Financial Consultants are one of the fastest growing industries today. More and more people are requiring the services of a finance consultant to get out of debt, and/or prepare for educational and retirement expenses. The knowledge these consultants have creates an income potential for everyone involved.
Becoming a financial consultant takes time and money. It is not a get-rich-quick business, but it does lead to an unlimited income potential. Before you do anything else, you need to decide if you are committed to making the time to become a finance consultant. If you decide you are, then delve deeper and learn more.
Financial consultants are also called investment consultants, because they help you plan financially through investments. The best thing to do when you decide to become an investment consultant is to contact one of the many financial planning organizations such as the Financial Planning Association.
You will need to become a member of many of these financial consultant associations. You are also required to take class and an exam, before you can provide financial consultant services. Each association has its own credentialing system. While it is not necessary to have all the certifications, it is best to have several for professionalism and credibility.
Until you receive certification, you should get the requirements from the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as your State regulatory Authority for financial consultants. It is also required that you register with these agencies as well as the NASD and obtain licenses from them.
Once you are certified and licensed you are ready to open your investment consultant company. However, a few things need to be done before seeking clients. You will need to decide how you will be compensated for your services, and if you will specialize in a type of planning, such as estate planning, or generalize. You will also want to begin networking with other local people in the industry, such as accountants and lawyers.
Financial consultants have four compensation methods to choose from. When deciding on the compensation method for you, decide if you want to obtain more licenses and certifications. In almost any event, you will need to partner with insurance companies and at least on e securities broker/dealer.
You can offer your investment consultant services on a commission-only basis, fee-only basis, fee plus commission basis, or fee-offset basis. Of these three methods, only the fee-only method does not require partnering with insurance companies and securities broker/dealers, or obtaining extra licenses. A fee-only consultant creates a financial plan for the client, but the client is responsible for implementation of the plan. A fee-only consultant usually has a per hour fee or project fee.
Each of these methods of compensation has a good and bad side. You must consider the type of financial consultant business you want, and then choose the method that is appropriate for you. You can always change methods, but that can be tricky.
If you decide to go with on of the methods, other than fee-only, you will need to find your partners. It is best to partner with as many insurance companies and broker/dealers as possible. This will give your better tools and more options to work with for your clients.
While you are talking to companies, you should also talk with lawyers, and accountants in the field. They cannot only refer clients to you, but may be willing to work on projects with you for your clients. This is part of the networking you will need to do to succeed.
You need to invest for insurance for your investment consultant company as well. It protects you and your clients. This is a necessary part of the business. Should the unimaginable happen, you will be protected.
Clients will probably not fall in front of you when you first start. To gain experience and clients, offer your finance consultant services for a small fee, or even free, to friends and family. Ask them if you can use them as references. This will not just help your business, but it may help them too.
Once you have become a financial consultant, you will need to retain your certifications with continuing education in financial planning. Loot at web sites and books, they will keep you informed of industry trends, as will industry magazines. Stay affiliated with organizations at the national, State and local level. Your business is reliant on personal ability and honesty. Stay focused on this and you are bound to succeed.