A Day in the Life of a Financial Advisor: Schedule - SmartAsset (2023)

A Day in the Life of a Financial Advisor: Schedule - SmartAsset (1)

Wise time management is key to increasing your productivity as a consultant and effectively achieving your goals. A typical day in the life of a financial advisor can include a range of activities, from managing background tasks to meeting with clients and prospecting. Knowing how to structure your daily routine can help you prioritize the activities most important to your business without too much effort.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to free up time in your daily routine,SmartAdvisorcan avoid guesswork when addressing potential customers.

What does a financial advisor do?

The primary role of a financial advisor is to help clients manage their finances more effectively so they can achieve their goals. Financial advisors can advise on thisretirementPlanning,life insurance, real estate planning,college planningIinvestmentManagement. Some advisors may choose to be niche and focus on a specific demographic or client profile, such as female investors or members of the LGBTQ community.

Financial advisors may own their ownboutique companiesand be self-employed or employed by a financial services firm. In addition to deep financial expertise, financial advisors must also have marketing skills and be effective communicators to better understand their clients' needs.

(Video) Tips for Using the SmartAsset Blog

What does a day in the life of a financial advisor look like?

Every financial advisor's daily routine is different, but there are some commonalities in terms of the types of tasks an advisor's day might include. For many consultants, this means having a morning routine designed to energize and motivate them before the actual work day begins. A good morning routine can include exercise, meditation, reading and a healthy breakfast.

Once these initial tasks are completed, the consultant's day can revolve around the following activities.

Research (2 to 3 hours)

reportpotencial buyerDepending on the location of your business, this can take up a small or large part of your day. If you've just started a new consulting firm or accepted your first position in the financial services industry, then you're probably starting from scratch.

You can spend two to three hours every day searchingLizard, meet people in person, attend community events or advertise your business online. Here is aOnline lead generation toolI can help. It's an easy way to save time while only dealing with leads that fit your ideal customer profile.

Client management (1 to 2 hours)

Whether you have one customer or 100 customers, you can expect to spend part of your day taking care of them. This could mean meeting with clients in person, answering client questions by phone or email, conducting portfolio reviews, or sending newsletters to your email list.

Solving these types of tasks is important for customer retention and can have another benefit. Satisfied,engaged customersThey are more likely to refer you to their friends, family members or co-workers. The more referrals you can generate, the less time you will have to spend acquiring new clients.

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Financial planning (1 to 2 hours)

Financial planning is at the heart of what financial advisors do. Your clients rely on you to create a plan tailored to their needs and goals. Therefore, it is logical to devote part of the day to creating or updating financial plans.

This can include testing what-if scenarios for different asset allocations, adjusting clients' plans to reflect different life changes, or reviewing their personal retirement schedule to see if they're on track. The better you respond to your client's needs and situations, the easier this part of your job can be.

Continuing education/development (1 hour)

The financial services industry is constantly evolving and consultants need to be able to keep up in order to stay current. You can spend part of the day expanding your knowledge and skills or simply learning about the latest government guidance.

Consultants can spend time outside of the regular work day attending conferences and workshops or studying to earn additional certifications. Or they may need special training to learn how to use new software programs or other technical tools that their company is introducing.

Networking (30 min to 1 hour)

Networkingit can help you make invaluable contacts as a consultant, and you can spend a small part of your day expanding your network. It can be as simple as reaching out to 10 new people on LinkedIn or sending an introductory email to a consultant you want to connect with.

If you have more time, you can attend an in-person networking event. Attending community events involving financial services professionals and related fields is another way to invest your time wisely when you can expand your network.

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Administrative tasks (30 min to 1 hour)

Administrative work can be tiring, but it is necessary if you want to run a successful consulting firm. You may spend a large part of your day doing things like keeping records, writing reports, or doing bookkeeping.

Delegation and automation can save you time while ensuring that nothing is lost. For example, if you own a consulting firm, you can delegate lower-priority tasks to a junior employee or invest in accounting and payroll automation software.

