At this point, I'm honored to get about an email a week from someone asking about how to get into the financial planning business. Sometimes, I get multiple emails in a day!
Here are four examples that I mention on the show today:
- Hi Joshua, I consider personal finance and financial planning a hobby and I dole out my amateur advice to friends, colleagues and family. A little bit of background -- I'm 25 years old and currently working as an auditor in big 4 in my third year and I've just been early promoted to Senior Associate. The thing is I don't see myself auditing forever and I really want to get into financial planning. My plan is to start taking the courses for the CFP in May/June 2015 after my busy season is over. I feel secure in my job but I just don't love it. Do you have any advice for a 20 something wanting to transition to a career in financial planning with zero experience?
- Hi Joshua, I’m writing because I’d love to get your insight in a career as a financial advisor. A little background on myself, I’m a 28 year old CPA who has worked as an auditor at a large CPA firm for the past 4 years. I’ve been thinking about making a career change, and given my interests I’ve begun looking into possibly starting a career as a financial advisor. I really enjoy the technical side of financial planning, including the tax side of planning, but am also enjoying learning about the investing side as well. In talking with a few other people, I have heard that being a financial advisor is basically a sales job where you are asked utilize your own contacts to push financial products on. What I have heard is basically the only way to make money is to have rich friends or family to get established. I really like the fact that I could be helping people, but the cold calling/pushing financial products on people does not sound appealing. Also, I don’t believe I have the wealthy contacts needed to get established. I would love to get your insight on this matter, and to hear if the stories I hear about careers as a financial advisor are correct. Additionally, I would love to hear any recommendations you would have for somebody looking to get into a career as a financial advisor.
- Hi Joshua, In 2013 I became completely obsessed with all things finance. I first picked up books about "stock picking" because I thought that was the way to go, but within a month or two I was recommended The Intelligent Investor, and I've been going with the "boglehead" strategy since then. I have been very lucky in getting a job straight out of college that pays quite well (software industry) and since I started in July 2013 I've saved 70-80% of my take-home income. I figure within 2015 I will become "FI" at age 25. I've been listening to your podcast daily since I discovered it last month, and needless to say it has quickly become my favorite podcast. Keep up the awesome work, I listen to every new episode! I am interested in becoming a fee-only financial planner. Every time I get the opportunity to talk with someone who is also interested in finance (believe me, this is super rare!) I get very excited. Nothing makes me happier, basically. I have a bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering right now. I am wondering, what is the shortest path that I could take to get to the place where I can "hang out a shingle" and start advising people for a small fee? I am not interested in charging for "assets under management"; I simply want to share knowledge with people so they can make their own investments and financial decisions. I want to do the opposite of most advisors basically! I'd be okay charging very little money for just a consultation, because I will be FI. You mentioned in one episode that you got a master's degree in financial planning, and I know you need the CFP certification. With just my bachelor's degree, could I get this CFP and start taking clients? Or would I need other certifications as well?
- Hi, Joshua, I have realized over time that I am a poor candidate for the traditional early retirement, and instead, would like to focus my next 15-17 years (roughly age 52-67) on doing something that I like--be it an administrator in a medical business that I believe in, being a health coach for middle age guys trying to get back into shape, or opening a gelato shop in my neighborhood. Actually, my dream job would probably be selling tickets in a booth at a ski resort! Maybe later... I have also thought about becoming a personal finance coach or advisor for docs. I see them make stupid mistakes all the time. I could probably do a series of podcasts on stupid things my partners have done.
It's a great question and there are a bunch of ways to answer it. I decided for today to focus on the big picture answer which is primarily about having a good fit between your skills, your firm, your firm's abilities, and your prospective clients.
I might do another show on the actual steps needed to set up a firm if you want to do it independently.
In this show I go through:
- Historical practice models for financial planning
- Current practice models
- The importance of sales and sales skills
- Why you need to know what you bring to the table as a planner
- The importance of a great marketing plan
- The importance of a solid transition plan
- The importance of gaining clarity on what you want to do, who you want to work with, and how you want to work with them