t?