Time Management Tips for Financial Advisors

A Day in the Life of a Financial Advisor: Schedule - SmartAsset (2)

If you feel like you're not getting everything done, it can help to rethink how you spend each workday. Here are some tips on how to get more done as a consultant without burning yourself out.

Follow a routine.Doing the same things in the same order every day may seem a bit monotonous, but it can help with time management. Creating a routine means you don't have to guess what tasks are next or what to focus your attention on.

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Plan the day the night before.By writing down your day before it happens, you can organize your time around individual tasks. You can also review each task and note what your top priorities are for the day.

Work in blocks.Time blocking allows you to focus on a specific task or group of tasks for a specific period of time. For example, you might schedule two hours in the morning for acquisition and one hour in the afternoon for administrative tasks. Time blocking also makes it easier to fit breaks into your day.

Use systems.Implementing a system can also save time. For example, if you don't already have a clear system for onboarding new customers, consider implementing one. The more you can simplify simpler tasks, the more time you can free up to focus on activities aimed at generating profit for your business.


A Day in the Life of a Financial Advisor: Schedule - SmartAsset (3)

If you're interested in a career in financial services, it's helpful to know what a day in the life of a financial advisor might be like. It's not uncommon for consultants to work long hours, especially in the beginning as they try to establish their brand and build a client base. Developing a time management strategy can help you better meet the needs of your clients without becoming overwhelmed.

Tips for developing your consulting company

  • Maintaining a steady list of customers is critical to your overall success, but acquiring them can be time-consuming. Outsource some of your acquisition efforts with tools likeSmartAssetov SmartAdvisorcan help you squeeze precious hours into your day. You can receive qualified leads via email and decide which leads you want to reach.
  • Digital marketingcan be an effective way to connect with potential customers and establish your brand. If you're not already working on creating a digital footprint, you may be missing out on opportunities to grow your client base. Learning digital marketing strategies, including social media and email marketing, can help increase your online visibility and make it easier to attract clients to your business.

Photo authors: ©iStock.com/Pekic, ©iStock.com/insta_photos, ©iStock.com/Maksym Belchenko

(Video) SmartAsset Talks to J. Money

Rebecca Lake, CEPF®Rebecca Lake is a retirement, investment and estate planning expert who has been writing about personal finance for a decade. Her financial niche expertise also extends to home buying, credit cards, banking and small businesses. She has worked directly with several major financial and insurance brands, including Citibank, Discover and AIG, and her writing has been published online at the U.S. News and World Report, CreditCards.com and Investopedia. Rebecca graduated from the University of South Carolina and also attended Charleston Southern University as an undergraduate. Originally from central Virginia, she now lives on the North Carolina coast with her two children.


What is the daily routine of a financial advisor? ›

The daily schedule of a financial advisor includes prospecting, servicing current clients, administrative tasks, financial planning, and continuing education. In addition to providing financial guidance, a large part of a financial advisor's career is managing relationships.

Why I quit being a financial advisor? ›

The most common reasons financial advisors quit are lack of fulfillment, difficulty finding clients, and burnout. Over 90% of financial advisors do not last three years, which means that there is a very low retention rate for financial advisors. To be a successful financial advisor, you need to be able to close a deal.

Is a financial advisor worth 1%? ›

While 1.5% is on the higher end for financial advisor services, if that's what it takes to get the returns you want then it's not overpaying, so to speak. Staying around 1% for your fee may be standard but it certainly isn't the high end. You need to decide what you're willing to pay for what you're receiving.

At what income level should you get a financial advisor? ›

Depending on the net worth advisor you choose, you generally should consider hiring an advisor when you have between $50,000 - $1,000,000, but most prefer to start working with clients when they have between $100,000 - $500,000 in liquid assets.

Is financial advisor stressful? ›

Financial careers can often feel stressful, as they depend on external factors, like market conditions and globalization. This also includes making adjustments with clients and helping them feel comfortable through some uncertain times.

