Phd In Finance Seeking Advice To Become Cfp
Q: I've been reading this group off and on for several years, and I'm hoping that some of you can give me some advice on starting a financial consulting business. I know this topic has been covered quite a few times, but there are a few unique twists to my situation: a. I have a Ph.D. in Finance. I specialize in corporate finance and banking, but have a pretty good understanding of investments. However, I do know that I'm going to have to do some serious boning up on real estate, insurance, etc..., before I can hope to give reasonable advice or sit for the CFP exam. b. I currently have a full-time job teaching, but I would like to start a part-time financial planning business on the side. ("Full-time teaching" usually only involves two days a week of actual teaching, and the rest of my time is pretty flexible.) Over the next few years, the idea would be to build the business up to the point where I could potentially stop teaching full time. c. One of my objectives is, of course, to make a decent living as a financial planner, but I'm also interested in doing this because, as corny as it sounds, I like helping people; the times I've done financial planning for friends or family (for free, of course), I've really gotten a kick out of it. In particular, I'd really like to be able to help blue-collar/lower-middle-income families with their financial planning. (For the record, my background is about as blue-collar as it gets, so no slurs intended.) Anyways, I would appreciate your responses to the following questions: 1. The ideal way for me to get started would probably be to link up with a small, independent financial planner in the area (Flint/Saginaw area in Michigan) and work with him/her for a while to learn the business. Any comments or better ideas on this? 2. Does anyone have any experience/advice on whether one can actually make a living serving blue-collar families? In this area, there are actually quite a few factory workers making in the 50K-75K range, but I wouldn't necessarily want to focus solely on that demographic. 3. What kind of investment purchasing systems do independent planners use? For example, if you sell a client a particular fund, how do you actually place the order?
A: Maybe, maybe not...yes, you need to learn enough to be able to give good advice, but you might never sit for the CFP exam. The program is a very good survey of financial planning, and assures that you'll be exposed to the many aspects of the practice. And it really is the only comprehensive/generalist kind of certification - other licenses have their focus within specific areas of planning (such as investments, or insurance, or tax, or estate planning). But it's not a legal requirement...it's more like a trade association. It doesn't stand alone, and you'll also need to comply with state licensing or registration requirements, which vary depending on how you practice & where you are. I'm mentioning this because you might not need to learn about real estate, for example, or insurance - using your PhD you might focus on investments & do that instead of "comprehensive" planning that incorporates all three. I think it's helpful to be more of a generalist, but a lot of people don't practice that way. With your finance background, you could focus on, say, asset-allocation strategies and risk reduction with your clients, and leave the other work to others. There's a lot of flexibility in how you practice as a planner or investment advisor.
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