Financial Advisor How to Hire, Salary Data, and Job Descriptions

Financial advisors use their expertise to advise clients on a wide variety of financial planning endeavors, such as investments, taxes, estate planning, college savings accounts, insurance, mortgages, and retirement. They typically spend their day talking to clients in person or via phone calls about their financial objectives and risk tolerance. They recommend a specialized financial planning strategy for each client based on individual needs. They must have exceptional people and communication skills as they advise and inform clients as well as answer questions regarding financial plans and strategies. 

Good analytical skills are necessary to evaluate client financial data and develop strategies to meet client financial goals. They must have excellent presentation skills as they often give seminars and talks on new investment opportunities and changes in financial plan strategies. Financial advisors must have in-depth knowledge of the stock market, mutual funds, securities, and the insurance industry. Proficiency in MS Office and working with various financial programs is necessary. Financial advisors must adhere to all industry and federal regulations.

Sample job description #1

Responsibilities and tasks

The Financial Advisor will serve as a relationship manager for an existing group of clients and will work alongside the Lead Advisor in the market to provide advice and guidance to help clients achieve their goals. They will be expected to follow-through consistently in all efforts, build relationships with prospects and clients, and help prepare for client appointments. Other daily, weekly, and/or monthly tasks may include:

  • Interact professionally with clients by phone and/or in person to update the client’s profile and financial situation/needs
  • Complete service requests, resolve client issues, and keep CRM updated by entering detailed notes
  • Review existing Annuity, Life, Long Term Care, and/or Disability insurance policies to determine if they still meet client needs
  • Meets production targets that impact overall company revenue goals
  • Prepare client reports and review summary for upcoming appointments
  • Assist with client reports, mailings, and in setting client appointments
  • Assist with New Business processing & review documents prior to submission
  • Additional tasks as assigned by management

Minimum requirements

  • 4-year degree in Accounting, Finance, or related field
  • Series 65 or 7/66 with Life & Health Licenses
  • 2-7 years in financial services offering investment management and insurance services
  • Strong experience with MS Office and the ability to learn new software quickly
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills both in person and via phone
  • Proactive mentality, positive attitude, and consistent follow through
  • Highly intelligent, strong organizational skills, and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently with good time management and critical thinking skills

Additional preferred skills

  • CFP® designation
  • Experience with SalesForce CRM software
  • 2+ years working in a fast-paced office environment

Sample job description #2

Develop, negotiate, and finalize student financial plans consistent with financial planning policies and procedures and with Federal/State regulations for awarding aid. Work closely with new, continuing, and re-entry students and their families to ensure the financial plan and re-plan continue to best meet the families needs. Counsel students on all acceptances and other matters related directly to the student financial plan.

Key job elements

  • Work cohesively with Admission Representatives in order to facilitate outstanding service to prospective students and their parents
  • Efficiently and accurately package assigned students which includes new, continuing, re-entry, and transfer students
  • Assist students/parents with the completion of the FAFSA and review the resulting ISIR, assign the appropriate budget, and package the students correctly
  • Create financial plans for assigned students in compliance with institutional policies and Federal regulations, communicate the plan to students and parents, and effectively explain rights and responsibilities for each aid source
  • Assist students and parents with alternative means of financing any remaining balance after awarding eligible federal, state, or institutional aid
  • Ensure student files are complete and accurate and that aid is paid to student’s accounts in a timely manner
  • Review and complete Basic Verification and C Code Reviews for students as necessary
  • Utilize reports to review students, analyze work needed, and work with the Director of Financial Aid for priorities
  • Complete the appropriate training modules within 30 days of the new or revised module becoming available
  • Other duties as assigned

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related discipline preferred OR Associate’s Degree plus 3 years of related experience with federal and student financial aid, OR 5 years of related experience with federal and student aid
  • Customer service, problem-solving approach to work
  • Effective communication, interpersonal and presentation skills
  • Ability to make small group presentations as well as skill in interacting as an individual contributor
  • The ability to multitask, work independently, and make decisions based on guidelines
  • Strong basic computer software (MS Office) skills as well as exposure to more concentrated financial aid software (Campus Vue/Campus Nexus preferred)

Sample job description #3

Responsibilities

  • Interface with/train branch employees in an effort to develop a referral pipeline of qualified prospects to ensure bank and employee referral goal attainment
  • Meet with referred customers in bank setting or customer’s homes or offices as requested
  • Collect and analyze customer data such as income, assets, investment, and/or debts to determine appropriate financial products best meets the customer’s needs and financial circumstances
  • Provide guidance to customers regarding the advantages and disadvantages of different financial products
  • Close sufficient volume from bank branch referrals and outside relationships to attain gross revenue production expectation
  • Responsible for marketing, servicing, and promoting the Bank’s financial products in order to obtain new business
  • Identify and refer specific qualified clients to affiliated Wealth Management Group
  • Identify potential existing Brokerage customers to initiate additional sales by actively “account managing” and refer customers with banking needs to retail banking partners
  • Perform on-going self-education to remain product/solution fluent and maintain licensing capability
  • Prepare reports and present as appropriate

Qualifications

  • Series 7, Series 66, and Life and Health licenses required
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office products
  • Prior Sales experience in a bank environment is preferred
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to travel daily to generate business and/or meet with clients within given territory is required
  • High School diploma or equivalent required
  • College degree and advanced designations preferred

Essential functions

  • Sitting or standing for extended periods of time
  • Sufficient dexterity of hands and fingers to efficiently operate a computer keyboard, mouse, and other computer components
  • Ability to converse and exchange information with customers and all levels of staff within organization
  • Ability to observe, perceive, identify, and translate data
  • Ability to travel via train, bus, automobile, or airplane

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a financial advisor is $70,200 per year in the United States, with frequent potential for a cash bonus annually. Salary may depend on the level of experience, education, and geographical location. 

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$73,900$90,300
Los Angeles, California$83,350$101,900
Denver, Colorado$69,450$84,900
Washington, DC$84,650$103,450
Miami, Florida$69,150$84,550
Orlando, Florida$63,800$77,900
Tampa, Florida$64,400$78,750
Atlanta, Georgia$67,600$82,600
Chicago, Illinois$77,700$94,950
Boston, Massachusetts$84,000$102,700
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$66,950$81,850
New York City, New York$88,450$108,100
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$72,000$88,000
Dallas, Texas$70,150$85,700
Houston, Texas$69,800$85,300
Seattle, Washington$80,850$98,800
Overall$63,150$77,200

Sample interview questions

  • How do you build relationships with your clients?
  • Describe how you would handle difficult or demanding clients. 
  • What information do you use to evaluate a client’s financial position?
  • Describe your most successful and most challenging financial strategy you have developed.
  • If I were a prospective client, why would I want you to be my financial advisor?
  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • Describe a time when you felt overwhelmed at work. 

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