An ethical and competent financial advisor can be a valuable resource, especially during harsh economic times. The market may appear saturated with advisors, but don't think that there isn't room for you. Too many advisors have given faulty advice that has come up short over the years, and individuals and small business owners are looking for others who helped their clients navigate through troubled waters. It's a great home business idea if you have the experience and training.
Education and Training
You don't need a degree, but you may be hired more often if you have one. An education background in business, law or finance is impressive to many clients. If you did not earn any of these, or a college degree, it's still possible to work as a financial advisor. You can earn certification and build your reputation, but you'll have to research the organizations that can certify you without a college degree. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards offers a Certified Financial Planner certification, but a bachelor's degree is required. To earn the certification they offer, you'll need to enroll in a credited or non-credited program at a college or university. Some colleges offer online programs, so you can earn a degree or complete a certification program from home.
Financial Advisor Salary
Financial advisors can earn anywhere from $40,000 to $90,000. You can earn a salary from fees that clients pay, from earned commissions based on the financial products that you recommend or both. There are some ethical issues to consider when making money from a third party based on investments and other products that you sell to your clients. It may not be in your client's best interest to do that, and many of them might be turned off by it.
Choose a Niche Market
You can work with any market you want, except that you will be limited by your experience, training and certification. Determine which problems you can solve, and then weed out the problems you don't want to solve. For example, you may be able to solve financial problems for tax attorneys, but you may not enjoy working with that market. Here are some ideas for a niche market:
- Individuals with assets worth more than one million dollars
- Families who want to get out of debt
- Solo entrepreneurs
- Consumers who want to invest in precious metals
- Family businesses
- Young professionals
Get the training and certification you need if you want to work with a niche market, but lack the skills you need. Competency is your number one asset as a financial advisor. If you become known as incompetent, you can forget about building a successful business.
Marketing Your Business
There are many innovative ways to market a business as a financial advisor, but nothing beats referrals. Keep your clients happy, and they'll recommend your services to others. You also have to gear your marketing efforts to educating prospective clients. Offer free resources and classes on financial education. They'll view you as a knowledgeable expert and feel more comfortable giving you a try.
When you work from home as a financial advisor, it's important to maintain a level of professionalism. Consider booking a conference room to meet some of your clients every once in awhile if it becomes necessary to have a face to face meeting.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.