What does a day in the life of a financial planner look like? ›

A Day in the Life of a Financial Planner. Financial planners determine how their clients can meet lifelong financial goals through management of resources. They examine the financial history-past and current-of their client's assets and suggest exactly what steps the client needs to take in the future to meet her goals ...

What is the hardest part of being a financial advisor? ›

Managing Client Expectations

While managing a client's portfolio may be a very straightforward endeavor, managing their expectations can be much harder. Many clients have unrealistic expectations when it comes to investment returns and interest rates. For starters, clients are often not financial professionals.

What is the burnout rate for financial advisors? ›

Financial advisors may be more stressed than their clients. According to a study by the Financial Planning Association, 63% of investors experience high or moderate stress, while 71% of advisors admit to being stressed out.

What is the failure rate of financial advisors? ›

80-90% of financial advisors fail and close their firm within the first three years of business. This means only 10-20% of financial advisors are ultimately successful.

What percentage of millionaires work with a financial advisor? ›

Seventy percent of millionaire households used some sort of financial adviser, and the average length of that relationship spanned 10 years, the survey found.

Is it fun to be a financial advisor? ›

"It is incredibly rewarding to help people navigate a series of challenging issues and achieve a variety of substantial end goals." Those goals range from college planning to funding a comfortable retirement to leaving a legacy for the next generation. But the financial advisor career isn't right for everyone.

What are the disadvantages of having a financial advisor? ›

One perceived disadvantage of working with a financial advisor is the cost. In a study published in the Journal of Financial Economics, researchers found that the fees charged by financial advisors can significantly erode investment returns, especially for small investors.

Can you make 300k as a financial advisor? ›

Successful advisers with five-to-10 years of experience can earn in excess of $300k.

What is the average age for financial advisors? ›

According to various studies and publications, the average age of financial advisors is somewhere between 51 and 55 years, with 38% expecting to retire in the next ten years.

Can you make 7 figures as a financial advisor? ›

Financial advisors who sail past low six figures and enter high six figures (and sometimes seven figures) have mastered two things: leverage and scale. Leverage is all about having things work separately from your time.

Why do so many financial advisors fail? ›

In fact, 80 to 90% of financial advisors fail in the first three years. This is due to three major obstacles: Not only is the learning curve steep, but there's often a heavy reliance on senior advisors for guidance, lengthening the time until you can offer services that will earn a big enough paycheck to stick around.

Is financial advising a lot of math? ›

Math skills: Constantly working with numbers means that financial advisors need to have excellent math skills. They must determine the amount to be invested, how much that amount will decrease or increase over time and how to create a balanced portfolio that includes a variety of investments.

What percentage of Americans have a financial advisor? ›

Americans working with financial advisors

While managing their finances is important for all Americans, not all of them turn to financial advisors for help. In 2022, only 35% of Americans worked with a financial advisor, while 57% said they did not have a financial representative.

How many days a week do financial advisors work? ›

Work Schedule

Most financial advisors work at least 40 hours per week. They often go to meetings on evenings and weekends to meet with clients.

What type of personality does a financial planner have? ›

Financial advisors tend to be predominantly enterprising individuals, which means that they are usually quite natural leaders who thrive at influencing and persuading others. They also tend to be conventional, meaning that they are usually detail-oriented and organized, and like working in a structured environment.

When should you fire a financial planner? ›

If your adviser recommends market timing, sector rotation, frequent churning of investments, mixing insurance and investing, high expense ratio mutual funds, loaded mutual funds, or individual stock investments, then they need to be fired. This is an easy decision.

Do most rich people have financial advisors? ›

Billionaires are in a class of their own when it comes to seeking financial planning advice. They aren't just millionaires with three extra zeros. Members of the 10-digit club require a more structured organization of professional advisors.

