What Does a Financial Advisor Do? 

The accountant and finance field is diverse, and many different career choices are available to those seeking jobs in this industry.

One option to consider is becoming a financial advisor.

Financial advisors do more than manage investments — although this is a significant part of their job. Ultimately, they are a trusted consultant, educating their clients on the available tools and strategies for maximizing their income and building wealth.

If you are considering a carer as a financial advisor, here’s what you need to know!

Duties & Responsibilities

People contact a financial advisor when they are overwhelmed or confused by their finances, scared by the state of the economy and its effect on their wealth; they begin long-term saving for the future or when they want to maintain good financial health. 

Specifically, they seek advice regarding the following:

  • Saving for college
  • Debt management
  • Budgeting
  • Retirement planning
  • Estate planning
  • Long-term care planning
  • Tax planning

Some of your responsibilities include:

  • Building fiducial relationships with clients
  • Creating personalized financial plans for clients based on their risk tolerance, goals, income, and available assets
  • Constructing budget and savings plans to help clients reach their financial goals
  • Managing clients’ stocks and bonds
  • Offering advice regarding investment strategies and tools for eliminating debt
  • Preparing and presenting reports to clients
  • Checking in with clients regularly
  • Compliance with standard practices and federal regulations



When hiring financial planners, most firms and employers require a bachelor’s degree in accounting, mathematics, business, law, finance, or economics. In addition, earning status as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) 1 is recommended and even required in some cases. Other helpful designations include becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) 2 and a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)3.

In some cases, licensing is required to sell stocks and bonds. (Such as Series 6, 7, or 63.)

These requirements vary from state to state.




Hard and Soft Skills

Financial advisors must possess a dynamic wheelhouse of both hard and soft skills. It is essential for building trust with clients, which ultimately is the key ingredient in successful financial advising. For example:

  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal, non-verbal, and active listening
  • Empathy
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Thorough knowledge of employer, industry, and federal regulations
  • Commitment to integrity and accuracy
  • Aptitude for essential software (word processing spreadsheets) and other financial planning software
  • Analytical thinking
  • Ability to assess and strategize around risk
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Sales and presentation skills


There are two general models of compensation.

Under a  commission-based model, financial advisors earn commissions on the products and services they sell to their clients. Again, this falls under the suitability standard.

Under the fee-based model, which the fiduciary standard regulates, financial advisors earn income by either charging an hourly fee or a percentage (usually 1%) of the assets they manage.

In the United States, the median salary for a financial advisor is $89,000 per year. However, this number fluctuates based on experience, education, and state.

No matter where you are in your career journey, The Robert Joseph Group can help you find your next step. With nothing but the highest levels of excellence, we match top-tier talent to top-tier firms. So contact us today, and let’s get started!