Career Development

What Does a Financial Planner Do?

Find out what a financial planner does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a financial planner.

Financial planners help clients create and implement financial plans. They may work with individuals, families, or businesses to develop strategies for managing their money now and in the future.

Financial planners often specialize in a particular area of financial planning such as retirement planning, investment management, estate planning, etc.

Financial Planner Job Duties

A financial planner typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Reviewing clients’ financial goals and objectives to determine how best to reach them based on current assets and liabilities
  • Assisting clients with tax planning, including preparing tax returns and filing them with federal and state agencies
  • Providing investment advice to clients based on their risk tolerance, time horizon, and other factors
  • Performing financial planning tasks such as creating budgets, developing savings plans, and creating plans for paying off debt
  • Developing investment strategies aimed at meeting clients’ long-term goals while taking into account potential risks
  • Advising clients on estate planning and helping them prepare wills and trusts
  • Creating financial plans that identify strategies for saving for major life events such as weddings, college tuition, or retirement
  • Recommending investments based on a client’s risk tolerance and time horizon
  • Developing educational materials and seminars on financial topics such as budgeting, investing, retirement planning, and estate planning

Financial Planner Salary & Outlook

Financial planners’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of clients they work with.

  • Median Annual Salary: $72,500 ($34.86/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $145,000 ($69.71/hour)

The employment of financial planners is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Demand for financial planning services will depend on the overall state of the economy. As the economy grows, more households will be in a position to plan for major purchases, such as a home or a college education for their children. However, during economic downturns, consumers may be less willing or able to take on debt and plan for the future.

Related: In-Depth Financial Planner Salary Guide

Financial Planner Job Requirements

A career as a financial planner typically requires the following:

Education: Most financial planners have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some financial planners choose to earn a master’s degree in financial planning or a related field, such as business administration or accounting.

Training & Experience: Most financial planners will receive on-the-job training when they start working for a company. This training will help the financial planner learn the company’s specific procedures and requirements. It will also help the financial planner learn the software and computer programs the company uses.

Certifications & Licenses: Certain states require financial planners to obtain a license to sell products such as life insurance and securities. These licenses require candidates to pass an exam regarding state laws and regulations.

Financial Planner Skills

Financial planners need the following skills in order to be successful:

Accounting: Accounting is the process of recording and analyzing financial data. A financial planner needs to have a strong understanding of accounting to be able to create a financial plan. They need to be able to read and interpret financial statements and other financial data.

Communication: Financial planners communicate with a variety of people, including clients, colleagues, investors and other professionals. Effective communication skills can help you convey information clearly and build trust with others. You may also use communication skills to collaborate with others on projects.

Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and determine the best course of action. Financial planners use critical thinking skills to help their clients make informed decisions about their finances. For example, a client may ask a financial planner about the best way to save for retirement. The planner may use critical thinking skills to analyze the client’s current savings habits, their current income and their current expenses to determine the best savings plan for the client.

Financial planning software: Financial planners use software to create financial plans for their clients. This software can include programs that help them create budgets, forecast financial information and create investment portfolios.

Industry knowledge: Financial planners need to stay up to date on the latest trends in their industry. They can use this knowledge to help their clients make informed decisions about their finances. For example, if a client is considering a real estate investment, a financial planner can explain the potential risks and benefits of the investment.

Financial Planner Work Environment

Financial planners typically work in an office environment, although some may work from home. They typically work regular business hours, although they may need to work evenings and weekends to meet with clients. Financial planners may work for a financial planning firm, a bank, an insurance company, or other financial institution, or they may be self-employed. Financial planners need to be able to work well under pressure, as they may be required to meet deadlines in order to complete client reports or financial plans. They also need to be able to handle confidential information in a discreet and professional manner.

Financial Planner Trends

Here are three trends influencing how financial planners work. Financial planners will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Skills

The financial planning profession is evolving, and professionals are now expected to have more technical skills. This means that financial planners will need to be able to use software such as Excel and Access to create financial models and projections.

In addition, financial planners will need to be able to understand the latest trends in technology so that they can keep up with the latest developments in the industry. This includes understanding how to use social media to market their services and how to use data analytics to make better decisions.

More Collaboration Between Finance and Accounting

As businesses become more complex, the need for collaboration between finance and accounting becomes increasingly important. This is because both departments play a critical role in helping a business run efficiently and effectively.

Financial planners can take advantage of this trend by developing strong relationships with accountants and other members of the finance team. This will allow them to work together on projects and find ways to improve the overall efficiency of the company.

Greater Focus on Retirement Planning

As people live longer, the importance of retirement planning has become increasingly evident. Financial planners are in a unique position to help clients plan for their retirement years, which requires a deep understanding of the various options available and the risks involved.

Financial planners who are able to provide high-quality retirement planning services will be in high demand in the coming years. In order to stay competitive, they will need to develop the expertise needed to help clients make informed decisions about their future finances.

How to Become a Financial Planner

A career as a financial planner can be incredibly rewarding. It offers the opportunity to help people reach their financial goals, and it can be very satisfying to see your clients succeed. However, it’s important to remember that becoming a financial planner is a long-term investment. It takes time to build up your knowledge of the industry and your client base, so you need to be committed to the process.

If you’re interested in becoming a financial planner, there are several things you can do to get started. First, make sure you have a strong understanding of personal finance. Read books and articles about investing, saving money, and managing debt. Take online courses or attend workshops on these topics. Second, network with other professionals in the field. Attend conferences and meetups, join LinkedIn groups, and subscribe to newsletters. Third, develop a plan for how you will market yourself and attract new clients.

Related: How to Write a Financial Planner Resume

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance your career as a financial planner. One way is to specialize in a certain area of financial planning, such as retirement planning, estate planning, or tax planning. This will make you more valuable to potential clients and employers. Another way to advance is to get certified as a financial planner. This shows that you have the knowledge and skills to provide quality financial planning services. Finally, you can advance your career by becoming a manager or supervisor in a financial planning firm. This will give you the opportunity to lead and mentor other financial planners.

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