What type of financial advisor makes the most money? ›

High Paying Financial Planner Jobs
  • Senior Stock Plan Administrator. Salary range: $150,000-$174,500 per year. ...
  • Senior Wealth Advisor. ...
  • Finance Advisor. ...
  • Private Wealth Advisor. ...
  • Portfolio Manager. ...
  • Senior Pensions Administrator. ...
  • Wealth Management Client Relationship Consultant. ...
  • Financial Planning Consultant.

What is the best major to be a financial advisor? ›

A financial advisor with a thorough understanding of economics is better equipped to help their clients traverse the business and financial market cycles. In general, you can't go wrong with a major in business or economics; both will serve as a sound foundation for a financial planning or advisory career.

Do financial advisors travel a lot? ›

Yes, finance consultants travel a lot.

Consultants tend to travel a lot and experience extended time away from home. This is true whether working at a large firm or as an independent contractor. Financial consultants work hard to offer personalized advice to help investors build wealth.

Do financial advisors get kickbacks? ›

Many major brokers, banks and financial advisers take revenue-sharing payments—legal kickbacks that mutual-fund companies pay to reward sales of particular funds. Such payments vary from 0.01% to about 0.15% of the amount invested.

What is the job outlook for a financial advisor? ›

Do up to 90% of financial advisors fail within the first three years of being in business? ›

The retention rate is low: By the fifth year, only 15-16% of advisors will still be in business. Over 90% of financial advisors in the industry do not last three years. Putting it simply: 9 advisors out of 10 would fail!

Why do financial advisors make so much money? ›

Commissions. In this type of fee arrangement, a financial advisor makes their money from commissions. Advisors earn these fees when they recommend and sell specific financial products, such as mutual funds or annuities, to a client. These are often payable in addition to the above client fees.

Will there be a shortage of financial advisors? ›

The financial planning industry needs 70,000 new advisors in the next five years just to keep up with growth in the number of people seeking advice on everything from homebuying to retirement.

How much can a financial advisor make you with 100k? ›

Percentage-Based vs.

Usually, advisors that charge a percentage will want to work with clients that have a minimum portfolio of about $100,000. This makes it worth their time and will allow them to make about $1,000 to 2,000 a year.

How many clients does the average financial advisor have? ›

Generally speaking, most financial advisors need between 50 and 100 clients to be successful. If you work with high-net-worth individuals, you will need fewer clients than if you work with middle-class families.

Do financial advisors make 6 figures? ›

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for personal financial advisors was $94,170 in May 2021. It means half of the financial advisors earned more than that, and half earned less. One in ten earned less than $47,570, while one in ten made more than $208,000. A fun fact!

How do you get clients as a financial advisor? ›

  1. Cultivate Your Influence.
  2. Serve the Underserved.
  3. Get Involved in the Community.
  4. Host Webinars.
  5. Build Your LinkedIn Network.
  6. Utilize Paid Marketing Campaigns.
  7. Strategies With Little Return.
  8. Finding Financial Clients FAQs.

Is a financial advisor the same as a financial planner? ›

A financial planner is a professional who helps individuals and organizations create a strategy to meet long-term financial goals. "Financial advisor" is a broader category that can also include brokers, money managers, insurance agents, or bankers. There is no single body in charge of regulating financial planners.

What skills are needed to be a financial advisor? ›

What skills do you need to be a financial adviser?
  • Client relationship skills. ...
  • Business development skills. ...
  • Research. ...
  • Wealth management. ...
  • Analytical thinking. ...
  • Interpersonal communication. ...
  • Detail orientation. ...
  • Empathy.
Apr 28, 2023

Why do financial advisors lose clients? ›

As a financial advisor it takes hard work to attract clients, and even more work to keep them. Clients can part ways with their advisors due to poor communication, mismatched expectations, underperformance, lack of personalized advice, trust issues, high fees, and inadequate financial education.

