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Personal Financial Advisors picture    Personal Financial Advisors image

Personal Financial Advisors

Personal financial advisors evaluate the financial needs of their clients and help them with investments, insurance decisions and tax laws. Financial advisors help people develop retirement plans, create strategies for paying educational expenses and they help them evaluate and select a variety of investments.

Personal financial planners assist their clients with the planning of short-term and long term objectives. Some financial advisors specialize in areas such as estate planning or retirement. Personal financial advisors sometimes seek advise from financial analysts, lawyers and accountants.

Some sample job titles include certified financial planner, finance consultant, financial advisor, financial agent, financial coordinator, financial consultant, fiscal specialist, investment consultant, investment counselor, personal banker, wealth manager, personal financial planner and investment advisor.

In general, personal financial advisors have to find their own clients. They typically spend a lot of time marketing their financial services. They often meet prospective clients through social networking and by giving seminars. Building a customer base is a vital part of the occupation.

Many personal financial advisors have a license to directly buy and sell financial products including stocks, bonds, insurance products, annuities and derivatives.

Private bankers or wealth managers are regarded as personal financial advisors that work for clients that have a large amount of money to invest. These clients resemble institutional investors. Private bankers manage their clients' portfolios utilizing the resources of a bank. They typically, directly manage their clients' finances.

Responsibilities

  • Set up consultations with clients
  • Develop a thorough financial plan for clients
  • Help clients select appropriate investments
  • Learn about clients finances and objectives
  • Update clients on potential investments
  • Build client base
  • Make adjustments to clients' financial plans
  • Answer clients' questions
  • Educate clients regarding risks and possible scenarios

Job Characteristics

Personal financial planners typically work in offices or in their homes. They sometimes meet with clients during the evenings and weekends in order to accommodate their clients' schedules. Personal financial planners also give seminars in order to meet potential clients. They should have strong analytical, math and interpersonal skills. They also need to have strong sales ability.

Employment Outlook

The employment growth of personal financial advisors is forecasted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow by 30 percent during the 2008-18 timeframe which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

The median annual earnings for wage and salaried personal financial advisors in 2008 was $69,050. Those that work for financial services companies are often provided a salary and bonuses. Advisors that work for planning or financial investment companies and those that are self-employed usually earn money by collecting a percentage of their client's assets that they manage.

Some financial advisors earn money by charging hourly fees or from fees they collect on stock and insurance purchases. Financial advisors often receive commissions on financial products they sell in addition to charging a fee.

Baby boomers should increase the demand for personal financial advisors. Many companies are using retirement savings programs instead of traditional pension plans, thus there is an increase in the amount of people that are managing their retirement savings programs. These individuals may increase the need for financial advisors.

Many individuals enter the occupation by working for banks and full-service brokerages. A college degree and certification can enhance credibility.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Personal financial advisors typically hold a bachelor's or a master's degree. They often earn a degree in finance, accounting, business, law, economics or mathematics. Beneficial courses include investments, risk management, estate planning and taxes. Some colleges and universities provide financial planning education programs.

Personal financial advisers that directly buy or sell stocks, bonds, insurance policies or specific investment advice must have a combination of licenses which varies based on the types of products they sell.

Certifications are not always necessary, however certification is recommended by many employers. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards offers the Certified Financial Planner credential. The credential requires three years of relevant experience, completing education requirements that includes a bachelor's degree, passing an examination and following a code of ethics.

Resources

Major Employers

Schools for Personal Financial Advisors are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Personal Financial Advisors

