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Being a financial advisor involves more than rendering financial services to clients, or even discussions about bonds, stocks, investment strategies or mutual funds. Not to mention, becoming a financial advisor is a strenuous endeavor that can be fulfilling for the right person, particularly an individual who is interested in people, learning, and quelling financial challenges.

For any career, there are many paths to gaining long-term success. Nonetheless, each of those paths involve committing time and effort to the development of said career. Below, you’ll find the proper steps to take if you hope to become a financial advisor.

  1. Appraise your skills, and consider your experience and aspirations when deciding if financial advising might be the right path for you. Financial advisory is a career for those willing to put in long hours and meet deadlines, and don’t shy away from the frequent application of mathematics. Additionally, communication skills are key. With any career that involves consultation, the ability to communicate complex ideas and involved strategies is important. Some would argue that the ability to assess a client’s financial situation and understand technology platforms is only as important as their communication skills. Professional financial advisors need to be able to nurture strong relationship with client if they want to see success.  
  2. Complete an undergraduate degree and become certified. While gaining a bachelor’s degree, most future financial advisors pursue economics, computer science, accounting and mathematics. Also, most financial advisors have a CFF, CFA or a CFP, acquired after four years of formal education. If you’re interested in the securities industry, then you must take the Series 7 examination, as well as the Series 63 exam.
  3. Following the completion of college and certification, you should acquire an unpaid or part-time internship to decide if becoming a financial planner still suits you. Then, apply for a corporate training program at a company like Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management, which provides valuable financial advisory training programs, teaching technical skills, regulations and sales acumen, and it readies you for a successful career.
  4. Ready yourself for long hours and demanding shifts. Be prepared to offer your clients and employer your terrific skill set, advertising your genuine interest in people. Work at being patient, and demonstrate that you’re resilient and responsible. Also, find a senior advisor who can be a smart mentor for you, with an ability to offer you guidance in your career.