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Career Profile: Personal Financial Advisors

Advise clients on financial plans using knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, insurance, pension plans, and real estate. Duties include assessing clients' assets, liabilities, cash flow, insurance coverage, tax status, and financial objectives. May also buy and sell financial assets for clients.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 275,200 people employed as personal financial advisors in the United States. The median annual salary is $89,300. Entry level employees earn approximately $44,100 per year and senior employees earn approximately $208,000 (or more) per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Analyze financial information obtained from clients to determine strategies for meeting clients' financial objectives.
  • Answer clients' questions about the purposes and details of financial plans and strategies.
  • Review clients' accounts and plans regularly to determine whether life changes, economic changes, environmental concerns, or financial performance indicate a need for plan reassessment.
  • Contact clients periodically to determine any changes in their financial status.
  • Investigate available investment opportunities to determine compatibility with client financial plans.
  • Explain to clients the personal financial advisor's responsibilities and the types of services to be provided.
  • Recommend financial products, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or insurance.
  • Inform clients about tax benefits, government rebates, or other financial benefits of alternative fuel vehicle purchases or energy efficient home construction, improvements, or remodeling.
  • Conduct seminars or workshops on financial planning topics, such as retirement planning, estate planning, or the evaluation of severance packages.
  • Prepare or interpret for clients information, such as investment performance reports, financial document summaries, or income projections.
  • Monitor financial market trends to ensure that client plans are responsive.
  • Guide clients in the gathering of information, such as bank account records, income tax returns, life and disability insurance records, pension plans, or wills.
  • Recruit and maintain client bases.
  • Meet with clients' other advisors, such as attorneys, accountants, trust officers, or investment bankers, to fully understand clients' financial goals and circumstances.
  • Devise debt liquidation plans that include payoff priorities and timelines.
  • Open accounts for clients and disburse funds from accounts to creditors as agent for clients.
  • Recommend environmentally responsible investments, such as cleantech, alternative energy, or conservation technologies, companies, or funds.
  • Interview clients to determine their current income, expenses, insurance coverage, tax status, financial objectives, risk tolerance, or other information needed to develop a financial plan.
  • Recommend to clients strategies in cash management, insurance coverage, investment planning, or other areas to help them achieve their financial goals.
  • Manage client portfolios, keeping client plans up-to-date.
  • Implement financial planning recommendations or refer clients to someone who can assist them with plan implementation.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
275,200
Annual Openings:
21,500
Increase in Openings by 2030:
5%
Annual Salary Range:
$44,100 - $208,000
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree