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Why College Students Should Consider a Career in Financial Planning

Has your child recently started college, navigating a sea of majors and concentrations in the hope of finding one that fits? Perhaps your student is in the process of applying to universities, and is just starting to think about what they want to do for a living. It’s important for students to consider pursuing a career that will pay off monetarily and also fit their strengths and interests.

With roughly 40 percent of current financial advisors expected to retire in the next 10 years, now is the perfect time for prospective and current students to consider financial services as a career path. For those of us who have been in the industry for 10, 20 or even 30 years, it’s time to share with parents and their students some of the benefits of a career as a financial advisor and the qualities that help an advisor succeed.

What are the benefits of getting into the industry?

  • Flexibility: Whether you’re an advisor, in operations or in client services, there is always an opportunity to try something new. Is your student not sure about what exactly they want to do? A wealth management group can offer flexibility in assignments and the opportunity to perform multiple job functions, so the financial planning industry might be a good fit for those looking to try out various channels of work.
  • Diversity: Advisors meet many different people — no two are alike. One person’s financial goals will differ from the next, and every day is unique working with new people. This may be a good career path for those who want to have a dynamic workflow and have a passion for helping others.
  • Fulfillment: Most often, advisors are helping their clients tackle obstacles that challenge their financial stability and ability to live the life they want in retirement. It can be extremely rewarding to help someone find financial security and build a comfortable future for themselves. An advisor’s success really comes from enabling clients to feel secure in their financial lives.

What qualities make a good financial advisor?

  • Being attentive and having an ability to listen — not just hear in order to sell, but really listen so you can pull together different aspects of a person’s life is key. The ability to listen helps advisors evaluate financial components that can fit together and form a personalized plan to improve a client’s life.
  • The work of a financial advisor can sometimes be similar to that of a detective: Each day is spent extracting the financial details of a person’s life and turn them into something digestible and understandable that helps the client identify where their needs are. Attention to detail is key, and advising is a great field for those who have an inclination toward organization.
  • Creativity is one of the most important qualities needed for success in financial planning. Since no two clients will be the same, neither will the solutions used to address their financial needs. Creative students might excel in the financial planning field because advisors need to devise unique solutions for each client they assist.

Traditionally, members of the financial planning industry have been finance majors or professionals who completed certified financial planner (CFP®) programs. However, students who do not have traditional backgrounds can still make the jump. If they’re interested in entering the industry, they should look for a bank or large wealth management firm with multiple channels: wealth, banking, insurance, etc. This way, they have an opportunity to see different lines of work, gain experience and find a position that might be best suited for their talents.

Are you interested in learning more about how your child could become a financial advisor and what the field has to offer? Please feel free to contact us for more information on how your student could become a part of the new generation of financial planners.