A financial advisor or financial adviser is someone who offers financial advice to potential customers according to their individual financial circumstance. In most countries, financial advisers must undergo certain training and obtain registered with a regulatory body to give professional advice. In the United States, however, financial advisers are not regulated by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) due to a lack of statutory authority. This does not mean, however, that the services of a financial adviser are unregulated; rather, they are subject to the laws of the client, and any rules the client develops as a result of those laws.
Many people consider themselves to be savvy enough to know what they are doing when it comes to investments and to handle their own financial affairs. For others, it takes years of experience to learn about investing, banking, insurance, estate planning and the other important aspects of setting up a secure financial future. It is not uncommon for financial advisors to go back to school to further their education in order to qualify as a regulated professional. If you would like to become a financial advisor, your education may begin at an institution that offers courses in finance or business administration, or even continuing your education through programs such as the MBA. There are also colleges and universities that offer a variety of classes focusing on personal finance, investment management, insurance and estate planning, just to name a few.
The important thing is that you understand how financial advisors make investment decisions and what you can expect from such professionals. Your advisor should have sound knowledge of the markets and various investment strategies and should have the experience of years in the field. Before hiring any professional, you should check their credentials. Ask them for a copy of their license, or inquire about any certifications that may be required for the position. A thorough background investigation will help ensure you are working with someone who is trustworthy, knowledgeable, and has the ability to guide you successfully through this exciting career.