The first and most obvious step is to attend a university and obtain a degree in finance. While education is almost always a worthwhile endeavor, this option is not feasible for many people. One downside to this option is that some people find it difficult to find a job even after they obtain a degree. While jobs may become available, they may not be an option if they do pay enough to justify the investment made by way of education.
Another option is to sign up as an independent contractor with a company that offers training and opportunity for growth. This may be very beneficial for someone trying to get into the market of financial consultants business. Like Mary Kay and Avon, several companies now offer an opportunity to pay a small fee and join an existing business. One company in particular, Primerica, offers training and assistance in becoming a financial advisor. Because certain licensing requirements exist in most states, it helps to have a knowledgeable person in your corner helping you meet the examination requirements.
Primerica provides training in their financial philosophies as well as state and federal requirements for practicing as a financial advisor. For example, in Texas, you must hold an insurance license in health and life insurance, as well as several securities licenses to offer mutual funds, home financing and other financial products. While you must pay for these exams yourself, you are provided with extensive training in order to pass the exams. Insurance exams are not incredibly expensive; however exams for securities licenses are several hundred dollars each. Some companies provide reimbursement once an exam is passed.
Many of these companies also require, or at least prefer, that you make an effort to recruit others into this field. Often referred to as a “pyramid scheme", multilevel marketing (MLM) is a business structure that not only offers products but rewards, often with increased commission, for bringing additional people into the company and mentoring them. While this may be a great opportunity for you, it also comes with certain disadvantages. One is that as an independent contractor, you do not make a salary or even hourly wage. You are paid on commission for the work you do. Some people, especially if you are accustom to being in an employment situation, are uncomfortable with fluctuating income. However, others see the growth potential with such an arrangement. On the same token, you have flexibility with an independent contractor arrangement that is not typically available as an employee.
Another option is to become an employee of a financial consultants business, which also provides training and assistance. Certain companies, in an attempt to increase their staff, offer training positions to people interested in becoming a financial advisor. This arrangement is not as flexible as the one previously discussed, but you do typically draw a salary. Small firms do not usually offer such a position; however, larger firms and organizations, such as American Express Financial Advising, offer an arrangement to become somewhat of an apprentice.
On that note, many of these larger companies also offer the opportunity to buy a franchise and set up an office with their name. When you hear the word franchise, you may think McDonald's, but the truth of the matter is there may be a lot of opportunity in such an arrangement. The downside to buying a franchise is the incredible amount of upfront financing required. These offices are not cheap. Many people are reluctant to spend that kind of money on a business that may be unsuccessful.
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