Download our Personal Financial Planning Career Guide.
A personal financial planner is a practicing professional who helps people identify and address various financial challenges and opportunities. Work activities common to the field include cash flow management, education planning, retirement planning, investment planning, risk management and insurance planning, tax planning, estate planning and business succession planning.
A financial planner typically prepares detailed financial plans for his or her clients. The kinds of services financial planners offer can vary widely. Some financial planners assess every aspect of your financial life—including savings, investments, insurance, taxes, retirement, and estate planning—and help you develop a detailed strategy or financial plan for meeting all your financial goals.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for personal financial planners is projected to grow by 30% through 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. As the demand for qualified personal financial planners grows, competition will continue for these roles, particularly for new professionals in the field. Many individuals enter the field by working for a bank or full-service brokerage firm. A sizable group of financial planners are self-employed.
This certificate is designed for students and professionals who are preparing for careers in financial planning and those who are planning to pursue the CFP® Certification. Working closely with industry experts, advisory boards, the CFP Board, and professional associations, the program’s curriculum is built to be relevant to current trends and practices.
To be successful, financial planning professionals should:
- Be creative thinkers and problem solvers, applying their analytical skills to both individuals and businesses.
- Be knowledgeable of regulatory compliance procedures.
- Be self-confident, mature, and have the ability to work independently.
- Continually emphasize customer service and be able to make customers feel comfortable by presenting complex financial concepts to clients in easy-to-understand language.
- Have excellent interpersonal skills and an aptitude for working with numbers.
- Possess strong selling skills, including the ability to interact with people from many different backgrounds.
Professional Qualifications and Requirements
Most financial planners need a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business administration, and many have a master's degree or professional certification. Continuing education is also vital to financial advisors who want to advance their careers, given the growing complexity of financial laws and regulations.
Relevant work experience is also critical for those who want to move their careers forward. Those who broaden their technical skills and exhibit their competency by attaining professional certification, such as the CFP® Certification, will also have the best opportunities for career advancement. This UCLA certificate is a CFP Board-registered program that meets the educational requirement for certification. Additional requirements are required and can be researched at the CFP Board.
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