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Master of Science in Financial Planning

Online Financial Planning Master's Degree

Financial analysts in investment banking departments of securities or banking firms often work in teams, analyzing the future prospects of companies that want to sell shares to the public for the first time. Start your financial planning master's degree todayfrom an accredited school. They also ensure that the forms and written materials necessary for compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission regulations are accurate and complete. They may make presentations to prospective investors about the merits of investing in the new company. Financial analysts also work in mergers and acquisitions departments, preparing analyses on the costs and benefits of a proposed merger or takeover. Some financial analysts, called ratings analysts, evaluate the ability of companies or governments that issue bonds to repay their debts. On the basis of their evaluation, a management team assigns a rating to a company’s or government’s bonds. Other financial analysts perform budget, cost, and credit analysis as part of their responsibilities. Personal financial advisors, also called financial planners or financial consultants, use their knowledge of investments, tax laws, and insurance to recommend financial options to individuals in accordance with the individual’s short-term and long-term goals. Some of the issues that planners address are retirement and estate planning, funding for college, and general investment options. While most planners offer advice on a wide range of topics, some specialize in areas such as retirement and estate planning or risk management.

An advisor’s work begins with a consultation with the client, from whom the advisor obtains information on the client’s finances and financial goals. The advisor then develops a comprehensive financial plan that identifies problem areas, makes recommendations for improvement, and selects appropriate investments compatible with the client’s goals, attitude toward risk, and expectation or need for a return on the investment. Sometimes this plan is written, but more often it is in the form of verbal advice. Financial advisors usually meet with established clients at least once a year to update them on potential investments and to determine whether the clients have been through any life changes—such as marriage, disability, or retirement—that might affect their financial goals. Financial advisors also answer questions from clients regarding changes in benefit plans or the consequences of a change in their jobs or careers. A large part of the success of financial planners depends on their ability to educate their clients about risks and various possible scenarios so that the clients don’t harbor unrealistic expectations.

Some advisors buy and sell financial products, such as mutual funds or insurance, or refer clients to other companies for products and services for example, the preparation of taxes or wills. A number of advisors take on the responsibility of managing the clients’ investments for them. Finding clients and building a customer base is one of the most important of a financial advisor’s job, because referrals from satisfied clients are an important source of new business. Many advisors also contact potential clients by giving seminars or lectures or meet clients through business and social contacts. One area in the accounting vertical that has seen lots of growth over the past years is the personal financial advisor sector. Personal financial advisors, also known as financial planners or financial consultants, advise clients of their financial options in order to help them reach their short-term and long-term financial goals. They use their knowledge of tax laws, insurance and planning to address issues such as retirement and estate planning, funding as well as how to save for your kids college.

Some financial advisors can specialize in retirement and estate planning, but most offer a wide range of expertise so it really depends on what you would like to specialize in. A typical day is the advisor begins by reviewing the client's financial information and goals they have set for their clients based on their current financial standings. They then develop a written financial plan that includes problem areas or area they need to improve upon such as bad dept and make recommendations for improvements. If you like working with people and helping them out with financial matters and really making a difference in someone’s lives and the lives of their family then this is a great career for you. Once you get started in this career you might opt into selling insurances or even doing different forms of investing for your clients. The opportunity is endless. This is a growing industry due to the current credit downfalls in the industry. People seeking positions as personal financial advisors need to be great in math, should have a good understanding of computers, great at solving problems and very analytical. The ability to read financial reports and understanding them is a must. You will need the ability to read and explain complex financial concepts and strategies to clients and professionals. You will need highly-developed verbal and written communication skills. Other desirable qualities include self-confidence, maturity, and self-motivation.

In order to be a financial planner a college education is strongly recommended. If you are working for a company that offers these types of services most will prefer a master's degree in accounting, finance, economics, business, mathematics, some higher end employers might require a law degree. If you don’t want to obtain a degree then it is recommended that you take courses in investments, taxes, estate planning, and risk management. Most personal financial advisors/planners enter this occupation through a related field, such as accountant, auditor, insurance sales agent, lawyer, or securities, commodities, and financial services sales agent. More and more universities and colleges are offering programs designed specifically for careers in personal financial advising. Personal financial advisors may obtain professional designation by earning the Certified Financial Planner credential, known as CFP (R), issued by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Applicants must pass educational requirements and a comprehensive examination. Personal financial advisors may advance to managerial positions, or by acquiring more clients and managing more assets. To get the proper training please visit any of the financial planning schools listed and see what degrees they have to offer.


Financial Planning Program Levels