You may have heard of the term “financial adviser,” and maybe you’ve worked for one. But it’s important to understand your career goals before looking to join any new employer as a part of your finance team at work or in addition to your home office. Here are some good reasons and examples of careers that can provide a great income, plus five more jobs that will pay well and why they’re worth trying.
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The job title typically refers to someone who studies money and banking. However, this is often just one part of working with clients—the person who helps them make sound financial decisions. When people think about the types of roles available for financial advisers, there are two types to consider:
Partner – someone who makes business decisions on behalf of one client, often referred to as an accountant. These might include other individuals within the firm but don’t necessarily have an individual account. Instead, these would be called investment advisors, financial professionals, or financial planners. Management roles – these usually go to external entities that manage the accounts and make key strategic decisions. Some firms also have chief executive officers who oversee other managers. The most common management roles in the field include headcount and executive reporting, among others.
For example, if a family office company wants to add another manager to its staff, you might see management roles listed next to those in the partner role. This means that the person making the hiring decision will likely need to hire someone with a background in accounting and finance to help with things like building risk models, valuing investments, and even managing finances for a large organization. It doesn’t make sense to get involved in such positions without prior experience.
A CFO is perhaps most qualified for this position, but not without some knowledge of the entire industry and how to apply their analytical skills. Financial services are much more complicated than most of us are comfortable with, so when you choose this type of work over many others, it will allow you to gain skills you can use going forward.
Financial Planning and Analysis
Although we’re talking about people who analyze the numbers, there are different ways those numbers end up. They could represent our portfolio value, whether we’re willing to spend more than we can or how much debt we owe. Many investors will look not only at the numbers themselves but also at the projections from economists and financial analysts who have studied data for years about how future trends will affect our investments. For those of us hoping to succeed in the stock market, there are two options: either study our investments and strategies or use the findings of financial professionals who specialize in this field.
There are several financial planning and analysis approaches, including regression or machine learning technology (or both!) to predict stock prices and overall performance. If you have experience analyzing the stocks and bonds of organizations, you might be interested in developing portfolios and tracking down opportunities for investing at low costs.
Even for short periods, these are jobs that will pay well. The salary ranges from a little less than $52,000 per year for an analyst who analyzes fundamental data from publicly-traded companies to $103,000 for a financial planner (finance strategist). And some entry-level jobs may pay more, depending on which firm you apply to. As long as you can do both (assuming that your experience matches theirs), you could expect anything from a few hundred thousand dollars to a couple of million dollars per year.
Financial Advisory, Accounting & Auditing
Finally, we need someone to handle all of our taxes and insurance. In the financial advisory, accounting, and auditing roles, you will be responsible for advising big companies like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google about everything from tax matters to mergers and acquisitions to cash flow forecasts. Most firms will employ consultants who are experts and know exactly what they want. You will need some basic computer skills and a willingness to learn. Depending on where you work, the average investment professional has at least three or four years of experience in auditing or advice, while a few might spend a bit more time honing in on certain areas.
So if this seems like a step beyond your usual responsibilities, then much more time should be devoted to studying finance before you try to get out there. We can’t expect anyone to stay perfect forever, but there’s no reason not to take some extra classes. To start by finding out what the basics are. Then, focus on areas you’re comfortable with the most, then move on to more specialized topics. Then, if you’re starting a consulting business, start making calls and getting projects in at your current firm. That way, you can develop relationships and familiarise yourself with your existing skills before adding anyone else.
Once you have some established contacts and networks, you can find larger investment firms that hire the services of a public accounting firm. Since you have already been to the world of books, now it’s the turn of the numbers to become real money. Whether you’re working to reduce interest rates or sell assets to pay off the debts of creditors, the accounting and auditing side of this field is a strong fit for experienced investment professionals who love Excel, spreadsheets, and the ability to compare hundreds of thousands of numbers.
What does research mean when you think about financial analysis? The easiest answer, however, would be you can make projections with the numbers you already have. Or you can start from scratch with the information you already have, but you might still need some math skills. After you have the number-crunching abilities, you can analyze which variables have the biggest impact on a company’s bottom line.
Just like research gives you valuable insights about how a small business might succeed, if you have enough information, you can give that same insight to a massive corporation like Walmart and tell them it needs to change how they handle money, too. No matter where you are, there’ll always be a demand for statistical data and statistics.
One way to keep that talent on your payroll is through research and consulting. You can start with smaller businesses and then move to larger ones, offering advice and direction to help them increase profits. Your knowledge of how companies operate will allow you to be helpful to these clients, giving us an inside look and showing them how to better serve their needs.
If you’re a consulting firm that ensures their investment funds get the attention of a wide range of wealthy entrepreneurs, chances are you can land yourself a top executive. An added perk of taking the helm of a major company is access to exclusive board seats as well, and if you want more influence within your community, you can reach them directly. Whatever you want to focus on, there’s plenty of opportunity for growth and advancement.
The best place for any investor is a startup. Every application has a chance to meet founders and employees who will support you on the journey. That includes your network because you’ll get the most direct feedback from those you know and trust. Not to mention that the competition is stiff, so having someone to share your wealth is critical for winning the race and helping you grow, whether financially or personally.
Entrepreneurs are constantly breaking new ground, and there aren’t going to be many leaders in the space tomorrow that are left behind. So you need to be thinking ahead and preparing for growth. By looking at new tech and emerging industries and applying deep industry expertise, you can take advantage of the growing pool of potential customers and build your company around their needs.
That way, you’re ready for whatever happens next. New ventures that will thrive in Silicon Valley will have seasoned players helping guide them through the early stages. All you need is the necessary skills that let you stand on their shoulders, and you’ll be ready to seize control any day you show up. Startups are usually hard to start with, but they can be very rewarding after a few months.
Successful companies, from fast food to biotech, have a core group of dedicated employees. These dedicated members may spend a year or more training, and some quit their jobs to pursue the venture because they can sense the confidence in the owner—that feeling that everyone around is supporting the company’s dreams.
If you happen to be one of those founders, you can always count on bringing in additional resources from partners, like angel investors. At the same time, there’s nothing wrong with finding the right individual for each project; finding them before other founders become easier after getting a taste of some of their work. And eventually, you can see the fruits of this labour being enjoyed by the founders of products like Airbnb and Uber. At my old job, I wasn’t allowed to discuss my new responsibilities with colleagues at length. My boss knew and respected my contributions as a consultant for six years before allowing me to open my private practice. Now they can discuss strategy without worrying about asking me to explain it. Plus, there’s more freedom today than ever before regarding how we connect with customers.
We may have a lot of different opinions, but that’s better than choosing sides for all eternity. Your journey is worthwhile as long as you have people to listen and help you figure it out. If you’re an entrepreneur, then the question isn’t, how will you create the most powerful product on earth? It’s how you make the most valuable connection to them. If this sounds like you, then it should be. Don’t leave the door hanging just yet. Be patient and wait for directions and approval from the right people before your idea gets snatched away.