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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.


  • 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.


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 the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Personal Financial Advisors jobs , as of 2016

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 10,180 $135,730
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 6,640 $163,660
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 4,650 $124,980
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 4,430 $124,270
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 4,300 $129,760
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 3,550 $109,560
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 3,320 $106,760
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson 2,880 $107,600
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 2,870 $109,070
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood 2,610 $124,460

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to personal financial advisors

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Personal Financial Advisors

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment 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
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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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