How to Become a Financial Consultant

If you want to become a financial consultant, then you must be prepared for a competitive career and a challenging profession. Apart from certain academic and professional qualifications, you need to have a passion for numbers, an analytical outlook and a willingness to work around the clock. As a financial consultant, you can either opt for salaried employment or become self-employed professional. The career opportunities for a financial consultant are rather vast and depending upon your aptitude, you can choose to become a financial analyst, tax planner, portfolio manager, investment manager, fund organizer or insurance advisor etc.

Qualifications Required

A financial consultant should hold a bachelor's degree from a recognized university although a master's degree in financial administration will be preferred. Additional specializations in any one or two areas such as financial analysis, corporate finance planning, banking, accounting standards, risk management and fund management, will be highly helpful.

Licensing and Accreditation

Financial consultants should acquire necessary category of licenses from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) or other appropriate federal and state bodies. Aspirants wanting to specialize in insurance must obtain additional licensing from the concerned state board.

As a financial consultant, if you wish to further specialize in certain specific areas, you can acquire any of the supplemental certificates such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or other qualifications. Obtaining these certificates is not mandatory but will help you enhance your standards of professional excellence. Even after successfully obtaining the certificate, you will be required to enroll in some continuing education program to maintain the certification.

Most organizations will prefer to hire financial consultants with a minimum of a bachelor's degree, some additional specialized qualifications in finance and few years of experience in the related field. To grow as a successful financial consultant, develop a good list of clients and use them to send client referrals to further enlarge you client base.

Other Miscellaneous Skills

Apart from acquiring the necessary academic and professional qualifications, you should have good communication skills, an analytical mind, problem solving capabilities, self-confidence and a capacity to think out of the box. Added to this, you should have a sound knowledge of the financial markets, tax laws, governmental regulations, statutory changes and updated information about the world of industry, trade and commerce.

It will be further advantageous if you acquire marketing and public relations skills. As a financial consultant, you will have to constantly interact with your clients and develop good rapport through personal visits, phone calls and electronic messaging. To add to income, many certified financial consultants make it a point to canvass for financial products - such as loans, securities and even insurance.

Whether you opt to become a salaried employee or choose to practice as an independent financial consultant, your future will hold a lot of promise. As an employee, you can aspire to climb the corporate ladder and end up as a CEO or company director. As an independent financial consultant, please remember you cannot conceive of a more prestigious and dignified career with huge earning potential.