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Hiring a Financial Advisor: Job Description Template

By Agwaonye Samuel

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Have you ever considered how a good financial advisor job description can impact your hiring process? Hiring a financial advisor is pivotal for individuals and businesses looking to secure their financial future.

Given that 27.6% of businesses fail after 2 years and 20.8% fail within a year, a stellar financial advisor can be a game-changer for you and your business.

Whether you’re planning for retirement, managing investments, or navigating complex financial decisions, a skilled financial advisor can provide invaluable guidance.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the process of hiring a financial advisor, from understanding their responsibilities and job description to practical tips for making the right choice.


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Responsibilities & Role of a Financial Advisor

Financial advisors play a critical role in helping clients achieve their financial goals. Before diving into the hiring process, it’s essential to grasp the responsibilities and roles a financial advisor undertakes and how these can benefit you:

  • Financial Planning: Your financial advisor’s primary responsibility will be to create a comprehensive financial plan tailored to your unique circumstances. This plan encompasses investment strategies, retirement planning, estate planning, and more.
  • Investment and Risk Management: The financial advisor will assess your risk tolerance and financial objectives to recommend suitable investment options. They will identify potential financial risks that could impact you, such as market volatility and economic fluctuations.
  • Tax and Retirement Planning: Planning for tax and retirement is a significant part of their role. The person will provide guidance on tax-efficient strategies to minimize your tax liability, ensuring you keep more of your hard-earned money. Also, they will analyze your current financial situation and set up strategies to ensure a comfortable retirement.
  • Education and Estate Planning: If you are saving for your children’s education, the financial advisor will help you choose the right savings vehicles and investment strategies. The person will also assist in creating a plan for the distribution of assets after cases like death, ensuring wishes are carried out efficiently and tax-effectively.

How to Hire a Financial Advisor

Now, let’s delve into the steps you should follow to hire the perfect financial advisor for your needs:

1. Identify Your Financial and Advisory Requirements

Before initiating the hiring process, take time to assess your financial needs and goals. Consider factors like:

  • Current financial situation.
  • Short-term and long-term objectives.
  • Risk tolerance.
  • Any specific financial challenges you face.

This self-assessment will help you communicate your requirements clearly to potential advisors.

2. Search for Qualified Candidates

Once you’ve defined your needs, it’s time to find potential financial advisors. Here are some avenues to explore:

  • Financial Advisor Directories: Websites and directories like the CFP Board, FINRA’s BrokerCheck, or the NAPFA can help you identify certified and registered advisors.
  • Referrals: Seek recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues who have had positive experiences with financial advisors.
  • Professional Associations: Many reputable financial advisors are members of industry associations like the CFA Institute or the Financial Planning Association. These organizations can be valuable sources for finding qualified professionals.
  • Online Platforms: Websites like LinkedIn and financial advisory platforms like SoFi Invest, Betterment Investment, Wealthfront Investing, and Ellevest can connect you with advisors specializing in your specific needs.

3. Check Qualifications

As you look through the CVs and resumes of candidates, ensure that the financial advisors you consider hold the necessary qualifications and licenses. Look for educational qualifications and certifications such as: 

Educational Qualifications

Certifications

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP): This certification is widely recognized and covers various aspects of financial planning, including investment planning, retirement planning, estate planning, and tax planning.
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): CFAs typically work in investment management and analysis. The program covers topics like portfolio management, investment analysis, and ethics.
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA): CPAs are often involved in tax planning and financial reporting. This certification is valuable for financial advisors who work on tax-related matters.

Having a financial advisor with any of these educational qualifications and certifications will be great for you and your business. These designations indicate a commitment to high ethical and professional standards.

4. Evaluate Experience

Review the advisors’ work experience, particularly their track record in dealing with clients with similar financial needs. 

An advisor with a successful history in managing investments may be ideal if you’re primarily concerned with portfolio growth, while someone experienced in retirement planning might be better suited if that’s your primary goal. 

Look out for skills like financial expertise, analytical, communication, problem-solving, and time-management skills.

