A Financial consultant’s job includes providing personalized services to clients and investors in building wealth and taking profitable investment decisions. They assess their financial status and develop plans to help clients achieve financial objectives and goals.
Financial consultants are largely self-employed or work as part of a firm, devising strategies for more than one client at a time. It’s also their job to guide insurance plans and buy and sell stocks on behalf of the client.
Let’s find out more about a financial consultant’s salary, what educational qualifications and skills are required to crack into the field, and which roles and responsibilities a financial consultant is expected to take up.
What Does a Financial Consultant Do?
Financial Consultants work closely with businesses, families, and individuals in devising long-term and sustainable wealth-building strategies. They guide people to make educated, detail-oriented decisions to achieve financial goals. This involves conducting a rigorous assessment of the concerned party’s financial status, analysis investment opportunities, and exploring capital expansion prospects to source loans or funding.
Here’s looking at the various roles and responsibilities of a financial consultant:
- Analyzing a client’s financial history which includes past investments and returns, asset allocation, tax returns, and estate and retirement planning.
- Strategizing comprehensive wealth-building financial plans to achieve short-term and long-term financial objectives.
- Evaluating the effectiveness of action plans by assessing risk tolerance.
- Buying and selling financial products, and transforming complex financial concepts into actionable plans.
- Offering financial planning services by working in close association with investment bankers, accountants, insurance brokers, financial analysts, and other professionals in finance.
- Working on building productive relationships with clients by providing committed services, strategizing new and profitable financial plans, and offering a variety of options.
- Educating clients by effectively communicating the risks and advantages of investment ventures, addressing concerns, and answering queries.
- Keeping a track of the client’s financial status by monitoring changes in wealth, analyzing market trends, keeping an eye on on-going financial plans, and evaluating circumstances to set new goals and objectives.
- Providing detailed and accurate reports regarding a client’s financial status to better manage finances.
- Staying up to date with the latest trends in economics and finance by pursuing upskilling opportunities, networking, reading top finance-based publications, and maximising exposure.
- Pursuing career development opportunities, internships, professional skill-building courses to attract new clients, and add value to operational capabilities.
- Marketing services by hosting seminars, professional meet-ups, obtaining referrals and testimonials from clients, networking, attending community functions, and more. A few other remarketing tactics include sharing finance pieces from reputed newsletters and publications, answering enquiries, and increasing online presence.
Financial Consultant vs. Financial Advisor
The terms financial consultant and financial advisor are often used interchangeably. Most professionals assert that there is no difference whatsoever between financial consultants and financial advisors, and what their job roles entail. And this is true to a large extent. But others consider the respective approaches of the two professions towards financial planning to be the big distinction between them.
For instance, financial consultants work on time-sensitive and specific aspects of financial planning and remain available to clients only during that period. However, financial advisors tend to share long-term relationships with clients, giving them advice on finance management and investment over a long period. Financial advisors also have a deep knowledge of a client’s financial history.
Be that as it may, both financial consultants and advisors are dedicated to helping families and individuals build wealth by making informed financial decisions. Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for financial consultants to pursue long-term relationships with clients, and for financial advisors to take up time-specific financial planning roles.
Financial Consultant Salary in India
The salary of a financial consultant varies depending on the geographic location, level of experience, and skill set. According to PayScale, the annual compensation for a Financial Consultant in India is ₹627,776 /year on average. However, there is a steep rise in these numbers which comes with experience and advanced skills. Profit-sharing and bonuses are quite common in the field.
Here’s taking a look at the salaries of a potential financial consultant at different levels.
1. Entry-Level — A newly employed financial consultant with less than 1 year of experience can earn ₹229,428 per year on average.
2. Early-Career — 1 to 4 years of experience makes you eligible for an average salary of ₹507,524 annually.
3. Mid-Career — With 5 to 9 years of experience, a financial consultant stands to earn an average compensation of ₹828,164 annually.
4. Late-Career — If you have over 10 years of experience, you can easily earn ₹1,017,365 annually.
However, these are just the base salaries of financial consultants at different companies. Adding bonuses, money earned from profit-sharing, allowance, commission, and overtime, it’s not uncommon for financial consultants to earn up to ₹2 million every year.
