If you’re looking for a career path that allows you to help people grow their wealth and navigate difficult life decisions, becoming a financial advisor could be a fit for you. Additionally, working as a financial advisor could be well within reach if you want a career change. Financial advisors in Florida must satisfy examination requirements to start working but there are a number of educational opportunities to help you forge the right career path. Furthermore, financial advisors running their own practice must follow established regulations to stay in business.
Consider working with a financial advisor as you create or update your financial plan.
4 Steps to Becoming a Financial Advisor In Florida
Becoming a financial advisor may have several different career paths and there is no single way to get there. Some steps are required, such as passing a professional exam, while others you can choose, such as what certifications to obtain. Here is one way you can become a financial advisor in the state of Florida in four steps:
1. Get Your Education
You don’t have to earn a bachelor’s degree as the first step to becoming a financial advisor but it’s a good first step to laying the financial foundation needed to advise others. It becomes increasingly difficult to start a career in finance without a four-year degree, but it is possible. The focus of your degree is also up to you, but the more classes you take related to accounting, investing and finance, the better you may do on your exams to become a financial advisor.
2. Pass Any Required Examinations
In order to sell securities to clients, you will have to pass the Series 7 or General Securities Representative License. This exam will cover all of the basic knowledge needed related to investments and regulations for the sale of securities that all financial advisors need to be aware of. Additionally, the Series 63 examination allows advisors to sell securities across multiple states and the Series 65 allows advisors to charge advisory fees to clients. It is possible to become an advisor with just the Series 7 license, but most advisors hold all three.
3. Obtain Additional Certifications or Designations to Show Your Expertise
After your bachelor’s degree, you don’t have to pursue further education. However, industry licensure will help you become a more skilled and accomplished financial advisor. Furthermore, your enhanced qualifications will show your clients that they can be confident in your abilities.
In Florida, the following licenses and certifications are available for financial advisors:
4. Find a Financial Advisor Job or Register Your Firm
As a financial advisor, you can find work in three facets of the financial industry:
- A broker-dealer
- A bank that offers financial advising services
- An independent financial management firm
The certifications needed in each field differ, so find out from prospective employers which qualifications they require. However, if you have years of experience and education, you may be able to bypass the exam requirements for the licenses mentioned above. Some firms may be willing to sponsor you in taking the Series 7 exam.
If you’d like to run your own investment adviser (IA) firm in Florida, one of two entities will govern your firm. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates firms holding assets of over $100 million. The Florida Office of Financial Regulation governs firms in Florida managing assets amounting to less than $100 million.
When you register with your matching governing body, the Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD) processes your entitlement forms. One requirement in registration is to designate a super accountant administrator (SAA), which can be you if you’re running the business alone.
Next, when the IARD approves your entitlement forms, you will receive credentials to log into the firm gateway. Once on the firm gateway, you can pay the fees necessary for firm registration, state filing and exam costs. The fees due depend on the value of the assets you manage and how many financial advisors you employ.
Maintain Florida Renewal Requirements
If you run your own firm, you’ll need to submit renewals annually to the IARD. Renewals are due at the end of the calendar year and must include updates on your business to ensure that you pay the correct fees. Every year, you will pay these fees:
- IARD renewal fee of $100
- $200 for the state of Florida’s fee and $50 for each investment advisor you employ
- Fees for every other state your firm operates in
How Much Do Financial Advisors Make In Florida?
According to income tax records from Intuit, financial advisors in Florida have an average salary of $96,500 per year. You may earn more depending on commissions and experience level and the top earners make quite a bit more than that. As a result, financial advisors in Florida can make wages well above national averages, especially at more senior levels.
With modest educational requirements and above-average earning potential, becoming a financial advisor in Florida could be a great career move for you. The necessary examinations and registration will depend on what sector you choose and whether you decide to found a financial management firm. If you enjoy the world of finance and are motivated to help others intelligently plan for their financial future, get started today by ensuring you fulfill the educational standards listed above.
Financial Advisor Tips
- Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- The first step in building any viable financial plan is to create a well-thought-out budget. This is, of course, much easier said than done, so SmartAsset made a budget calculator to help get you started.
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