When you are in college and thinking about different career paths, the possibilities can seem endless. Sometimes, this endlessness can be overwhelming to think about because by choosing one path, it can feel like you’re shutting out another and the opportunities it could have brought. When I was in college, I thought I would like to become a high school teacher and athletic coach. I enjoyed tutoring other students and liked playing competitive sports. These two paths seemed like they could mesh together as a possible career choice, but I also had another passion: finance. Reading about rock star traders who knew how to play the markets inspired me. I thought going into finance could allow me to pursue what I love and satisfy that competitive streak, even if I wouldn’t be involved in coaching sports. I ended up choosing the financial path that eventually led to me becoming a financial advisor. At first, I thought like most people do, that as an advisor I would only be managing people’s investment portfolios. But in my position as a financial advisor, I actually find myself in multiple roles I love.
Financial Advisors Are Teachers
When clients come to me, they come to learn about the financial industry and the strategies that will work best for them. A big part of what I do is educating clients about all of their available options and the short and long-term effects of taking each of those options. In our discussions, I take the complex information I’ve learned through my own education and hands-on experience and present it to clients in a way they can understand and feel confident in making decisions.
Financial Advisors Are Coaches
If a teacher’s job is to help their student understand a topic, a coach’s job is to motivate the student to use the information they’ve learned. I help clients determine what their specific financial goals are and what steps they need to take to achieve those goals. Examples of the goals I’ve helped people achieve include not running out of money in retirement, saving for their children’s college education, or obtaining financial freedom by generating enough passive income from their investments. Reaching these kinds of goals requires a plan, which is part education, part motivation, and part discipline.
Financial Advisors Are Project Managers
I don’t just create strategies and a plan for clients, then turn them loose to try to achieve their goals and manage their own investments. I stay with my clients every step of the way and help keep them on track. Things change throughout life and when they do it’s important to have someone there who can help you adjust. I’m there to guide and advise the client, which brings me to my final role.
Financial Advisors Are Investment Advisors
As an investment advisor, I’m at the helm of each client’s portfolio. In this role, a client might count on me to minimize the fluctuations with their investment returns or analyze a set of real estate properties to determine which could be the most profitable to add to their portfolio. Every client has unique needs and as markets fluctuate and outside circumstances put new and different pressures on their portfolios, it’s my job to adjust the sails and keep each client on course.
What I provide to my clients goes beyond a service. We build relationships, and that’s what I love most about being a financial advisor. These relationships give me the opportunity to experience a little bit of each of the career paths I considered, letting me do everything I’ve always wanted to do by helping my clients achieve their dreams.