Educational Background for Financial Consultant
Financial consultants require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in any one of the following disciplines: Accounting, Business Administration, Statistics, Economics, Finance.
However, the most sought-after financial consultants are those with a Master’s degree. This includes an MSc or MBA in Finance or an MBA in financial planning. Masters programs are the recommended options to enhance your expertise in investment management, asset management, tax planning, wealth management, financial planning, or retirement planning.
Even after hiring, companies encourage financial consultants to join professional training, courses or programs to stay up to date with innovative products, relevant regulatory policies, and financial trends to serve clients better. Furthermore, financial consultants with a master’s degree have a better chance of transitioning into senior or managerial roles.
Apart from a master’s degree, there are highly regarded certification courses such as the Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) that open many doors for financial consultants.
A CFA credential is the hardest to earn and takes 4 years to complete. It has three exams and you require a bachelor’s degree plus a minimum of four years of experience, to apply for the certification. A CFP, on the other hand, requires 2 years of professional work experience.
Even though these certifications aren’t necessary for financial consultants, they can attract high-end clients and higher-paying jobs. For some corporations and jurisdictions, a CFP certification is an essential requirement to hire financial consultants.
It’s also common for companies to overlook a lack of degrees in favour of experience and skills when hiring financial consultants and advisors. If you have a background in entrepreneurship or have ample experience serving companies and individuals who make financial decisions, you can land yourself a lucrative job in the field of finance.
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Financial Consultant: Skills Required
1. Financial Consultants Require Strong Communications and Interpersonal Skills
As someone whose job involves face-to-face meetings with clients, potential investors, associates, and new business executives regularly, financial consultants require exceptional interpersonal skills and communication skills. The financial industry speaks a complex language that is often beyond the understanding of a layman.
Therefore, they need to be able to simplify the technicalities of finance-related matters to effectively communicate with their clients and guide them towards informed decision-making. It also means listening intently to your clients, understanding their needs, and providing support as required.
Furthermore, networking is part of a financial consultant’s job description, therefore, it’s important to be able to develop and maintain relationships with industry professionals and potential clients.
2. They Should Possess Analytical Thinking and Problem-Solving Abilities
Financial consultants have expertise in a range of financial products, which allows them to solicit effective and profitable financial counsel. However, despite the strong knowledge base, every client’s requirements are different and require a unique approach to achieve success.
This can prove to be challenging and thus, requires problem-solving capacities, mathematical skills, and analytical thinking ability to tailor strategies for clients. They should be able to make data-driven decisions based on insights into client-specific stocks, insurance policies and investment opportunities.
3. Financial Consultants Should be Able to Handle Work Pressure
Financial consultants have a rather stressful job. Any advice he/she solicits is expected to have major implications in a client’s professional and personal life. Most financial consultants are also self-employed and manage business operations by themselves, albeit with a team of hand-picked professionals. Handling multiple clients’ financial portfolio is certainly not an easy task. Therefore, they must be adept at handling stress, making sure it doesn’t affect their performance at work.
4. Financial Consultants Should be Enthusiastic, Passionate and Energetic
Providing financial counsel is not everyone’s cup of tea. It requires grit, courage, a strong knowledge base, confidence and a willingness to learn to succeed. More importantly, it requires passion and enthusiasm towards the job. The foremost challenge is to find a client who is a perfect fit which is possible through perseverance.
5. Financial Consultants Require Management Skills
A financial consultant often works with a variety of financial professionals to help a client achieve monetary objectives. As someone whose advice is likely to have a huge impact on a client’s life, it is important for financial consultants to demonstrate due diligence and commitment to their job.
Possessing organizational skills such as time management, decision-making, resource management, attention to detail, and an ability to delegate. Apart from this, they must possess a positive and proactive attitude, and stay motivated to achieve goals.
