October 5, 2010, 5:00 am

A Day As A Financial Planner

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Career
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After my last financial net worth update, Calvin asked me several questions about my job as a financial planner. In a few words, he wanted to know what a regular day as a financial planner might include. Instead of making a daily schedule (because there is no two days that look alike), I have decided to list my main tasks as a financial planner. So here we go:

Making calls:

I tend to make most of my calls at the beginning of the week and between 9h30 and 11h30 each morning. People are usually more receptive at this time of the day and I know I am sharper in the morning (thx to the gym!). I make 2 kinds of calls:

#1 calling existing clients to take care of follow ups (renewals, retirement plans, updates, other products that could help them, etc.)

#2 calling external clients (cold calls). This is where I try to set appointments with new clients by offering them custom financial planning solutions.

I like making calls because it is challenging and very rewarding when you book appointments. However, it is also one of the hardest parts of my job as you always need to be sharp in order to setup your meeting.

Meeting with clients:

I usually meet 2 clients per day on average. While this does not seem to be a lot, I can tell you it is more than enough to run a good business, bring in the numbers and take care of all your clients. Since I work a lot by phone, I can get more done than through one-on-one meetings.

A good meeting usually lasts about an hour where you can discuss 1 or 2 topics. I try to always take enough time to answer my clients’ questions while I offer them alternatives to help achieve their financial goals.

Doing paperwork:

Paperwork is a pain in financial planning. You need to write down all your follow-ups with your clients, opening accounts and I also do credit applications for them. Therefore, I spend a lot of my day doing paperwork (and giving most of it to my assistant ;-) ). While all this paper is necessary to make sure everybody is compliant and the job is done properly, I can tell that it is still a pain!

Creating financial plans / reading financial articles

Another thing I really like about my job is creating financial plans and reading financial articles. It is important to know what is going on in the stock market, the economy and about new investment/tax strategies.

Creating retirement plans is a lot of fun too. You get to know your clients better and you offer them a truely value added service as a financial planner; a global overview of their financial situation.

Pre-requisites to Become a Financial Planner

If you are looking to become a financial planner, here are the few requirements you need to have according to my experience:

-         You enjoy challenges/pressure

-         You like people and talking to them (read listening to them)

-         You are analytical

-         You are able to communicate financial reality

-         You are a go getter

-         You are able to close a sale

-         You are honest and transparent

-         …anything else?

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Comments

that’s very informative! You seems like a great financial planner because you love your job!!!

What is the difference between a financial planner, financial counselor, a private banker and an investment advisor? It sounds the same for me :)

Hey TFB. I’ve been thinking about switching careers, I do finicial planning on the side for my friends and family, but my field right now is in Information Technology. It’s not too late for me to start, I think I meet all your pre-reqs, so what’s the next step? I have no practical education, just what I’ve taught myself.

Any tips would be nice :) Is it just something like “Go and get your CPA”, or bachelors in business or what? I figured no matter how much I want to, I just can’t make the career jump right now without more education/training.

by: The Financial Blogger | October 5th, 2010 (5:09 pm)

@Sophie,

I think that I will write a full post on the different title you may encounter in your financial journey ;-)

@Kpinvest,

depending on where you live, a bachelor degree or a certificate before you get your CFP title will be required.

Sounds pretty good actually, except for the cold calls. I would be pretty terrible at those.

You forgot to mention the time you sneak in to work on your blogs hehe.

@MD,
I do it before starting my day ;-)

by: The Financial Blogger | October 6th, 2010 (1:33 pm)

@ dividend monk,

cold calling clients is a lot of fun once you get how to do it and succeed in booking appointments. but at first, it is a true pain!

Is there a degree you need to become a financial planner? Also, is it something you can remotely? I’m sure it’s not exactly recommended but could a side gig.

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Cold calling is illegal here in Ontario? I thought do not call lists were national?

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by: The Financial Blogger | October 10th, 2010 (8:12 am)

@Tom,

you are right, there is a non call list, but not everybody is on the list. Also, technically, as long as the individual has an account with a bank, he can be called and it’s not a “cold call” per definition ;-)

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@financialblogger
thanks 4 da info u put a big smile on my face when i read my name lol

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FB,

I am currently going back to school, majoring in finance…state school non-target. I’m older…37 to be exact. How difficult would it be for me to break in to the trade upon graduation? Be honest, I can take it! If you’d like to throw in a good strategy for starting (where to go), I’d be much obliged.

by: The Financial Blogger | October 20th, 2010 (3:44 pm)

Hey Mike,

funny enough, you age will help you in the finance industry. I sometimes have to convince client that even though I am young (just turned 29), I know a lot about finance.

Depending on where you live, entering in the finance industry may or may not be difficult. For example, there is a huge lack of financial planner in Canada. I don’t know about the states thought.

if you get your CFP certification, it will be much easier, regardless if you are in the States or in Canada. Honestly, it is pretty easy to get a job in a bank in Quebec, I don’t know about the rest of North America.

tips:
- know what is going on in the economy and the impact on the stock market (example; interest rate is low in USA, which means that the dollar will remain low compared to the Canadian dollar)

- study different investing strategy/products (bond ladder, dividend investing, etf’s vs mutual fund, etc)

- if you can combine investing strategy along with tax optimisation, you will be a winner ;-)

Thank you for your blog! This is one of the only Financial Planning blogs that I found to be interesting, as well as informative. Now for my question, I am now at Kennesaw State University, seeking a degree in Finance. My goal is to become a Financial Planner for retirees when I graduate. Right now, for a class, I am researching Financial blogs that have to do with my career choice. Specifically, I am looking for the technology that assists financial planners in their everyday job. Is there any insight you can give me as to the types of information systems you use? Do you have CRM software? Do you use programs for clients portfolios? If there is any information you can provide me with, I will cite your blog within my research and hopefully get you a few hundred more hits. Thank you for your informative blog and I hope to hear from you. If you can, my e-mail is acreed24@gmail.com. I would love to have a Q & A with you, if you have time. I know you are a very busy business person, but I would be greatly appreciative. Thank you!

Is it too late to change careers and get into financial planning and advisory at the age of 41? What are the disadvantages of doing so? Is it worth it to even try?

by: The Financial Blogger | October 27th, 2010 (8:36 am)

@Tom,

I think it’s never too late. however, it really depends on your skills with people and your financial knowledge. if you start from scratch and you haven’t deal in the financial industry or if you haven’t sold anything in the past, it may be rough to start at 40.

However, since it’s a job that requires no physical skill, you would still be good for a 20 years career at least ;-)

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