Depending on the path you choose, it can take five to seven years to become a financial advisor. 4 The easiest route is to license the series through FINRA. The easiest route is to obtain the serial license through FINRA, which can take a few months if you already have a bachelor's degree. CFPs or other qualifications can take up to seven years, including grades, exams, certifications, and mandatory work experience.
If your finances are simple, you may be able to take a do-it-yourself approach. But financial planners can offer an objective perspective and bring expertise to decisions about how you should invest your money, what your financial priorities should be, and what type of insurance coverage and other protections you need. A financial planner can be especially useful when faced with a life change, such as marriage, divorce, or inheritance. There is no specific rule about when it's time to hire a financial advisor.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you are trying to decide if you need a financial advisor. If you have enough money in your bank account to start investing, you may want to look for an advisor. Managing your own money and financial goals can be complicated and overwhelming. Therefore, turning to a professional is a great way to make things feel more attainable and less stressful.
And by working together with a financial planner, you can work toward achieving your financial goals and financial freedom. A basic online service can offer the same automated investment management you would get from a robo-advisor, plus the ability to consult with a team of financial advisors when you have questions. Properly managing your investments and making the right financial decisions requires time, skill and effort. A financial planner is a type of financial advisor who typically focuses on providing comprehensive financial guidance in addition to services such as investment management.
Choosing the right financial advisor for your situation is key; doing so means you won't end up paying for services you don't need or working with an advisor who isn't right for your financial goals. The low-cost, easy-entry nature of robotic advisors reduces barriers to working toward your financial goals. If you're not entirely sure or wondering if there are better steps to take, you might consider consulting a financial planner. Anyone who has ever been in debt, whether from student loans or credit cards, knows that it can sometimes seem insurmountable, especially if you're juggling retirement savings or financial goals, or if you live in an expensive city.
A good certified financial planner can organize your overall financial picture and implement strategies that will help you achieve your goals, from putting your children through college to retiring whenever you want. Time is money, and delaying good financial decisions or prolonging bad financial decisions comes at a cost, such as keeping too much cash or postponing a succession plan. Some financial planners and advisors will work with savers only once, to develop a financial plan or help with a specific problem or question. If that's OK with you, consider consulting with a financial planner to formulate an investment strategy that meets your risk tolerance.
Deciding to retire, accepting an early retirement purchase package, selling a business, accepting a lump sum on a pension, starting Social Security, or buying a home with cash are some examples of important financial decisions.