Hi guys, welcome to this special piece on Jobs and Salaries of Financial Advisor.

Read this piece to the end and we promise you’ll be fully acquainted with the various types of Financial Advisors’ jobs available, their work specifications, roles and responsibilities, as well as earnings.

In this article, we’ll examine the following in-depth:

Who is a Financial Advisor
Financial Advisor roles and responsibility
Types of Financial Advisor jobs
How do Financial Advisors make money

Let’s get started!

Introduction to Financial Advisor Jobs

Have you ever met a Certified Financial Planner, Investment Advisor, Life Insurance Agent, or Financial Consultant?

The chances are that you have.

This broad group of Financial Professionals can be loosely termed as Financial Advisors. 

Who is a Financial Advisor?

Financial advisory is among the best careers in finance, according to the U.S. news career rankings.

The report states that the Financial Advisor’s job description has changed from product-driven to a more holistic financial expert who offers clients meaningful financial advice.

Financial Advisors are financial professionals who offer their financial expertise to help clients improve their personal finance, investments, insurance, and tax issues at a fee.

They offer numerous advisory services to their clients, including wealth management, financial planning, portfolio management, insurance products, tax, and estate planning.

Financial Advisors may also include Stockbrokers, Tax Professionals, Investment Managers, Financial Planners, Estate Managers, Bankers, and Insurance Agents.

However, a Financial Advisor differs significantly from other Finance Professionals in their mode of operation. 

This is mainly because a Financial Advisor’s primary duty is to guide, counsel, and help clients make sound financial decisions.

The Financial Advisors family is a small band of tightly knit financial experts numbering over 275,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics 2020 report.

Surprisingly, most Financial Advisors work full-time, hold a bachelor’s degree, and are above 50 years of age(47% ).

Overall, the majority of Financial Advisors serve individuals and families and fall into three main categories.

Registered Investment Advisor(RIA) 

This type of financial professional is registered by their state or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to act fiduciary(in the client’s best interest) at all times. 

The RIA help clients avoid excessive risk, keep their fees reasonable, and offer financial counseling that conforms to the client’s objectives, timelines, risk tolerance, and financial goals.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

A certified financial planner helps clients manage their investments, education plans, taxes, insurances, and retirement planning. 

To qualify as a certified financial planner, one must possess a bachelor’s degree with at least three years of experience in finance (or 2000 hrs of practice).

In addition, pass a detailed CFP certification course, complete 30 hours of CFP, and abide by the CFP code of ethics.

Registered Representative

These are Financial Professionals licensed and regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Registered Representatives work for brokerage firms and earn commissions from trading stocks, bonds, securities, mutual funds, and other financial products.

Financial Advisors Roles and Responsibilities

A Financial Advisor is a financial expert who helps clients manage their finances, plan for investments and attain their financial goals quickly and safely.

The financial consultant studies business trends, economic policies, and the prevailing financial market conditions to offer clients the best financial advice.

What is a Personal Financial Advisor job description?

The modern-day Personal Financial Advisor is a one-stop-shop for numerous financial services.

Here are the primary duties and responsibilities of a Financial Advisor:

Develop robust financial plans for clients

These finance experts use analytics and research to develop financial products that help clients achieve financial goals. 

Offer Investment advisory

A Financial Advisor answers investment questions and provides financial counseling to their clients.

They also develop investment products that secure and multiply the customer’s investments.

Prepare financial documents 

A personal Financial Advisor interprets, analyses, and monitors financial records and prepares income projections for customers.

Offer wealth management services

A personal Finance Advisor helps clients improve their overall financial health by offering wealth management advice concerning their financial portfolio (assets, liabilities, risks). 

Advise clients on relevant statutory requirements

A licensed Financial Advisor is a financial expert who helps clients maintain compliance with statutory regulations in the financial industry.

Perform market research

A personal Financial Advisor conducts market research into the latest economic trends.

By being up to date with finance trends, the advisor can prepare functional and helpful financial products.

Prepare client budgets

Professional Finance Advisors use their skills and expertise to prepare excellent and effective client budgets.

Where can a Financial Advisor work?

Financial advisors can work at finance consulting jobs, insurance companies, financial planning firms, financial markets, fidelity investments, and wealth management companies.

They help people make smart financial decisions, grow their investment portfolios, reduce risks, and meet statutory regulatory requirements.

Types of Advisor Jobs

Financial Advisors provide numerous and varied financial services.

Here are the most common ones.

Wealth Management

A wealth management advisor is a finance professional who fully manages a client’s wealth portfolio.

Wealth management professionals typically provide advisory services to wealthy clients who own a diverse set of financial investments.

Typical services offered by wealth management professionals include: 

  • Estate planning involves offering legal advice concerning the clients’ assets in case of death.
  • Accounting and tax planning involves the preparation and payments of tax returns for the client.
  • Stock brokerage where the wealth management professional trades on the stock market on behalf of their client.
  • Financial planning is vital to wealth managers in managing their clients’ portfolios. 
  • Retirement planning involves the study of a client’s financial retirement goals, risk appetite, investment portfolio, savings, and expenses patterns.
  • Charity planning is where a wealth manager studies the clients’ charity objectives, expected budget, and income sources for the charitable projects.

Financial Planning

Financial Planners help their clients achieve their long-term financial goals by consulting on their financial goals, tracking expenses, identifying investment opportunities, and offering sound financial advice.

A Financial Planner is a financial expert who holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, accounts, or other finance-related disciplines.

What Does a Financial Planner Do?

A financial planner:

  • Provides sound financial and investment advice in line with the customers financial objective.
  • Prepares researched financial investment reports for the approval of their customer.
  • Develop and implement tax and risk management strategies.
  • Provide estate planning advisory strategies
  • Manange and maintain a healthy client relationship.

