Are you someone who believes strongly in “earn, save, and invest” with your money? Perhaps a career in Financial Advisory is your calling. Read on to find out the steps to become a Financial Advisor.

Many folks know that they have to handle their funds prudently. But, they don’t know how and have not the time to learn. So, instead, they seek help from a professional that is a financial advisor.

Most of the top business owners and company heads spend all their time on their businesses, job, and family. They need a good financial advisor to keep a watchful eye on their business and/or personal finances.

Having some simple know-how of finance will not make you a good financial advisor. You need to learn about finance at college-status – besides the training and certifications required for giving financial advice.

You will learn here how to become a financial advisor. But first, what exactly is a financial advisor?

What is a financial advisor? What exactly do they do?

If you need help in making a financial decision such as insurance, taxes, debt, and/or investments, speak to a financial advisor.

A financial advisor offers advice and guidance on money matters in return for a fee. Services include managing investments, tax and estate planning. Many financial advisors are now offering a variety of services as a single-stop shop from investment management to insurance plans.

Responsibilities of a financial advisor include:

  • Meet potential clients to get to know each other and discuss their goals.
  • Describe to prospective customers the financial services offered.
  • Educate customers and answer questions on investment options and the risks.
  • Suggest to client suitable investments or pick the investment on their behalf.
  • Help customers plan for specific matters. For example, education and retirement funding.
  • Track the accounts of clients and decide whether it needs changes to boost financial results or adapt to changes in life, such as marriage or childbirth.
  • Research on investment instruments.

Steps to become a financial advisor

First, find out and talk with someone who has or is working in the field. Tell them you’re planning to be a financial advisor. Pose them explicit inquiries on what a normal day resembles, what factors impact their income, and what they love and dislike with their vocation. This will give you a much more correct view of what’s in store in financial advisory for which you’re getting ready.

Step 1: Get a Degree

It’s best that you studied a business or finance course. For a job as a financial advisor, a bachelor’s degree is necessary. It is acceptable if you major in finance, economy, business, statistics, or the like. Financial advisors can be specialists or may be trained in a variety of fields, including investment, business, estate planning, risk management, and liability protection.

Major companies or high-end clients can require the continuation of their education from their financial advisors. Some of them pursue an MBA curriculum after several years of working in the field while pursuing full-time work.

Step 2: Complete an Internship

During college, seek an internship with a financial advisory firm. This gives you a first-hand look at the profession and understands what’s being a financial advisor like on everyday premise.

You also get to network with experienced financial advisors and perhaps find a mentor. The connections you made as an intern will follow you throughout your profession.

Last, an internship looks impressive on your resume. Most businesses prefer to enlist individuals with experience. As a new graduate, you won’t have much experience. Having experience as an intern shows your dynamic enthusiasm to become a financial advisor.

Step 3: Look for an entry-level job

When you’ve earned your degree and logged on some experience during an internship, begin hunting for a job.

Discover from your college’s career department any work leads. Get help in writing an effective cover letter and resume.

Use your list of networks to discover any employment openings. At last, don’t disregard social media as an astounding channel for posting resumes and scanning for open positions.

There are many financial advisory firms the nation over. You can apply for openings at these organisations regardless of any official advertisement for new positions. You can also apply for work at different companies like banks and insurance agencies.

Step 4: Get professional certifications and the licenses

A career in Financial Advisory is demanding and competitive. Remember, you are dealing with other people’s money.

Financial advisors compete to get new clients. As such, most advisors seek professional certification and licenses to assist them with building up a solid reputation or separate themselves from their competition.

When you’ve logged in some working experience, you will know what kind of financial advisor you want to be. This can assist you with choosing which certification(s) that match the advisory work you want to pursue further.

Examples of the most common certifications pursued:

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Islamic Financial Planner (IFP)
  • Registered Financial Planner (RFP)
  • Shariah Registered Financial Planner (Shariah RFP)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

With certification as a prerequisite, you will still need to apply for the necessary licensing before using the designation financial planner or financial advisor. By law, a person who contravenes and commits an offence on missing the designation as a financial planner, on conviction is liable to a fine not exceeding ten million ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to both.

  • Capital Market Service Representative Licence (CMSRL) in financial planning from Securities Commission (SC)
  • Financial Adviser Representative (FAR) Licence from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)
  • Corporate Unit Trust Adviser (CUTA) Licence

Step 5: Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

Learning is a continuous process. It will never end. Nobody can claim to know everything on a particular subject, not even an expert. In the finance world, laws and techniques are continually changing. Financial advisors must stay aware of the latest rules, trends, and strategies.

Most professional certifications require its members to clock in minimum hours for CPE. While senior positions frequently require a postgraduate degree. A Master in Finance (MSF) or an MBA with a focus on money management can give you a serious edge.

A hunger for new knowledge will work well for you in any profession. As a financial advisor, your client depends on you for valuable financial advice before making a financial decision. With additional credentials added, it demonstrates your ability to offer excellent financial advice.

Interest for a financial advisor is high and will increase. The public will be more knowledgeable in financial matters and know the significance of sound financial choices.

Important qualities to have

Analytical skills: Financial advisors should be willing and comfortable to consider a large amount of information when deciding a client’s stock portfolio, including market conditions, legislative changes, and client tolerance with risks.

Interpersonal skills: A large aspect of the role of a personal financial advisor is to make customers feel at ease. Advisors have to build confidence with clients and react professionally to their problems and concerns.

Math skills: Financial advisors should be good at mathematics because they constantly work with numbers. They determine the amount invested, how that amount has grown or decreased over time, and how a portfolio is distributed among different investments.

Sales skills. To increase their clients base, financial advisors must be persuasive and persistent in selling their services.

Speaking skills. Financial advisors engage with customers every day. They must be able to describe intricate financial concepts in plain language.


A financial advisor is much like a therapist: you take part in the largest life changes of your customers–such as getting pregnant, nearing retirement and dealing with inheritance–and often assigned to assist them to resolve their concerns, such as recessions or money laundering. That’s exactly what makes a career so satisfying as a financial advisor.

It is a joy to give advice to the clients. They have faith in you sharing their personal financial details. To gain confidence requires stringent examinations to be passed and to adhere to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

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So, does a career as a financial advisor fit you?