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What Does it Take to Be a Personal Financial Advisor?

Job Description & Duties Advise clients on financial plans using knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, insurance, pension plans, and real estate. Duties include assessing clients’ assets, liabilities, cash flow, insurance coverage, tax status, and financial objectives.

Daily Life Of a Personal Financial Advisor

  • Implement financial planning recommendations or refer clients to someone who can assist them with plan implementation.
  • Recommend to clients strategies in cash management, insurance coverage, investment planning, or other areas to help them achieve their financial goals.
  • Recommend financial products, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or insurance.
  • Review clients’ accounts and plans regularly to determine whether life changes, economic changes, environmental concerns, or financial performance indicate a need for plan reassessment.
  • Manage client portfolios, keeping client plans up-to-date.
  • Monitor financial market trends to ensure that client plans are responsive.

What Every Personal Financial Advisor Should Know

Personal Financial Advisors state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Other Personal Financial Advisor Job Titles

  • Account Executive
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Personal Banker
  • Debt Counselor
  • Financial Counselor

Personal Financial Advisor Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 271,900 jobs in the United States for Personal Financial Advisor. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 14.9% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 40,400 new jobs for Personal Financial Advisor by 2026. There will be an estimated 25,500 positions for Personal Financial Advisor per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Personal Financial Advisors in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Personal Financial Advisor are Colorado, Delaware, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, New Jersey, or Massachusetts. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Personal Financial Advisor

Personal Financial Advisors make between $41,590 and $208,000 a year.

Salary Ranges for Personal Financial Advisors

Personal Financial Advisors who work in New York, District of Columbia, or New Jersey, make the highest salaries.

How much do Personal Financial Advisors make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $117,350
Alaska $93,530
Arizona $107,160
Arkansas $96,600
California $128,730
Colorado $103,540
Connecticut $131,280
Delaware $126,880
District of Columbia $158,460
Florida $122,840
Georgia $121,420
Hawaii $81,700
Idaho $104,640
Illinois $126,640
Indiana $111,330
Iowa $105,540
Kansas $93,720
Kentucky $85,470
Louisiana $92,300
Maine $135,170
Maryland $110,080
Massachusetts $128,140
Michigan $102,010
Minnesota $99,490
Mississippi $102,820
Missouri $85,830
Montana $102,730
Nebraska $85,890
Nevada $108,540
New Hampshire $105,010
New Jersey $127,150
New Mexico $133,500
New York $164,260
North Carolina $134,860
North Dakota $100,360
Ohio $102,300
Oklahoma $74,340
Oregon $117,730
Pennsylvania $109,250
Rhode Island $112,430
South Carolina $89,830
South Dakota $77,490
Tennessee $89,960
Texas $110,820
Utah $88,440
Vermont $85,150
Virginia $121,250
Washington $109,870
West Virginia $95,210
Wisconsin $115,820
Wyoming $135,340

What Tools & Technology do Personal Financial Advisors Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Personal Financial Advisors may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • FileMaker Pro
  • Salesforce software
  • Oracle E-Business Suite Financials
  • Oracle Hyperion
  • Sage 50 Accounting
  • IBM Domino
  • Oracle PeopleSoft Financials
  • Fund accounting software
  • IBM Lotus 1-2-3
  • Swift
  • Practice management software PMS
  • Intuit Quicken

How do I Become a Personal Financial Advisor?

Are there Personal Financial Advisors education requirements?

Personal Financial Advisor Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Personal Financial Advisor Work Experience

Where Personal Financial Advisors Are Employed

Personal Financial Advisor Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Personal Financial Advisor Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming a Personal Financial Advisor might also be interested in the following careers:

Those who work as a Personal Financial Advisor sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: Dave Dugdale via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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