Prioritize candidates with a mastery of various technologies and financial advisory software such as Moneytree, eMoney Plus, AdvisorEngine, Finary, ExpertBox, and MoneyGuidePro. Proficiency in these technologies and software will improve your financial advisory process. 

Make a list of candidates who possess the experience, qualifications, certifications and technical expertise you desire. 

5. Conduct Interviews

Once you’ve identified potential advisors, conduct interviews and ask questions following this template to assess their compatibility with your financial goals and personal preferences. 

During the interview, ask about their investment philosophy, approach to financial planning, and how they charge for their services.

Ask about how they handle difficult clients and resolve the situation. Also, ask about their diligence in working and handling projects with tight deadlines and limited resources. 

Inquire about their values, work style, and team collaboration ability to determine if they align with you and your organization. Ask for work samples and look for them to determine if they fit perfectly. 

6. Understand Fees and Compensation

Financial advisors are compensated in various ways, including fees, commissions, or a combination of both. It is crucial to understand their fee structure and how it aligns with your financial situation and objectives. Be transparent about your budget and expectations regarding fees.

7. Check References and Regulatory Records

Ask for references from previous clients to gain insight into the advisor’s professionalism, communication style, and overall performance. Speaking with people who have worked with the advisor can provide valuable perspectives.

Consider asking these questions:

  • Can you comment on the candidate’s ability to manage financial portfolios or provide financial advice, if applicable to their role?
  • Did the candidate stay up-to-date with industry trends, regulations, and best practices?
  • Is there anything else you believe is important to know about the candidate’s work ethic, character, or performance?

Visit regulatory websites like FINRA’s BrokerCheck to verify the advisor’s licensing and check for any disciplinary actions or customer complaints.

8. Establish a Written Agreement

Before finalizing your decision, document all terms and expectations in a written agreement. This should include details about services provided, fees, and how often you’ll meet to review your financial plan.


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Financial Advisor Job Description

A well-crafted job description is crucial in attracting the right financial advisor candidates. Here’s a template that highlights the role’s importance and benefits:

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Job Title: Financial Advisor

Company: [Your Company Name]

Location: [Location]

Job Type: [Full Time / Part Time / Contract]

Salary: [Competitive Salary / Commission-Based / DOE]

About Us:

[Provide a brief overview of your company’s values, industry, and commitment to financial excellence.]

The Opportunity: 

As a Financial Advisor at [Your Company Name], you will play a vital role in helping individuals and businesses secure their financial futures. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Client-Centered Approach: Build lasting relationships with clients, understand their unique financial goals, and craft tailored solutions.
  • Financial Expertise: Leverage your financial expertise to provide comprehensive financial planning, investment guidance, and retirement strategies.
  • Career Growth: Access ongoing training and development opportunities to stay at the forefront of financial trends and regulations.
  • Cutting-Edge Tools: Utilize advanced financial technologies and tools to optimize client portfolios and deliver exceptional service.

What You’ll Do:

  • Conduct in-depth consultations with clients to assess their financial needs, goals, and risk tolerance.
  • Create customized financial plans encompassing investment strategies, retirement planning, tax optimization, and estate planning.
  • Develop and manage investment portfolios aligned with client objectives, continuously monitoring performance and recommending adjustments.
  • Identify potential financial risks and market fluctuations, implementing strategies to safeguard client investments.
  • Provide guidance on tax-efficient strategies to minimize clients’ tax liabilities.
  • Help clients plan for a secure retirement by assessing their current financial situation and crafting tailored retirement strategies.
  • Assist clients in developing estate plans to ensure their assets are distributed according to their wishes.

What You’ll Bring:

To excel in this role, you should possess:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, business administration, accounting, mathematics, or statistics. 
  • A Master’s degree in business administration, finance or financial planning.
  • Industry-recognized certifications such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), or Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
  • years of experience as a financial advisor, with a proven client satisfaction and portfolio growth track record.
  • Strong analytical skills and proficiency in financial software and tools.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to build and maintain client relationships.

