Financial Planner

Financial Planners are the people clients lean on to help them make the most of their money today and in the future. Some work with individuals to plan their investments and financial futures, and others work for financial institutions buying and selling investment opportunities.

If you like working with people and numbers, become a financial planner could be in your future. Many financial planners are self-employed, so it is a great career choice for the self-motivated individual.

Financial Planner Degrees

Most financial planners have at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, but many hold a master’s degree or higher. Because many of the aspects of the job involve sales and legal issues, it can be helpful to take online courses in business law and marketing as well as the traditional finance and accounting courses.

Financial Planner Job Description

Financial planners help clients realize their financial potential either by meeting with individuals or holding group seminars on topics such as:

  • Investing in stocks and bonds
  • Starting or contributing to IRAs and 401K plans
  • Insurance products
  • Wills and trusts
  • Emergency funds
  • College planning

Becoming a financial planner means advising people on immediate financial decisions, such as buying a house or car, or long-term issues, such as saving for college or retirement. It is a very competitive field with about 1/3 of financial planners being self-employed. As baby boomers age, they will look to financial planners to manage their retirement income, increasing the need for this occupation.

Other financial planners work for insurance companies, banks and investment services planning finances for clients while selling their company’s products. Some may go on to become licensed securities brokers.

Financial Planner Salary

Like many other jobs in the field of finance, financial planners are very well compensated. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median income for financial planners in May of 2006 was $66,590. The highest 10 percent in the industry earn more than $130,130 every year.

With the demand for financial planners increasing, the salaries and bonuses can be expected to rise in the future.

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