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Personal Financial Advisors

Personal financial advisors give financial advice to people. They help with investments, taxes, and insurance decisions.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

Account Executive, Analyst, Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Financial Advisor, Financial Consultant, Financial Counselor, Financial Planner, Investment Advisor, Portfolio Manager, Registered Representative


Financial advisers do what many people don’t like doing for themselves: Figure out how to manage their money. By meeting with clients and then helping them determine budgeting plans, investing decisions, insurance needs, and other financial to-dos, they get them on track to meet their money goals, as well as more personal ones such as buying a home or retiring. While many advisers start by working for larger financial-services firms, about 1 in 4 work for themselves, often building up expertise in specific areas, such as retirement planning or financial planning for small business owners. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors notes other specialties as well, including planning for same-sex couples, newlywed investors, and individuals with special needs.

 Personal financial advisors typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients in person to discuss their financial goals
  • Explain the types of financial services they provide
  • Educate clients and answer questions about investment options and potential risks
  • Recommend investments to clients or select investments on their behalf
  • Help clients plan for specific circumstances, such as education expenses or retirement
  • Monitor clients' accounts and determine if changes are needed to improve account performance or accommodate life changes, such as getting married or having children
  • Research investment opportunities


Educational Requirements

Personal financial advisors typically need a bachelor's degree. Although employers usually do not require a specific field of study for personal financial advisors, a degree in finance, economics, accounting, business, mathematics, financial planning or law is good preparation for this occupation. Courses in investments, taxes, estate planning, and risk management are also helpful.

A master’s degree and certification can improve chances for advancement in the occupation. Certifications can enhance a personal financial advisor’s reputation and can help bring in new clients. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards offers the Certified Financial Planner (CFP). For this certification, advisors must have a bachelor's degree, at least 3 years of relevant work experience, pass an exam, and agree to adhere to a code of ethics. The exam covers the financial planning process, insurance and risk management, employee benefits planning, taxes and retirement planning, investment and real estate planning, debt management, planning liability, emergency fund reserves, and statistical modeling.


Salary Information 2022

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a Personal Financial Advisor in 2022 was $95,390. 


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Information retrieved from U.S. News Money: Financial Advisor, Bureau of Labor Statistics: Personal Financial Advisors and O*NET Online: Personal Financial Advisors.

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