Benefits and Perks:

  • Competitive salary or commission structure.
  • Health insurance benefits.
  • Retirement plans (e.g., 401(k).
  • Paid time off (PTO).
  • Professional development opportunities.
  • Performance-based bonuses.
  • Flexible work arrangements.
  • Wellness programs.
  • Gym memberships.
  • Employee discounts.
  • Team-building events.
  • Employee recognition programs.
  • Rewarding work environment.
  • Continuing education.
  • Professional growth.
  • Travel opportunities.
  • Stock options.
  • Relocation assistance.
  • Family-friendly policies (e.g., parental leave).
  • Employee assistance programs (e.g., counselling services).
  • Travel opportunities.
  • Stock options or equity.
  • Company-provided technology and tools.
  • Commuter benefits (e.g., transportation subsidies).
  • On-site amenities (e.g., cafeteria, fitness center).

How to Join Us:

If you’re ready to make a meaningful impact on clients’ financial futures and grow in your financial advisory career, please send your resume, a cover letter detailing your qualifications, and any other supporting documents to [email address] with the subject line “Application for Financial Advisor Position – [Your Name].”

[Your Company Name] values diversity. Discrimination based on race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or protected veteran status will not be tolerated.

Closing Date: [Insert closing date for applications]

Kindly note that we will only reach out to candidates who have been shortlisted for further consideration. We appreciate your keen interest in [Your Company Name].

Note: This is only a template and you are advised to adjust it to meet your company’s specific requirements and the specific finance role to be filled. 


How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Financial Advisor?

Hiring a financial advisor comes with associated expenses that are important to consider in your budgeting. Understanding these costs will help you make informed decisions and find the best financial advisor for your needs. Here are some potential hiring expenses:

Recruitment Costs

This includes expenses related to advertising the job opening, utilizing recruitment agencies, and conducting background checks or pre-employment assessments. These costs may vary depending on the recruitment channels chosen and the complexity of the hiring process.

Financial Advisor’s Fees

The primary cost when hiring a financial advisor is their fees. Financial advisors typically charge clients in several ways:

  • Fee-Only: These advisors charge clients a fee for their services. It can be an hourly rate, a flat fee, or a percentage of the assets they manage. The advantage here is transparency, as they are not earning commissions on financial products they recommend.
  • Commission-Based: Some advisors earn commissions by selling financial products such as insurance policies, mutual funds, or securities. While you may not pay them directly, the commissions can affect the cost of the products you purchase. Commission is between 3% and 6% of your investment.
  • Fee-Based: These advisors may charge a fee for their advice but can also earn commissions. Understanding the fee structure and any potential conflicts of interest is essential.

Account Management Fees

You may incur additional account management fees if your financial advisor manages your investments. These fees are typically a percentage of the assets they manage for you and can vary based on the complexity of your investments.

  • Hourly Rates: Some financial advisors charge an hourly rate for consultations or financial planning services. Hourly rates can vary widely depending on the advisor’s experience and location but typically range from $200 to $400.
  • Retainer Fees: A retainer fee is a fixed amount you pay your financial advisor regularly, similar to a subscription. This fee structure is less common but provides ongoing access to their services. Retainer fees range from $2,000 to $7,500 annually.
  • Flat Fee Per Plan: This fee is charged to clients for every financial plan the financial advisor creates. This cost varies by service but typically ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per plan.

Platform or Software Costs

Some financial advisors use specialized software or platforms to manage and analyze your financial data. It could be an additional expense if they charge for access to these tools.

Cost of Software

Compliance and Licensing Fees

Financial advisors must comply with regulatory requirements and maintain licenses. Some of these costs may be passed on to clients indirectly.

Licensing Fees

  • Series 7 license: This costs $300 for a 3-hour examination.
  • Series 6 license: This cost $75 for a 1hour examination
  • Series 63 license: This costs $147 for a 75-minute examination.

Financial Products Expenses

If your advisor recommends specific financial products like mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), there may be expense ratios associated with these products. These expenses are typically deducted from the assets you invest in them.

Taxes and Fees

Depending on your location and the types of investments you hold, taxes or fees may be associated with your investments.

Also read:

Q&A with Brenton Harrison, Financial Advisor and Host of ‘New Money New Problems’ Podcast


Agwaonye Samuel

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