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The 10 Best Jobs of 2012: 5 - Financial Planner

Financial Planner

Related to careers in portfolio management, the financial planner offers a broad range of services aimed at assisting individuals in managing and planning their financial future.

  • Overall Score: 300.00
  • Income: $104,161.00

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Getting a good job is the

Getting a good job is the dream of most people. To get the job we love is something only very few people in life can get. I really like the ten best jobs given in your article thanks a lot for sharing this page. 

financial planner?

I've met with financial planners in the past and what they did was shop for an expensive mutual funds that paid them the max, 5.6% off the top and gave me a pityfull 8% barely above the s&p.  All work could have taken less than a half hour.  They were guaranteed their chunk, I wasn't.   I fired them within a month and learned how to invest myself and made double and sometimes triple on basic investments, saving tons of fees on ETF's.  I agree they are mostly salesmen working for themselves, not you.  Finance isn't rocket science.

HIRING GOOD ADVICE IS NOT FREE - and you will benefit longter

To all the negative comments about FINANCIAL ADVISORS OR PLANNERS or any kind of fees being charged for advice.

I was in Real Estate for 12 years and had clients that belly ache about commissions always, those you can never make happy with whatever  you do (you know the type--cheapoo's) They never buy the good stuff, but wants the highest returns and belly aches about their house when they move in. Oh they also always KNEW MORE than you the professional, who studied for years that profession.

But,  I also had wonderful clients that understood TRUST and LISTENED. Because if I was not there TO GUIDE THEM they would not be as far as they are today making money. That is VALUE friend if you never seen it -it's called ADVICE.  They would be in crap up to the knees without a professional on their side today.

So going it alone and reading crappy internet comments is not a smart approach. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL FOR ADVICE . Choose the cheapoo way, and keep reading crap on the internet " YES! THEY KNOW BETTER THAN PROFESSIONAL ADVISORS are on your own and GOOD LUCK!

eg: ($350. is charged by a property home inspectors ) Do you use a Home inspector? Why not do it yourself and then blame no one for the crappy house you bought one of the largest investments in your life. What about  your financial investment?..I wonder how you feel about your hard worked funds..You have seen DO-IT-YOURSELF- so called it comparable to a PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORE. Get real!!!!!!

So in short, GOOD ADVICE OF ANY KIND IS NOT FREE, and if it is... it's NO GOOD. I hope whatever it is that you do for a living you charge a fee to keep you in that job and people will count on you as a professional knowing you do charge to do a good job.. That's just common sense thinking. Get you head out of the clouds be smart hire a Professional.

Life has GUIDES of all kinds for a reason  TRUST ONE TO GUIDE YOU - You need a good FINACIAL PLANNER ALWAYS, and yes it will cost you, FOR GOOD ADVICE, and because it can be complex to keep up with current trends. That's how life works.


Let's face it, get serious about your LONG TERM FINICIAL PLANS my friend and stop reading internet cheapoo's comments.



Financial panther eh? Get him Sheeba!


This is not a job its a sales possition with no salary 90% drop out in the first year and many of those people don't make a cent.

This is exactly what happened

This is exactly what happened to me...

Good Financial Planners

The best financial planners take the time to get to know their client before they recommend any product. However, regardless of how you get paid a financial planner must use great selling skills to fact find,analyze data, prepare presentations, and communicate all the specifics of the plan to the client. When it's done right the client never feels he or she has been sold anything. The client understands, accepts and acts on the recommendations for each part of the financial plan,because it is designed to meet their desires and needs with the products they are most comfortable using.

The problems come in when poorly trained or lazy practitioners use cookie cutter recommendations for anyone who walks in their office and often use the highest paying products to implement their recommendations. Put the client first and treat your client as you would want to be treated. The results are always better when ethical people are envolved. Choose your planner wisely. It should be a wonderful lifetime relationship.

Not necessarily!

