3 answers

How long do I have to go to school to become a financial planner?

Asked Detroit, Michigan

I'm debating majoring in finance when I go to college, but I don't know if I can become a financial planner straight out of college. I want to get my MBA, but I want to work as a finanical planner for a few years between undergraduate and graduate school. #finance #financial-services #investment-management #investing #financial-planning

3 answers

Aditya Raj’s Answer

Updated San Francisco, California

There is no set criteria on what you should study or do to become a financial planner. I would recommend reading about the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) program on its requirements. But you don't necessarily need a finance degree or an MBA. I know people who studied history in college and are very successful CFP's. You have a long way to go and I recommend taking some classes about finance first and giving yourself time which you have, before you make a decision. All the best!

Sean’s Answer

Updated Dallas, Texas

So I'm a little late to the party on this and I agree with everything said above but ill throw in a few things. The CFP designation is changing from a "nice to have"to a "must-have" in the financial planning business if you want to be taken seriously as more and more people are getting it. There are other similar designations but don't hold the same amount of weight in the eyes of consumers. Name recognition creates creditability and the CFP board has done a better job of marketing the designation. I'm in my 9th year in the business, moving to the Independent RIA space about 4 years ago. An MBA would be a nice thing if you are in the corporate side of things or for that first job but by in large would be a waste of time/money compared to the CFP if you want to be a client facing financial planner. And that statement comes from a good buddy of mine who is a CFP and has an MBA from an ivy league school. Hope this helps! Good luck out there!

Nelson’s Answer

Updated Grapevine, Texas

I would highly recommend you get your CFP after your undergraduate degree, before you pursue an MBA. I have a 4 year bachelors degree in Personal Financial Planning which fulfills my education and ethics requirements to sit for the CFP exam. A degree in PFP is nice, but not necessary as there are other ways to get these requirements. A degree in Finance or Economics will be an equally strong path, however as the poster above mentioned you can get a degree in history and then go on to get your CFP by completing a certificate course. There are more than one ways to reach the CFP requirements, but it is the most widely recognized standard in the industry. An MBA is not necessary to practice as a financial planner, however if you want to reach associate, VP and director level positions at the best companies then I highly recommend it. Your career may cap out without it. With that said though, there are a few routes you can go as a financial planner, some where it is more of a sales position based on gathering clients and assets, and other positions where you are in more of a planner role. An MBA may or may not be necessary depending on your career goals.

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