Author: George Mentz
Today’s article discusses the similarities of the personal financial advisor position with that of financial analysts. We draw comparisons in light of market data and trends.
As presented in a previous article, it was reported by 2016 jobs for personal financial advisors will have grown over 40% over 2006 levels, while financial analyst jobs—think FAD Financial Analyst Designates or AFA Accredited Financial Analysts types—will have grown over 30%.  The financial analysts job market is thus in slightly slower growth pattern than personal financial advisors.
As commentators have noted, there has traditionally been very little overlap between the securities analyst and financial planning communities.  This conclusion is based on the “number of financial analysts who are also financial planners. It thus “appears that relatively few analyst professionals have pursued personal financial planning.” Generally speaking, financial planners and financial analysts are not required to hold double accredited program degree or diplomas; thus, there has been a recent transition toward accredited business school program exams and education that leads to degree and certification eligibility.
Interestingly it is convenient that the financial planning and analysis jobs would start to merge as somebody who has completed a financial analyst designation will already have learned much of the material related to financial planning or private banking  However, graduate professional designations such as the CWM ® certification  which is awarded from the American Academy of Financial Management ®  require further graduate education in extra areas beyond investments, finance or planning including: economics, trusts, estates, global tax, macro forces, private banking, wealth strategy, money and banking, hedge funds, global risk management, and other. 
For example, financial analysts may provide guidance to businesses and individuals making financial decisions. The financial analyst role or profession began with a focus on financial bookkeeping and reporting skills, but has morphed over the recent years into a financial research job with a focus on fundamentals. These skills are similar to those that financial advisors use when consulting with clients, but advisors and planners by default have been trained more on the issues of FINRA rules, retirement planning, tax, estates, personal finance, insurance sales, and education planning. Moreover, financial analysts now tend to focus on assessing the performance of stocks, bonds, commodities, sectors, and other types of securities. These skills also are generally employed by the personal financial advisor. 
What’s more, some experienced managers, generally portfolio managers, supervise a team of analysts and select the mix of products, industries, and regions for their company’s investment portfolio. These managers or directors are not only responsible for the overall portfolio, but are also expected to explain investment decisions and strategies in meetings with investors.
An accredited bachelor’s or graduate degree is normally required for entry level or higher financial related positions. Most employers require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as finance, business, accounting, statistics, or economics. The business schools that are ACBSP or AACSB accredited represent the top business programs that have met the requirements of double accreditation.  An understanding of statistics, economics, and business may be essential, and knowledge of accounting policies and procedures, corporate budgeting, and financial analysis methods is recommended. A excellent opportunity to take courses in tax, finance, estates, asset management, wealth management and compliance is to apply to the online graduate program at: http://llmprogram.tjsl.edu
Since both financial advisors, planners and analysts require similar qualifications, those individuals who have the proper accredited education can easily transition between the two functions providing more value to clients. All entry level persons should be prepared to study for and take relevant regulatory licensing exams such as: Insurance License, Series 6, Series 7, Series 65, 66 or other state exams that are offered or regulated by the Insurance Commissioner  or FINRA .
A great start to finding a career in banking and finance would be searching online with www.AAFM.eFinancialCareers.com This career portal shows available jobs around the world in finance, banking, investments, hedge funds, risk management, insurance, compliance and more. 
United States Government Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Financial Analysts and Personal Financial Advisors. Occupational Outlook Handbook,
2010-11 Edition.” http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos301.htm
 Dan Olsen. “Personal Financial Planning: Making the Transition”. The Finance Professionals Post. New York Society of Security Analysts.”
 FINRA Financial Industry Regulatory Authority – Understanding Professional Designations – http://apps.finra.org/DataDirectory/1/prodesignations.aspx
 United States Government Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Financial Analysts and Personal Financial Advisors. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition.” http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos301.htm
 AAFM ® CWM Curriculum Facts: www.aafm.us or http://www.financialcertified.com/certified_chartered_wealth_manager_cwm_wiki.html
 Financial Advisors http://financecareers.about.com/od/financialadvisor/a/finadvisor.htm
 List of Double Accredited Business Schools http://financialanalyst.org/accreditededucation.html CHEA Council for Higher Education Accreditation http://www.chea.org/Directories/special.asp
 National Association of Insurance Commissioners http://www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm
 FINRA Financial Industry Regulatory Authority http://www.finra.org/
 eFinancialCareers.com www.AAFM.eFinancialCareers.com