Having been in the Financial Services industry for over 30 years, I've seen good and bad fee-only planners. One fee-only planner recommended that his physician clients - the only profession he worked with - NOT buy disability insurance! And that they buy only term insurance and do it on the Internet. He didn't mention to his clients that they could get personal advice from a life insurance agent and pay exactly the same price as they would buying from a Term Insurance website. Nor did he seem to worry about what would happen if they became disabled and unable to support themselves and their families. All planners, whether commission only, fee and commission, or fee-only, will have a bias based on their training and life experiences. You can't avoid the biases, but you should be aware of what they might be.
Regarding stress - income from financial planning can often vary widely from year-to-year, or from month-to-month. It can create high levels of stress and financial problems for the planner. It can also be very rewarding.


You have to enjoy working for yourself as most of these are paid on straight commission. The business cyclicality is all on the planner/advisor. You are selling things in which you have little control over the outcomes. You can make a lot of money but you also can nearly starve.

Could not disagree more.

There's a difference between a CFP (Certified Financial Planner) who helps you budget and a Financial Advisor who only invests but ultimately both jobs involve selling investment products for either an on-going fee or a one time commission. Bottom Line, any job where you have the awesome responsibility of guiding your clients through the worst crash in 80 years in 2008 / 2009 and then another major European Crisis in 2011, this job is as stressful as you can possibly imagine. Other than a job where your life is on the line, like a soldier, there isn't a more mentally stressful job then this one. In addition, because of the bozo's in the Wall Street corner offices and the outright thieves like Bernard Madoff, the general public tends to paint all Financial Professionals with the same negative brush.

Well stated

Well stated


I am a 27 year old CFP...I love my job....amazing flexibility and work/life situation. However, I put in 7 years of relentless training and certifications to get where I am today. If you do it right, you can enjoy so many rewards.

Experience opportunities?

Hello! I am a 22 year old aspiring CFP and I'm wondering if you have any advice on where to start gaining work/finance experience for the CFP requirement, because I have no prior finance experience at all and I studied something entirely different (biological sciences) in college. I feel a bit lost right now Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!


Are these the former Lehman, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, etc?

I think you are thinking of

I think you are thinking of Investment Bankers a different and more lucerative job.


It is a fantastic vocation based upon need. We are living in a society where most are financially ILLITERATE!!!! This has nothing to do with whether one has a college education. This is a lack of financial education which should be taught in Middle School. Our educational system does not put any emphasis on something that one works for everyday but knows littled to nothing about. MONEY!!!! The principles of money will never change but if one does not know the rules they are deemed to fail. Rule of 72, Compounding of Interest, Pay yourself first, etc. All common sense principles but are uncommon practice. Since I have been on this earth I have found out that common sense is not so common. This profession takes hard work but it is rewarding and you can feel good about what you do.

On average the income is good...

On average the income is good... kind of like when you're left foot is in ice cold water, your right foot is in scalding hot water... but on average you're pretty comfortable.

Yea, the clients just grow on

Yea, the clients just grow on trees!

of course the stress is low ...

... it's other peoples' money!

Financial Planners - Financial Scammers?

I've been through a few financial planners in recent years and they are all so sales focused I'm wondering if they could make a decent living if they just did the planning and not all the selling. Is there a good financial planner out there or are they just good sales people first, planners second? Is there such a thing as an objective financial planner?

Yes, there is!

If a financial planner gets paid out of selling financial products, that's how his or her emphasis will be.

What you're looking for is a fee-only financial planner. My sister is one. She belongs to FAFSA, which is where you can look for one:

The fee is based on your assets and doesn't come out of selling products, so a FOFP can truly recommend the best investments for you. Good luck!


Most financial planners are strictly salespeople! Companies hire anyone from history to art majors...they have no financial background. The companies typically provide training, but the training is very sales-focused.

There isn't a degree that relates to the job....

Most college business degrees or finance degrees only offer 1-2 courses max that actually are related to financial planning (Economics and Investments). The rest of the courses are unrelated.. I wouldn't put too much stock (pun intended) into a business major over someone with a different degree. Looking for someone that has a CFP, experience, and is recommended would be a better avenue for choosing a financial professional to work with. 

My humble opinion

Indeed, most financial planners are sales people. Still, you must have a feeling when trying to find a financial advisor that really knows how to do his/her job. The most important factor is, in my opinion, fee-only payments.

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