It is indeed with a lot of effort that a person earns money. For most people, a major chunk of the money they earn goes into meeting their needs and wants. They either save the remaining portion for rough times or make investments in a manner such that the money grows.
Indeed this extra money is hard earned and people would do anything to ensure the best for it. Often, achieving bigger things in life (like a dream car or house, a foreign vacation or a grand Indian wedding) depends on the returns that the money which is invested over years will bring.
Now, the fact is, not everyone knows everything that there is about smart money management. Since this is something that they would rather not make a mistake about, people prefer to hire personal financial advisors.
The main role of financial advisors is to advice people to spend their money wisely and make appropriate investments. There are no clear-cut solutions here and the investment options need to be tailored to meet the requirements of the individual clients.
To be able to do justice to this, personal financial planners go through rigorous education and training. In spite of this, it is often seen that it is with experience that they excel at their job. Read on to know how you can pursue a career in this field.
• Educational Background
The basic educational background for a degree in this field would include that of a bachelor's degree in commerce. Generally, candidates with a background in finance, accounting, mathematics, business, statistics or economics are preferred.
Following their graduation, candidates can choose to take up certain job-related certifications that will help them accelerate their career growth. This would include certifications like that of chartered accountant, chartered financial consultant and certified financial planners amongst others.
In some cases, candidates prefer obtaining a master's degree in finance as that is seen to give them a competitive edge over their peers in the market.
• Skill Set
This is a profession where a certain degree of predictive sense is required. Thus, you need to be foresighted and have a natural knack for numbers. You should be willing to take risks and at the same time, you must be accountable for your actions.
Since this field involves a considerable amount of interaction with other people, good communication skills will help you in this career. Being compassionate will help you build a rapport with your clients and that will help you make more money in this profession.
• Super Specialisations
Understand that there are a number of reasons why people opt to become a personal financial advisor. The reason for the same may range from that of saving on taxes and retirement planning to estate planning and risk management. In such a scenario, a candidate who has studied the relevant subjects is at an advantage.
Thus, if you aim to become a personal financial advisor, it will be wise on your part to choose your super specialisation early on in your career. Try to sit down and sort out which topic actually interests you and where you see yourself five or ten years down the line.
This will enable you to make smarter decisions with respect to your choice of electives and thereby pave the way for a steadier career ahead. Understand that a well-chalked-out career path is one that is easier to walk on and you are bound to reach your goals faster that way.
• Scope Of Employment
Some personal financial advisors choose to set up their own firm and work with individual clients straight after college. While this is a viable option, the other way out is where candidates choose to work in some firm under some senior financial advisor and learn the finer nuances of the job.
That way, they gain experience in the field while strengthening their knowledge of stocks, bonds and tax laws. This in turn makes them take better insurance and other financial decisions on behalf of their clients. It is important to realise here that the client in question may not always be an individual.
At times, it may also be a group of individuals, a firm or an organisation. This is all the way truer in the current scenario where there are thousands of start-ups mushrooming all over the country and almost all of them working in close collaboration with personal financial advisors.
• Salary And Working Environment
This is a field where there is a lot of flexibility involved in terms of work environment and working hours. One can choose how much they will work and with whom. This job often involves travelling to meet the clients. The meetings generally take place at a time and venue of the client's convenience and may or may not require you to work at odd hours or on the weekends.
With a huge majority of personal financial advisors being self-employed, the salary that they take home will depend on all the aforementioned factors. The average take-home salary here is INR 2,09,818 per year. Like every other field, the salary here increases with experience as well.
However, since this is a comparatively newer profession, there are not many people here with an experience of more than two decades. Thus, in the coming years, as the experience of professionals in this field will rise, we can only expect the figures for the average salary to go up as well.
With the nation progressing by leaps and bounds, the segment of people with a considerable amount of disposable income is increasing. This creates an immense potential for personal financial advisors.
Having understood the scope of this field and the means of pursuing a successful career in the same, here's wishing the very best of luck to hard-working candidates who want to make a name for themselves.