Financial Consultant Career Path
There are several lucrative roles in finance that a financial consultant can transition into. Here’s looking at a few:
1. Personal Financial Advisor
Average Base Salary: ₹368k /year
Personal financial advisors work closely with companies or individuals in evaluating their long-term or short-term financial goals and achieving them. They help clients devise profitable strategies to build wealth and offer counsel on planning for retirement, marriage, kids, education, etc. They also assist in estate planning, and budget and investment planning.
Most financial advisors also buy and sell stocks and assets on behalf of clients, and provide tax services. Typically, they directly or indirectly handle mutual funds, assets and investments for clients. Considering the rising needs of financial advisers in public or private sectors, and based on demographic trends, the field is expected to grow by 4% by 2029 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
2. Financial Analyst
Average Base Salary: ₹410k /year
Financial analysts are employed by almost every large company to monitor cash flow, track transactions, and enforce budgets. Regardless of the industry, region or sector, a financial analyst plays an integral role in the capital management of a client. Their job is higher in prominence in non-finance agencies and corporations, where they may have specific job roles such as investment analyst, securities analyst, equity analyst, or research analyst. There are plenty of career advancement opportunities for financial analysts who can go on to assume executive roles in a company such as a chief financial officer, portfolio manager, or treasurer.
3. Investment Analysts
Average Base Salary: ₹634k /year
Investment analysts have unique specializations with respect to the areas and sectors they operate in, industrial, automobile, or economic, and so on. Their job involves conducting industry-specific research and analysis of stocks, currencies, bonds, and commodities according to a geographical location. Investment analysts typically recommend buy and sell options of assets when employed by the sell-side, whereas buy-side companies employ them to work with portfolio managers to recommend securities.
4. Budget Analysts
Average Base Salary: ₹650k /year
Budget analysts typically have a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field. They work closely with a company’s program and project manager to create budgets for a program or project respectively. It’s their job to review budgets prepared by managers, approve funding requests, ensure adherence to budgeting policies and regulations, etc.
They interact with legislators, investors and stockholders to explain the funding operations, proposed project plans and ensure financial needs are met. It’s also their responsibility to track the progress of a project to ensure compliance with budgeting and offer suggestions to overcome financial challenges.
Also Read: MBA Finance Salary in India
5. Portfolio Management
Average Base Salary: ₹1047k /year
Portfolio management requires a background in business analytics, commerce and mathematics. A portfolio manager does not work with individuals but with an institution or a mix of individuals guiding them in policy-making with respect to asset allocation. They conduct a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat (SWOT) analysis to assess markets trends and growth sectors to enhance the profitability of an organisation.
Apart from exhibiting exemplary interpersonal and communication skills, portfolio managers must be skilled in mathematics, financial asset management, statistics which would require a qualification in any of the following fields: Economics, Business Administration, and Accounting.
6. Investment Banking Analyst
Average Base Salary: ₹1500k /year
Investment banking is among the most thriving sectors of finance with companies like JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Citi, BA Continuum India offering salaries in the range of ₹15 lacs to ₹23 lacs per year. The job title entails assessing the capital requirements of firms, corporations and government agencies. If a company decides to go public, brokers a merger or trade, or makes an acquisition, the proceedings fall on an investment banking analyst to facilitate these financial reorganizations.
There is a requirement of investment banking in nearly all industries and sectors including finance, non-finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and so on. It’s not easy to land an investment banking position in a top firm, however, an MBA in Finance can bring you a lot closer to your goals.
The world of finance is highly competitive; at every stage, there is relentless contention between finance professionals leveraging expertise in innovative tools and technologies to stay ahead of the curve and ensure sustenance. Therefore, it takes unyielding commitment towards learning and upskilling to get your foot in the door. However, the perks and benefits of the job match the struggle endured.
To land a position as a financial consultant in one of the top firms or corporations, you would be required to pursue higher education to gain knowledge and experience. It also requires you to be proactive, unrelenting and knowledgeable of the latest trends in finance.
It is recommended that you research the best course of action to achieve your career goals before you take up a certification course or decide to pursue a postgraduate degree. If you require any assistance, upGrad has all the resources to guide you and help you make an informed decision.
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