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Personal Financial Advisors jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover 950 $87,930
Birmingham 950 $87,930
Montgomery 220 $87,180
Mobile 200 $104,500
Huntsville 140 $103,480
Foley 80 $76,300
Daphne 80 $76,300
Fairhope 80 $76,300
Tuscaloosa 40 $73,920
Dothan 40 $131,780
Florence 30 $88,710
Muscle Shoals 30 $88,710
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 90 $104,870
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Phoenix 3430 $68,240
Scottsdale 3430 $68,240
Mesa 3430 $68,240
Tucson 420 $51,370
Prescott 70 $38,290
Lake Havasu City 40 $69,290
Kingman 40 $69,290
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 400 $69,310
North Little Rock 400 $69,310
Little Rock 400 $69,310
Jonesboro 30 $81,220
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Los Angeles 9880 $93,290
Long Beach 9880 $93,290
Anaheim 9880 $93,290
Hayward 5890 $120,600
Oakland 5890 $120,600
San Francisco 5890 $120,600
San Diego 1470 $118,890
Carlsbad 1470 $118,890
San Jose 1080 $94,170
Santa Clara 1080 $94,170
Sunnyvale 1080 $94,170
Riverside 650 $72,210
San Bernardino 650 $72,210
Ontario 650 $72,210
Thousand Oaks 490 $61,300
Oxnard 490 $61,300
Ventura 490 $61,300
Santa Maria 300 $89,760
Santa Barbara 300 $89,760
Santa Rosa 210 $62,000
Fresno 200 $119,850
Vallejo 110 N/A
Fairfield 110 N/A
Bakersfield 100 N/A
Modesto 90 $60,440
Watsonville 80 $78,090
Santa Cruz 80 $78,090
Salinas 80 $110,110
Lodi 70 $82,320
Stockton 70 $82,320
Arroyo Grande 60 $88,720
San Luis Obispo 60 $88,720
Paso Robles 60 $88,720
Napa 50 N/A
Arcade N/A $89,530
Arden N/A $89,530
Roseville N/A $89,530
Sacramento N/A $89,530
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 2260 $85,410
Lakewood 2260 $85,410
Denver 2260 $85,410
Colorado Springs 510 $81,430
Fort Collins 160 $68,270
Grand Junction 60 $57,190
Boulder N/A $71,700
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Norwalk 2760 $108,690
Stamford 2760 $108,690
Bridgeport 2760 $108,690
East Hartford 960 $86,010
West Hartford 960 $86,010
Hartford 960 $86,010
New Haven 400 $92,810
Danbury 120 $151,280
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 40 $92,290
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 4510 $100,540
West Palm Beach 4510 $100,540
Fort Lauderdale 4510 $100,540
St. Petersburg 2420 $85,090
Tampa 2420 $85,090
Clearwater 2420 $85,090
Jacksonville 1040 $88,750
Kissimmee 980 $93,670
Sanford 980 $93,670
Orlando 980 $93,670
Bradenton 410 $80,900
Sarasota 410 $80,900
North Port 410 $80,900
Immokalee 390 $94,660
Naples 390 $94,660
Marco Island 390 $94,660
Cape Coral 280 $95,550
Fort Myers 280 $95,550
Melbourne 180 $128,700
Palm Bay 180 $128,700
Titusville 180 $128,700
Tallahassee 170 $49,730
Ormond Beach 150 $107,680
Daytona Beach 150 $107,680
Deltona 150 $107,680
Lakeland 150 $116,060
Winter Haven 150 $116,060
Port St. Lucie 140 $98,940
Vero Beach 90 N/A
Sebastian 90 N/A
Brent 80 $113,430
Ferry Pass 80 $113,430
Pensacola 80 $113,430
Gainesville 60 $132,700
Punta Gorda 50 $64,500
Destin 50 $89,240
Crestview 50 $89,240
Fort Walton Beach 50 $89,240
Ocala N/A $99,510
Panama City N/A $129,600
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 4580 $91,740
Atlanta 4580 $91,740
Sandy Springs 4580 $91,740
Savannah 140 $90,550
Macon 50 $65,160
Athens 40 $122,710
Clarke County 40 $122,710
Brunswick 30 N/A
Albany N/A $121,850
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 310 $73,890
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 510 $66,020
Idaho Falls 60 $74,360
Coeur d'Alene 60 $75,500
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rockford 240 $48,870
Springfield 150 $74,860
Urbana 110 $61,720
Champaign 110 $61,720
Peoria 100 $69,300
Bloomington 70 $77,090
Decatur 40 $85,760
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Wayne 330 $68,590
