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Ever Think About a Financial Planning Career?


Advisors throughout the Financial Planning Industry utilize many business models, with the Registered Investment Advisor, or RIA, being one of the fastest-growing formats. Van Wie Financial is organized as an RIA, which means that we are fee-only and serve our clients as fiduciaries. Our primary services include comprehensive personal financial planning and asset management. We do not sell any products, nor do we accept any commissions.

There is little regulation regarding use of terminology in the financial services industry. Insurance salespeople, stockbrokers, mutual fund representatives, and various other practitioners are allowed to claim the “financial planner” title, but the most comprehensive service is provided by Certified Financial Planners operating as independent Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs).  

Rising popularity among clients for the RIA model is spearheading an explosion of firms adopting the fiduciary RIA business model. But despite the popularity and growth of this industry, shortages of qualified advisors exist, and there appears to be no end in sight to opportunities for growth and expansion.

Young people seeking a rewarding career should be aware of opportunities available in the field of financial planning. Yet, in a recent survey, only 37% of those surveyed knew of the profession. Once informed, 63% claimed to be interested in taking a further look. 

Not many years ago, young people with an interest in becoming independent financial planners had little no opportunity to be compensated while learning the job. Existing businesses were unwilling to pay an aspiring planner to acquire on-the-job training. In economic terms, barriers to entry were high. Those barriers have been coming down as the industry recognizes the need for new talent. Internships (paid) are now available for new candidates, providing better opportunities for students trying to enter the industry.

What does it take to become a success in the arena of modern-day financial planning? At a minimum, solid math and computer skills, people skills, a college degree, and good character are required. Experience, however, is an absolute prerequisite for independent success. Look for internships and entry-level jobs in the financial planning arena, where valuable experience can be gained.

Having advised many people as to the best preparation for a career as a financial planner, I always suggest starting with a career in another endeavor. Becoming successful elsewhere enables a good planner to approach the business with a client-centric orientation. Understanding both points of view (client and adviser) is critical to success as an independent financial adviser professional.

What do successful RIAs have in common? Most are owned and operated by Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) professionals, who have been certified competent and ethical by the premier worldwide organization.

Interested people of any age can go to the CFP Board website (www.cfp.net) to learn more.

Van Wie Financial is fee-only. For a reason.