A career in financial planning can be rewarding, but it can also be demanding if you’re spending a significant amount of time each day prospecting, networking or meeting with clients. You might be asking this question: can I be a part-time financial advisor? The short answer is yes, it’s possible to work as a financial advisor on a part-time basis. Doing so can allow for greater flexibility, though there are some potential downsides to consider.
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Can I Be a Part-Time Financial Advisor?
A typical financial advisor workweek spans a minimum of 40 hours, though some advisors may work more than that. There’s no rule, however, dictating that you must work at least 40 hours a week in order to become a financial advisor.
It’s possible to work as a financial advisor on a part-time basis, either as an employee of an advisory firm, the owner of your own boutique firm or an independent contractor. You might consider working part-time if you:
- Are going back to school to earn an advanced degree
- Would like to be able to work from home while caring for children
- Have assumed responsibility for caring for aging parents and need a lighter schedule
- Prefer to work virtually so that you can pursue a nomadic lifestyle
Those are just some of the reasons why advisors may choose part-time work vs. full-time hours. Do people want to work with part-time advisors? It seems the answer is yes. With more people seeking out financial advice online, there’s a growing market for freelance and remote advisors who are able to connect with clients on a schedule that fits their needs.
What Does a Part-Time Financial Advisor Do?
A financial advisor who works part-time isn’t that different from an advisor who works full-time with regard to how they work with clients. Part-time financial advisors work with clients to help them implement a plan for reaching their financial goals. The kind of advice they offer can span everything from budgeting to retirement planning to estate planning.
The difference is that part-time financial advisors work fewer hours. Instead of working 40+ hours per week, they may work 10 or 20 hours per week. Part-time advisors can meet with clients in person or virtually, depending on their clients’ needs and preferences. Just like full-time advisors, part-time advisors can be fee-based or fee-only.
As mentioned, they may work for an advisory firm or run their own businesses. Some part-time financial advisors may choose to become independent contractors and work with clients on a 1099 basis. That’s the upside of becoming a part-time financial advisor. You have more freedom to choose how and when you want to work.
How to Become a Financial Advisor Part-Time
How you approach becoming a part-time financial advisor can depend on where you’re starting from. If you haven’t yet obtained the necessary education and certification to work as an advisor, then that’s the first step.
If you’re already working as an advisor full-time, then you have a few options. The first is discussing the possibility of reducing hours with your current employer. You might also use that as an opportunity to introduce the idea of doing at least some of your work remotely from home.
What if your advisor isn’t willing to entertain you working part-time? At that point, you have three other possibilities to weigh:
- Look for a new role at a firm that’s hiring part-time advisors
- Start your own advisory firm
- Become a freelance financial advisor
Which path you follow can depend on what kind of part-time career you’re envisioning for yourself. If you’re that interested in being your own boss, then you may focus on finding companies that are hiring part-time advisors. On the other hand, if you’re ready to have more control over how you spend your time and the types of clients you work with, then you might decide to start your own business or go freelance.
When you’re ready to make the move to part-time work, it’s important to define what that will look like. For example, you should have an idea of the maximum number of hours you want to work each week. It’s also helpful to think about what kind of daily schedule you’ll follow and when you’ll meet with clients.
If you plan to work independently as a freelance financial advisor, consider how you’re going to market yourself to attract clients. Also, think about the maximum number of clients you’d like to work with at any given time and how you plan to structure your fees. The more planning you do ahead of time, the easier the transition from full-time to part-time advisor may be.
Pros and Cons of Working as a Financial Advisor Part-Time
Being a part-time financial advisor can allow for flexibility, which may be important to you if you need to have more time available for other things. For example, you may have competing goals of working as a financial advisor and being a stay-at-home parent. Going part-time vs. full-time can make it easier to do both, without feeling overwhelmed.
Of course, becoming an advisor can mean making some adjustments if you’re used to working full-time. The biggest may be a decrease in income if you’re making less money as an advisor part-time. However, if you’re primarily motivated by a desire to have more freedom or simply deal with less stress professionally, then that’s a trade-off you might be willing to make.
Can you be a part-time financial advisor? Yes, though there’s some thought and planning that will be necessary to ensure that a part-time arrangement is right for you. Knowing what options you have for working part-time and considering all of the potential pros and cons can help you to decide if it’s a good fit as you map out your career path.
Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business
- A lot of what you do as an advisor may revolve around different ways to grow your business and increase revenues. Conducting an internal audit of how you spend your time and your return on investment for different activities can help you weed out things that might be wasting precious hours. For example, if you’ve tried cold calling and haven’t gained much traction, you might swap that out for automated lead generation instead, so you have more time to spend on higher ROI tasks.
- More people are searching for advisors online these days and if you’re not building out your digital footprint, you could be missing some valuable opportunities. Developing a strategy for digital marketing, social media and email marketing can help you boost your visibility and attract your ideal clients to you. Those are all tasks that a virtual assistant can help with.
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