How do financial advisors get paid? ›

In the financial world, advisors and planners are compensated in one of two basic ways: by earning flat fees or by earning commissions. A fee-only financial advisor is paid a set rate for the services they provide rather than getting paid by commission on the products they sell or trade.

What are the pros and cons of working with a financial advisor? ›

  • Pro: time. Hiring an advisor can save you a significant amount of time spent on research and studying different investment strategies. ...
  • Pro: strategy. ...
  • Pro: peace of mind. ...
  • Con: peace of mind. ...
  • Con: conflict of interest. ...
  • Con: costs and fees.
Nov 29, 2021

What are the work activities of a financial advisor? ›

Financial advisers provide clients with specialist advice on how to manage their money. The role involves researching the marketplace and recommending the most appropriate products and services available, ensuring that clients are aware of products that best meet their needs, and then securing a sale.

Where do financial advisors spend their time? ›

In turn, the typical advisor spends almost 36% of their time preparing for client meetings, running financial planning analyses, and handling the client servicing tasks and follow-up that comes from those meetings, plus another 9% of their time on investment-related tasks.

What to expect when you work with a financial advisor? ›

A financial advisor will work with you to get a complete picture of your assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. On the questionnaire, you will also indicate future pensions and income sources, project retirement needs, and describe any long-term financial obligations.

What are the pros and cons of being a financial advisor? ›

Becoming a Financial Advisor
Unlimited earning potentialYou must develop a client base
Low start-up costsMarketing costs vary widely
Lifetime learningYou will never learn everything
Huge range of products + strategiesConsider a somewhat narrow focus
5 more rows

What traits make a good financial advisor? ›

Ten traits of successful financial advisors
  • They have a good reputation. ...
  • They take a proactive approach. ...
  • They don't panic. ...
  • They invoke confidence and trust. ...
  • They are an experienced financial professional. ...
  • They take a holistic view of your finances. ...
  • They have a support team. ...
  • They have a clear strategy.

What is the average age of financial advisors? ›

The average age for advisors was 57 this year and last, according to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Financial Advisor Satisfaction Study. That's up from 54 in 2020, J.D. Power says.

What keeps financial advisors up at night? ›

Fee compression, disintermediation, investor shortsightedness and the inexperience of younger clients are some of the worries keeping advisors up at night.

How many clients does an average financial advisor have? ›

Generally speaking, most financial advisors need between 50 and 100 clients to be successful. If you work with high-net-worth individuals, you will need fewer clients than if you work with middle-class families.

What's it like to be a financial advisor? ›

Key Takeaways. The benefits of becoming an advisor include unlimited earning potential, a flexible work schedule, and the ability to tailor one's practice. The drawbacks include high stress, the hard work needed to build a client base, and the ongoing need to meet regulatory requirements.

What is the best financial advisor company? ›

The Best Financial Advisors of 2022
  • Best Overall: Fidelity Investments. ...
  • Best for Mixing Robo-Advice with a Human Touch: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services. ...
  • Best for Commission-Free Advisors: Zoe Financial. ...
  • Best for Low-Cost Unlimited Access to Advisors: Betterment.

How do I know if my financial advisor is doing a good job? ›

  • Learn exactly what you are paying. ...
  • Discuss fee transparency. ...
  • Understand your investment costs. ...
  • Get a list of the services you should be receiving. ...
  • Check your advisor's background. ...
  • Make sure you are getting leading-edge advice. ...
  • Confirm that your advisor has no conflicts of interest. ...
  • Check the marketplace.
Jan 6, 2019

Is it smart to work with a financial advisor? ›

Ultimately, whether or not a financial advisor will be worth your money depends on your specific situation and the financial advisor you choose to team up with. If they align with your goals, listen to your needs and act in your best interests, they will most likely be a good financial investment.

Can I be successful as a financial advisor? ›

There are three fundamental concepts that make for a successful financial advisor: Having an excellent track record of great service and performance. Maintaining a professional reputation in order to retain and attract clients. Developing business acumen through training and education on market conditions and finance.


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