Debt Counselling

Debt counselors are finance professionals who help their clients deal with their ballooning debt situation.

Credit Counselors prepare sustainable budgets for clients, offer loan refinancing and debt consolidation options, negotiate with creditors on behalf of their clients and provide solutions to manage and reduce debt.

Investment Advisory Services

An investment advisor is a financial expert who provides clients with advice on the best investment opportunities, especially in the bond, stocks, and financial securities sectors.

Investment advisors usually charge a percentage (usually 1%) of the size of the financial portfolio being managed.

The primary duties of this advisor include:

  • Researching on investment opportunities
  • Due diligence, including background checks on investment opportunities.
  • Providing legal and regulatory advice on investments
  • Determine risk levels of investment options
  • Recording and updating a client’s book of business regularly.

Portfolio Management

Portfolio management refers to the processes implemented to increase and maintain an organization’s portfolio.

A portfolio manager analyzes risks, calculates potential returns, and works within the client’s budget to create realistic and profitable business structures.

The primary duties of an investment manager include:

  • Develop business strategies aligned to a company’s financial goals.
  • Calculate a companies risk exposure when entering into an investment. 
  • Advice and guide their clients on the best and most viable investment opportunities.
  • Update the clients on the performance and financial health of their investments.


Stockbrokers are Finance Professionals that work in stock brokerages and engage in securities exchanges.

Stockbrokers buy and sell securities and bonds on behalf of their clients at a fee.

Stockbrokers manage their clients’ securities portfolios, provide advisory services concerning securities, prepare securities assessment reports, and trade in the stock exchanges on behalf of their clients.

How Do Financial Advisors Make Money?

If you plan to pursue a Financial Advisor career, you must be asking how Financial Advisors make money? 

A financial advisor or adviser makes money in three main ways; let’s examine them.

Client Fees

Most financial experts earn directly from their customers for services rendered.

An Investment Advisor will often charge an investment management fee, either a percentage of the total asset value or a flat hourly rate.

Clients prefer the percentage method since it acts as an incentive to the Investment Manager to grow the investment portfolio.

Advisory fees are another popular payment method for advisory firms offering advisory services. 

Clients love the advisory fee payment method since it allows them continuous access to a financial advisor.

Some advisors also charge a performance fee which is dependent on the advisor achieving pre-agreed financial targets.

Financial Advisors’ salary varies and depends on the nature of work and the interpersonal relationship between the advisor and client.


In this arrangement, a Financial Advisor is paid a percentage of the financial product value they sell to clients.

The commission-based payment method is popular with insurance companies, stock brokerages, and mutual fund companies.

There are some disadvantages associated with commission-based financial services.

Some clients fear that Advisors may push non-performing products and services due to financial reasons.

Additionally, commission-based Advisors may fail to offer unrelated but high-performing financial products they don’t sell.

They may not also monitor your accounts carefully since they only earn a one-off commission.

That’s why licensed Financial Advisors are preferred since the law binds them to put their client’s interests first.

Salaries(hourly, monthly, or project-based)

Some personal finance jobs pay salaries based on the type and nature of the job.

A project-based salary scheme is preferred for a single one-off project, while hourly jobs are suitable for ongoing projects.

Finance professionals who receive fixed salaries can earn extra bonuses and incentives by hitting certain company performance milestones.

How to Become a Financial Advisor (Education Requirements)

Do I need a financial planning bachelor’s degree to become a Financial Advisor?

Apart from having the passion and interest in becoming a Financial Advisor, your educational background matters just as much.

Entry-level Financial Advisor jobs require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree with a major in economics, finance, accounting, statistics, or business.

Most major companies don’t directly employ entry-level Financial Advisors but offer financial advising internships where candidates can gain relevant experience.

These Financial Advisor development programs offer Financial Advisor training that merges theory with real-world practicals to create an effective Financial Advisor.

Apart from the bachelor’s degree, a Financial Advisor license and relevant professional certifications are recommended to stand out in your Financial Advisor career path.

Most financial planning certification is obtained after attending financial planning classes and three years of practice. 

Online financial planning classes are great for a young entry-level Financial Advisor professional.

These classes add to your skill base and allow you to command higher Financial Advisor salaries, and you can do full-time or part-time, depending on your schedule.

Here are a few common types of Financial Advisor certifications:

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Chartered Financial Consultant ( ChFC)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Personal Finance Specialist (PFS)
  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
  • Certified Fund Specialist (CFS) and Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC)

With a Financial Advisor education background, you can transition to a budget analyst, personal financial manager, financial analyst, business financial consultant, wealth advisor, securities, commodities, and financial services agent.

How Much Do Financial Advisors Make?

How much does a Financial Advisor make a year?

A new Financial Advisor’s salary varies depending on the state, company size, and job description.

The median financial advisor’s salary in 2021 is $70,482 p/a, with the 90th percentile earning over $100000 p/a while the 25th percentile is earning $45000 p/a.

The states with the highest Financial Advisor salaries include Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York.

According to a survey by J.D. Powers and associates, the top Financial Advisor firms are Edward Jones, Raymond James, and Merrill Lynch company.

A personal Financial Advisor’s salary at one of these top firms is way ahead of the median advisor’s salary.

Take a look at the salary range in one of the biggest wealth management companies in the country, Merill Lynch.

A typical Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor salary starts at $59768 p/a for a trainee and increases to $228193 for Senior Advisors.


If you’re interested in finance, then a career as an Advisor is perfect for you.

You will need a solid financial education background, a passion for the trade, and a genuine interest to learn since apprenticeship is part of the journey.

If you need to learn more about Financial Advisor jobs, kindly leave a comment below or browse through our other financial-related articles.



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