How to start preparing

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Feb 22, 2007 12:50 pm

I graduate in about a year and am currently a finance major who definately knows that I wont to be a financial advisor for my career. Im currently working at LPL as someones assistant and have learned a lot since Ive been here, but it has also made me realize that I havent learned anything in all the finance classes that Ive taken that would be useful to me  as a FA. All my finance class so far have been nothing but elablorate formulas that I will never use. Any advice on how I should start learning the rops outside of work? Aside from being trained at a company how did everyone learn about the business? reading the journal, cnbs, investopdeia???

Feb 22, 2007 1:11 pm

You evidently haven't learned much in the way of the English language either.


Study for the CFP exam.  This will give you a very good basis in financial planning and useful information that can be applied in real life.  Read as many professional publications as you can. 


Your best bet is to begin as an assistant or junior broker in a reputable firm.  They will teach you the ropes. 

Feb 22, 2007 1:20 pm

Suffer08 - you won't like my advice, but you would be better off spending the first 3 - 5 years of your life selling office equipment or working for enterprise car rental.  (I also agree with studying for the CFP).  This position is all about selling, and moving people through the sales process.  If you come into the financial services business as a seasoned sales person - the rest will be easy.


Also - try my meatloaf recipe.  It's also important to have your merlot chilled (maybe even some ice cubes).

Feb 22, 2007 2:51 pm

Good idea about getting some sales experience. Start cranking on the CFP. Get hired at a series 7 training firm as soon as you graduate. Take the attitude that you are selling cars there, ie, it is not the exact job you will have for the rest of your life, and the clients are customers who just need some really basic help. ( That first job does not define you as a person).


Try to have some adventures that will give you some character so you can relate to people. Have some fun - this is a pretty serious business - no point in experiencing premature death. If you make the meat loaf recipe, use "natural" beef as it comes from only one cow instead fo 3,000 cows at the meat packing plant (mad cow).

Feb 22, 2007 4:44 pm

Start prospecting now so that you have a $15MM pipeline by the time you get hired.

Feb 22, 2007 8:34 pm

Spend some time learning to write.  It will help.   I'm serious.

Feb 22, 2007 8:51 pm

If you start in this business right out of school you will probably fail out, drop the ego it is the truth. If you start at age 28 or 30 your odds more than triple. Here is how I would do it, get a job at a large company make some corporate contacts and tell them all your going to school to get your CFP and masters when your a bit older you will have a pipeline of prospects your CFP and a masters degree (try to find a school where the masters program qualifies you to take the CFP). Once you know what you're talking about start an investment club at work to talk about your 401K plan, get people excited about saving and know more than anyone. With this advice if you fail you have no talent.

Feb 22, 2007 10:25 pm

You haven't said whether or not you plan to stay where you are, but if you like the rep you're working for and she is very successful, sticking around as a sales assistant for a few years and gradually start building your own book would greatly improve your odds of success in my opinion.  It's less of a sink or swim proposition at that point.