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What Does a Financial Advisor Do?

A financial advisor can help you save more, build wealth and create a plan to achieve your long-term goals. They offer advice based on their knowledge of the field and experience, as well as an outside perspective on your situation.

They guide you in your pursuit of financial independence by helping you make smart decisions about saving and investing, insurance coverage, retirement planning and tax strategies. They also can help you stay on track amidst changes in your life or market volatility.

In this career, you’ll need a mix of “soft” skills to thrive, including the ability to develop rapport with clients and communicate effectively in a variety of settings. You’ll work with your clients in person and over the phone to assess their needs, provide guidance and answer their questions.

Financial Advisor in Toronto may choose to specialize in certain areas of the industry, such as retirement or risk management. They also may have specialized training or certification, such as an MBA in finance.

Traditional financial advisors – These advisers create long-term relationships with their clients and support them through a customized investment strategy. These advisers often meet with their clients in person, cultivating a deeper understanding of their long-term goals and planning for life events and market turbulence.

Registered investment advisers (RIAs) – These professionals can offer advice about securities, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. They’re required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or their state, depending on the assets under management.

The SEC defines a financial adviser as a person who provides advice about investments and securities, such as stocks, bonds, treasury bills or certificates of deposit. They’re required to act as a fiduciary — that is, they must put their clients’ interests ahead of their own — and are not allowed to charge fees for services.

Some financial advisors are restricted to work with a limited number of products, such as certain types of mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Others are independent and can advise on a wide range of investment options from various providers.

A financial adviser can earn a median salary of about $61,000 as of February 2021, according to PayScale. They can earn more, depending on their location and other factors.

Most financial advisers have at least a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field, such as business or economics. Some hold a master’s or doctorate degree in finance or business administration.

The SEC requires that financial advisors receive education about the risks and benefits of investments, as well as how to conduct research to find the best possible solutions for their clients. In addition, many financial advisers must undergo extensive testing to obtain their license.

They also typically network with centers of influence, or COI, which includes insurance professionals, accountants, estate and tax attorneys and business valuation specialists. This allows them to get answers to technical questions and brainstorm ideas for unusual situations.

They can be employed in a variety of settings, from private practice to the corporate world. Some advisers have their own small businesses, while others work in a large firm or for a bank or other financial institution.