In order to work as a financial advisor, one must first acquire the necessary education by taking financial advisor courses. Financial advisors must have at least a bachelor's degree, and in some cases a master's is recommended. The most popular majors for financial advisors are finance, economics, accounting, and business. When it comes to taking financial advisor courses, six areas of study are recommended. These courses include an introductory course, accounting, risk management, investment planning, retirement planning, and estate planning.
Students typically focus on taking financial advisor courses throughout their degree program. The first course taken is often an introductory course that focuses on teaching the student more about financial advising. This course will give the student a general idea of what's expected from a financial advisor, in addition to an overview of the market, along with relevant investment strategies. After this initial course is successfully completed, the rest of the financial advisor courses can be taken in any order.
Accounting classes are recommended for all financial advisors. Taking accounting will teach the student how the financial system works for individuals and businesses. This knowledge may come in handy when trying to advise clients on how to better manage their finances.
Enrolling in risk management courses is also recommended as part of the financial advisor curriculum. By taking risk management courses, students will learn how to assess potential risks and avoid making risky financial decisions. Financial advisors will need this foundation when they are advising clients on minimizing their risks and saving money.
Another area of study focuses on investment planning. In this course, students learn how the stock market works along with other investment strategies. When working as a financial advisor, knowledge of investment planning may prove important when trying to devise investment strategies for clients.
Courses in employee benefit planning and retirement are also highly recommended. In the business world, financial advisors will be expected to recommend employee benefit packages. In addition, when working with individual clients, financial advisors will be expected to recommend personalized retirement strategies.
Estate planning deals with items such as taxes, gifts, and transfers of property. When taking estate planning courses, students learn how to calculate the value of property along with the proper ways of dealing with transactions related to the estate. Financial advisors will want to have knowledge in these areas in order to recommend methods of reducing tax liability for clients who are gifting or transferring property out of their names.