Terre Haute 100 $70,370
Bloomington 80 $78,380
Goshen 60 N/A
Elkhart 60 N/A
Muncie 40 N/A
Columbus 40 $63,640
Kokomo 40 $69,510
Indianapolis N/A $80,790
Carmel N/A $80,790
Anderson N/A $80,790
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Des Moines 880 $59,450
West Des Moines 880 $59,450
Cedar Rapids 70 $53,890
Cedar Falls 60 $58,830
Waterloo 60 $58,830
Iowa City 50 $83,250
Dubuque N/A $67,410
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 270 $74,640
Topeka 80 $75,730
Manhattan 40 $58,550
Lawrence 40 $82,400
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 180 $74,390
Lexington 180 $74,390
Bowling Green 50 $85,990
Owensboro 40 $49,960
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 470 $86,220
New Orleans 470 $86,220
Baton Rouge 280 $63,040
Lafayette 170 $65,600
Bossier City 110 $59,870
Shreveport 110 $59,870
Lake Charles 70 $54,910
Monroe 70 $58,020
Thibodaux 70 $64,070
Houma 70 $64,070
Alexandria 40 $59,620
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Portland 240 $113,980
South Portland 240 $113,980
Bangor 40 $56,270
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 3330 $73,150
Columbia 3330 $73,150
Baltimore 3330 $73,150
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 130 $106,690
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 2510 $69,370
Detroit 2510 $69,370
Warren 2510 $69,370
Wyoming 640 $56,480
Grand Rapids 640 $56,480
Kalamazoo 280 $79,370
Portage 280 $79,370
Ann Arbor 270 $72,270
Flint 200 $59,120
East Lansing 190 $66,820
Lansing 190 $66,820
Saginaw 110 $47,170
Niles 60 $53,200
Benton Harbor 60 $53,200
Battle Creek 50 N/A
Jackson 50 $82,030
Bay City 30 N/A
Muskegon 30 $62,840
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
St. Cloud 220 $69,570
North Mankato 50 $59,110
Mankato 50 $59,110
Rochester N/A $77,840
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 330 $78,840
Gulfport 100 N/A
Pascagoula 100 N/A
Biloxi 100 N/A
Hattiesburg 40 $45,860
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 160 $119,700
Columbia 70 $68,440
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings 90 N/A
Missoula 50 $79,560
Great Falls 40 $115,260
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 230 $96,900
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 540 $85,140
Henderson 540 $85,140
Las Vegas 540 $85,140
Reno 220 $83,740
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester 130 $89,240
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 420 $109,350
Hammonton 70 $115,300
Atlantic City 70 $115,300
Bridgeton 30 $102,110
Vineland 30 $102,110
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 250 $81,750
Santa Fe 80 N/A
Las Cruces 60 N/A
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheektowaga 810 $95,360
Buffalo 810 $95,360
Niagara Falls 810 $95,360
Rochester 620 $117,050
Syracuse 410 $74,820
Utica 100 N/A
Rome 100 N/A
Binghamton 80 $88,090
Glens Falls 50 $98,370
Elmira 40 N/A
Kingston 40 $70,380
Troy N/A $82,640
Albany N/A $82,640
Schenectady N/A $82,640
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 1210 $86,960
High Point 420 $62,140
Greensboro 420 $62,140
Durham 390 N/A
Chapel Hill 390 N/A
Salem 350 $97,970
Winston 350 $97,970
Wilmington 200 $67,230
Asheville 200 $122,920
Greenville 70 $54,520
Lenoir 70 $62,170
Morganton 70 $62,170
Hickory 70 $62,170
Fayetteville 60 $80,660
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 110 $74,270
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cleveland 1710 $69,850
Elyria 1710 $69,850
Dayton 400 $77,870
Toledo 290 $100,790
Akron 280 $86,050
Canton 130 $87,250
Massillon 130 $87,250
Lima 40 N/A
Mansfield 40 N/A
Springfield 30 $74,450
Columbus N/A $78,360
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 650 $74,220
Tulsa 370 $60,410
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 110 $56,730
