Is it your personality to save money, to prioritize the importance of your financial obligations over your frivolous spending? Do your friends and family members always look to you in times of need because they know you have got your financial priorities in order? If this is second nature to you, then maybe you should consider applying that to the career path that you choose. A bachelor's degree in financial planning will require that you obtain your Bachelor of Science degree from a college or university of your choosing. Of course, in today's diverse educational world, you can even choose to pursue your degree program through a post-secondary school or online institution of learning. As long as you do your homework and make sure that the educational avenue you decide to travel is an accredited institution, then your diploma will be valid and will work to adequately prepare you for the career world.
To complete your Bachelor's degree in financial planning you will need to complete 124 semester hours of course work. Of course, many of these required semester hours are core curriculum courses that are necessary for many other chosen majors. Specifically pertaining to your degree program you will need to earn a passing score in approximately 28 hours of financial course work. Twenty hours of these courses will be major courses that will be identified by the college or university that you choose to attend. The remaining eight hours necessary for obtaining your bachelor's degree are elective courses. These elective courses will more directly pertain to the knowledge you will need to act as a financial planner; as you plan your degree program you will be allowed to choose the courses that you feel fit your intended career path most appropriately. Learn more about this program on our career resources page.
A few of the major courses you should be prepared to take are investments, global finance, cost management, intermediate accounting, principles of financial planning, planning for insurance, income tax planning, and special finance topics. Keep in mind, many of the core curriculum courses you will be required to complete are related to business topics, technology courses related to spreadsheets and other pertinent software, and general finance courses. This is above and beyond the typical English courses, history and science courses, and humanities courses that practically all beginning college students must complete.
Depending on which learning institution you choose to attend you may be required to complete further requirements prior to graduation. For instance, courses in communication may be dictated so that in your career capacity you will be able to effectively communicate with colleagues and clients. As with many other degree programs, furthering your education will allow additional job opportunities to become available to you.
Upon completion of your Bachelor's degree in financial planning you will be armed with the knowledge needed to make competent and ethical financial decisions; either for yourself or for the company that employs you. Your diploma will make it possible for you to seek employment with financial institutions, social or governmental agencies, or private financial practices.
Networking – Spending time with other financial planners and learning from them is a key to becoming a good financial planner. People that network together share knowledge and spending time with others in the same industry is a great way to learn how to grow your own business and even move into industries that you weren’t aware of.
Safe Investments – Most investors that have been investing from the early 1980’s have been through a lot of recessions including the housing, internet and banking recessions. Many have lost most of their savings during these times and are looking for financial planners to get their portfolios back in shape. One way to gain the trust of these clients is to offer safe investments models for them to follow.
Have a Great Team – As a financial planner you need to have a great time. Your marketing department needs to be great in order for you to gain new clients and you need to have a good track record so clients will want to work with you. Do the best that you can to build a great team of individuals you’re your business.
Referrals – One of the top traits of great financial planners is that most of their business will come from referrals. People that are treated right and have had good returns on their investments will most likely refer their friends over to you. Work on a have a solid track record that you can be proud of.
Drive – Every successful financial planner is driven. They take action when action needs taken and is always listening to what the market is doing. Those who have failed in this line of work didn’t bother listening to others and didn’t have the drive to succeed.
As mentioned above, if you invested in the market during the 1990’s you probably lost money. You then perhaps invested again in the 2000’s only to get hit again with the financial crisis. The problem with investors today, especially those over the age of 40, is lots of them lost money in the market and want to play it safe. They have lost all hope and trust with the financial planners they used to work with and many are unwilling to reinvest in the market.
New investors however haven’t been hurt yet and are want to invest in stocks and companies they have grown up with like technology stocks. They aren’t willing to diversify in the market as they feel older companies are boring. As a financial planner you need to go over with your client how risk works in the marketplace so that doesn’t happen to them like it did to all of the baby boomers.