What is a financial planner? A financial planner has an education, and often a certification, in wealth management and investing principles and products, and is expected to act as a fiduciary, putting client interests ahead of their own. In certain roles, as independent investment advisors or registered representatives, advisors must be registered with FINRA in order to offer direct investment advice to individuals and businesses.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 11,600 new financial advisor jobs will come available from 2019-29 with an average annual salary of $87,850.
Financial Planning By the Numbers
Nearly a third of American families work with financial planners, according to a survey by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. The Investment Company Institute’s 2019 report showed that U.S. client assets under the management of investment companies totaled more than $30.5 trillion.
Actively managed funds are by far the most popular investment vehicles, with American households combined holding more than $19.5 trillion in mutual funds and another $3.5 trillion in ETFs. As of 2019, nearly half of all American households are invested in managed funds, much of which is in tax-deferred retirement accounts. With the proper licenses, planners may sell products like life insurance policies, mutual funds and annuities.
Between risk assets, cash and real estate, American households currently hold $72.3 trillion in net wealth, according to the 2019 Deloitte Analysis and Oxford Economics report.
Whether looking toward a comfortable retirement, establishing college savings plans for their children or looking to maximize returns on investments today, Americans will continue to turn to knowledgeable financial planners for their expertise in paving the way to financial freedom.
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The World of Finance vs. Financial Planning
Those who are looking to enter the world of finance and banking can take a similar educational path to those who end up being financial planners. A degree in financial planning could be the right choice for a career that includes offering financial advice and working with clients.
A degree in finance is the right choice if you’re more interested in sales and the mechanics of the finance industry. However, finance and baking is a highly-regulated industry, so FINRA licenses are required for anyone in the industry with a legally-binding fiduciary duty.