Redmond 90 $62,670
Bend 90 $62,670
Medford 70 N/A
Salem 40 $38,580
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 1830 $96,200
Lancaster 320 $93,840
Carlisle 260 $69,280
Harrisburg 260 $69,280
York 240 $48,390
Hanover 240 $48,390
State College 130 $70,770
Reading 120 $73,160
Erie 110 $69,620
Altoona 50 $74,140
Johnstown 50 $81,340
Williamsport 40 $124,170
East Stroudsburg 30 $54,680
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 190 $39,470
Carolina 190 $39,470
San Juan 190 $39,470
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Greenville 540 $79,040
Mauldin 540 $79,040
Anderson 540 $79,040
Charleston 470 $60,570
North Charleston 470 $60,570
Columbia 420 $56,090
Bluffton 140 $70,720
Beaufort 140 $70,720
Hilton Head Island 140 $70,720
Spartanburg 110 $47,430
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 120 $72,280
Rapid City 60 $69,180
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 1020 $92,590
Murfreesboro 1020 $92,590
Davidson 1020 $92,590
Nashville 1020 $92,590
Knoxville 340 $58,400
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Worth 5240 $81,490
Dallas 5240 $81,490
Arlington 5240 $81,490
The Woodlands 3410 $71,630
Sugar Land 3410 $71,630
Houston 3410 $71,630
New Braunfels 1530 $76,260
San Antonio 1530 $76,260
Austin 1170 $77,770
Round Rock 1170 $77,770
Lubbock 170 $60,080
Edinburg 130 N/A
McAllen 130 N/A
Mission 130 N/A
Corpus Christi 130 $61,470
El Paso 110 $53,440
Midland 100 $91,290
Victoria 80 $69,410
Tyler 70 $59,870
Bryan 60 N/A
College Station 60 N/A
Port Arthur 60 $75,590
Beaumont 60 $75,590
Longview 60 $95,770
Abilene 50 $86,890
Wichita Falls 30 $90,720
Denison 30 $91,030
Sherman 30 $91,030
Temple N/A $36,160
Killeen N/A $36,160
Brownsville N/A $55,070
Harlingen N/A $55,070
Amarillo N/A $71,500
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 1260 $78,780
Provo 170 $54,920
Orem 170 $54,920
Ogden 120 $54,350
Clearfield 120 $54,350
St. George 50 N/A
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 200 $54,180
Burlington 200 $54,180
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 1010 $93,360
Charlottesville 250 $120,220
Roanoke 150 $61,730
Lynchburg 90 $132,520
Harrisonburg 50 $73,530
Waynesboro 50 $147,370
Staunton 50 $147,370
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 2970 $91,850
Tacoma 2970 $91,850
Bellevue 2970 $91,850
Spokane 470 $98,670
Spokane Valley 470 $98,670
Tumwater 80 $69,950
Olympia 80 $69,950
Bremerton 70 N/A
Silverdale 70 N/A
Bellingham 70 $76,070
Kennewick 40 $68,940
Richland 40 $68,940
Yakima 30 N/A
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 130 $35,030
Vienna 70 N/A
Parkersburg 70 N/A
Morgantown 40 $42,520
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Milwaukee 2090 $60,640
Waukesha 2090 $60,640
West Allis 2090 $60,640
Madison 480 $62,070
Green Bay 290 $55,850
Appleton 290 $59,520
Sheboygan 80 $86,800
Neenah 70 N/A
Oshkosh 70 N/A
Wausau 70 N/A
Beloit 60 $38,140
Janesville 60 $38,140
Racine 60 $55,630
Eau Claire 50 $90,060
     
Metro Area (Wyoming) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheyenne 40 N/A
Casper 40 $81,110

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Personal Financial Advisors

To find out more about building a career as Personal Financial Advisors, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Personal Financial Advisors

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Securities And Investment 89,270 61% $78,360
Banking And Credit 31,050 21% $61,130
Professional And Technical Services 6,900 4% $64,420
Insurance 6,770 4% $63,360
Pension And Trusts 4,060 2% $53,730
Business Management 3,250 2% $62,810
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Personal Financial Advisors.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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