A financial planner is a person who is able to guide persons or establishments on using their wealth to gain better financial stability and growth. Authorities and professional bodies that represent the financial planners of a country or state provide recognition for these financial professionals. However, the necessity for having such recognition varies from one state to another. Financial planners are not exactly the same as financial advisers, and in many instances are qualified representatives of a licensed financial institution. Even so, there are financial planners who work on their own although the core duties of a financial planner do not necessarily change depending on their place of work.
Qualifications expected of a financial planner
In general, financial planners should be in possession of a Bachelor’s degree, which may include majors in finance, accounting and sometimes even economics. Some financial planners obtain MBAs in order to gain better recognition while the most important aspect of a career of a financial planner would be to obtain the recognition of a professional body recognized by the industry as well as by the Federal government. Thus, qualified persons who become certified financial planners (CFPs) through a recognized organization following a certification examination would be in more demand when it comes to financial establishments who seek the services of such professionals.
Duties assigned to a financial planner
As mentioned earlier, the main duty of a financial planner is to help clients develop their personal or organizational budgets, manage expenses, develop and implement savings goals as well as other strategies to improve the present financial state. During these activities, the financial planner would put forward the interest of his or her client rather than promoting a specific agenda favorable to his or her employer or towards oneself.
In addition, financial planners are expected to develop mutual relationships with established financial advisors, mutual fund companies, investment manager etc., and should be able to utilize these relationships in the best interest of their clients.
Being up-to-date is another aspect of the duties of a financial planner, and in this regard, keeping up to date with the tax laws, financial products as well as with regard to proven and novel strategies of personal financial management is important.
Being innovative within professionally acceptable work practices should also be part of the financial planners expertise. All the while marketing innovative strategies through effective sales methods should also be undertaken by anyone who wants to succeed in the financial planning profession.
As a financial planner at a financial organization, the planner is required to promote and sell company’s financial products such as mutual funds, individual retirement accounts, family budgeting schemes and tax-sheltered investment plans. However, in all such instances, a professional financial planner would be able to look from the perspective of his or her client and do the best without much prejudice towards the organization.