Personal financial advisors give financial advice to people. They help with investments, taxes, and insurance decisions.
Personal financial advisors typically do the following:
Personal financial advisors assess the financial needs of individuals and help them with investments (such as stocks and bonds), tax laws, and insurance decisions. Advisors help clients plan for short-term and long-term goals, such as education expenses and retirement. They recommend investments to match the clients' goals. They invest clients' money based on the clients' decisions.
Many also provide tax advice or sell insurance.
Although most planners offer advice on a wide range of topics, some specialize in areas such as retirement or risk management (evaluating how willing the investor is to take chances, and adjusting investments accordingly).
Many personal financial advisors spend a lot of time marketing their services, and they meet potential clients by giving seminars or through business and social networking. Networking is the process of meeting and exchanging information with people, or groups of people, who have similar interests.
After they have invested funds for a client, they, as well as the client, get regular reports of the investments. They monitor the client's investments and usually meet with each client at least once a year to update the client on potential investments and to adjust the financial plan because of the client's changed circumstances or because investment options have changed.
Many personal financial advisors are licensed to directly buy and sell financial products, such as stocks, bonds, annuities, and insurance. Depending on the agreement they have with their clients, personal financial advisors may have the clients' permission to make decisions about buying and selling stocks and bonds.
Private bankers or wealth managers are personal financial advisors who work for people who have a lot of money to invest. These clients are similar to institutional investors (commonly companies or organizations), and they approach investing differently from the general public. Private bankers manage a collection of investments, called a portfolio, for these clients by using the resources of the bank, including teams of financial analysts, accountants, and other professionals. For more information on the duties of these other financial workers, see the profiles on financial analysts and accountants and auditors.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition