Posts Tagged ‘Master of Business Administration’

Education Trends Affecting Personal Financial Advisors

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Author: George Mentz

A bachelor’s or graduate degree is usually required for personal financial advisors. Employers often do not require a specific field of study for personal financial advisors, but a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, economics, business, mathematics, or law provides good preparation for the occupation. Courses in investments, taxes, estate planning, and risk management are also helpful. Programs in financial planning and “personal finance”  are becoming more available in colleges and universities.

In addition, personal financial advisors need strong math, analytical, and interpersonal skills. They need strong sales ability, including the ability to make a wide-range of customers feel comfortable. Personal financial advisor training emphasizes the different types of investors, and how to tailor advice to the investor’s personality. They need the ability to present financial concepts to clients in easy-to-understand language. Some advisors have experience in a related occupation, such as accountant, auditor, insurance sales agent, or broker.

Although not always required, certifications enhance professional standing and are recommended by employers. Personal financial advisors may obtain a Licensed Financial Planner credential. This type of certification, issued by one of the many financial organizations typically requires 3 years of relevant experience; the completion of education requirements, including a bachelor’s degree; assessment, and adherence to a code of ethics and continuing education requirements.

There are many designations offered in the USA that are disclosed to FINRA. [1] The process can be completed in about 18-24 months unless you have already satisfied the exam and course requirements from accredited institution. [2] [3] If competition in the industry continues to grow, i.e., increased number of personal financial advisors is expected to increase by 30% over the 2008-18 period, those providing the most value will realize the highest gains. Education and training are important considerations with regards to clients deciding which personal financial advisor to work with. Thus those personal financial advisors with advanced education degrees and designations may find additional opportunity over those with a bachelor’s degree or even less education.

Over the last 50 years, MBA credentials have been driving their way into the finance landscape along with others such as licensed attorneys and accountants who are also providing wealth management services. This increased competition from higher level service providers creates the need for others to keep pace. There has been a push for higher standards in the last 25 years so that designations and  credentials require double accredited program education and exams which include ACBSP Accreditation, AACSB Accreditation or ABA Accreditation.   Graduate organizations such as American Academy of Financial Management ® offer various designations for personal financial advisors. These include the, CWM ® Chartered Wealth Manager, CAM ™ Chartered/Certified Asset Manager –and MFP ™ Master Financial Professional Planner. [4] [5]

Lastly, masters education as a path to professional certifications and professional designations are currently being offered through post graduate educational institutions. For example the LL.M. Masters of Law Program at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, an American Bar Association approved school in San Diego,  offers degree courses and exams which are accredited by the AAFM® Certification Council as a qualified assessment and education for certification eligibility. In addition, there is a concentration in personal wealth management through the law school’s online masters  program which is the first of its type in the US to be disclosed and reviewed by the ABA American Bar Association. [6] As such, an  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

In closing, a  great start to finding a career in banking and finance would be searching online with  www.AAFM.eFinancialCareers.com

We invite your opinions and comments by posting them below, or by calling the Panel of Experts including:

George Mentz, JD, MBA –  is an international lawyer, editor, author and contributor in the areas of personal finance, securities law, and wealth management.  Prof. Mentz continues to consult  with the US Government and United Nations on issues related to careers and education. Dr. Mentz is the first person in the US to obtain quad credentialing as a lawyer, Double Accredited MBA, Juris Doctorate Degree, financial consultant certification, and qualified financial planner.  Mentz and his educational & professional development firms have worked with thousands of executives in over 150 countries. Dr. Mentz has taught over 200 business and law courses at various accredited institutions, and he is the founder of the Mentz Consumer Protection, Class Action,  and Securities Law Firm http://securitieslawyers.us Mentz has served on the advisory boards of the: The African Economists Association, The Royal Society of Fellows, The Arab Academy of Banking & Finance, The China Wealth Council, The GFF Global Finance Forum in Switzerland, and the Indian Academy of Financial Management.    Mentz is the winner of several faculty awards and a meritorious award for charitable service.   Mentz has been a pioneer in promoting  accredited program courses, exams and standards as a government recognized  path to professional certification.


[1] FINRA Financial Industry Regulatory Authority –  Understanding Professional Designations – http://apps.finra.org/DataDirectory/1/prodesignations.aspx

[2] See generally Louise Tutelian. “Dream Jobs: Six-Figure Salaries and a Bright Future- Financial Advisor”. CBS Moneywatch.com. 2/23/2011. http://moneywatch.bnet.com/career-advice/article/six-figure-jobs-financial-advisor/6197979/. Last Accessed 5/24/2011.

[3] American College Program CHFC – http://www.theamericancollege.edu/financial-planning/chfc-advanced-financial-planning

[4] 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

And also Wall Street Globe References . http://www.wallstreetglobe.com/news.html

[5] FINRA Financial Industry Regulatory Authority –  Understanding Professional Designations – http://apps.finra.org/DataDirectory/1/prodesignations.aspx

[6] See Thomas Jefferson School of Law, LL.M. Program. http://llmprogram.org/curriculum.html.

Personal Financial Advisor Market Demographic Shifts

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Author: George Mentz

“Education, health, and retirement costs are increasing. Lifespans are lengthening. The pension and Social Security safety nets are fraying.” [1]

The role of the personal financial planner or financial advisor “has exploded as baby boomers reach retirement age and seek advice on making their nest-eggs last.” [2] In addition, “younger folks are seeking guidance on managing savings and retirement accounts in lieu of a company pension plan.” [3] However, new products and services in the financial world such as ETFs, may eliminate the need for traditional financial planning investment advice but increase the need for other guidance on other complex wealth management issues. [4] Since ETFs are freely exchange traded while representing a stock holding various securities, ETFs should facilitate diversity while also limiting fees and sell restrictions. [5]

More and more individuals are moving toward planning their own personal financial future.   [6] This is the first time in American history that traditional workers been required to personally assume this much responsibility for their retirement investing. [7]

Moreover, in a 2008 report it was indicated that wealth management firms will sharply increase hiring from 2010 to 2020 because of the impending retirement. [8] In addition, over the coming decade, wealth management firms will have substantially more client opportunities because the pool of high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) globally.[9]

According to another study only 50% of HNWI High Net Worth Individual assets are currently managed by professionals.  An unprecedented amount of retiring boomers who had not previously used a wealth manager now require one to transition their asset portfolios to income ones, plan succession, and balance potential medical care needs. Wealth management firms therefore have a pool of approximately five million (and expanding) new client opportunities. [10]

Overall, qualified wealth management professionals should have the relevant licenses from FINRA or the Insurance Authority, but  also should have completed accredited program exams and education. This is why when you hire a professional; they should have a credential that requires accredited program education and exams.   Examples of such credentials that require accredited program exams or state exams include: MBA, CPA, JD, MSc, LLM, Attorney License, or CWM Chartered Wealth Manager Certification. [11] [12] [13]

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.  [14]

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

The study reports that the new generation of HNWIs is predominantly 70% self-generated wealth; through entrepreneurship or executive compensation. These HNWIs consider it normal business practice to seek outside expertise and are more likely to consult with financial advisors. [15]

We invite your opinions and comments by posting them below, or by calling the Panel of Experts including:

George Mentz, JD, MBA –  an international lawyer, editor, author and contributor in the areas of personal finance, securities law, and wealth management.  Prof. Mentz continues to consult  with the US Government and United Nations on issues related to careers and education. Dr. Mentz is the first person in the US to obtain quad credentialing as a lawyer, Double Accredited MBA, Juris Doctorate Degree, financial consultant certification, and qualified financial planner.  Mentz and his educational & professional development firms have worked with thousands of executives in over 150 countries. Dr. Mentz has taught over 200 business and law courses at various accredited institutions, and he is the founder of the Mentz Consumer Protection, Class Action,  and Securities Law Firm http://securitieslawyers.us Mentz has served on the advisory boards of the: The African Economists Association, The Royal Society of Fellows, The Arab Academy of Banking & Finance, The China Wealth Council, The GFF Global Finance Forum in Switzerland, and the Indian Academy of Financial Management.    Mentz is the winner of several faculty awards and a meritorious award for charitable service.   Mentz has been a pioneer in promoting  accredited program courses, exams and standards as a government recognized  path to professional certification.


[1] Dan Olsen. Personal Financial Planning: Making the Transition”. The Finance Professionals Post. New York Society of Security Analysts.” 2/24/2011. http://post.nyssa.org/nyssa-news/2011/02/personal-finance-planning-making-the-transition.html. Last Accessed 5/25/2011.

[2] CNN Money. “Most Job Growth-Personal Financial Advisor”. 2009. http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/moneymag/0910/gallery.bestjobs_jobgrowth.moneymag/3.html. Last Accessed 5/24/2011.

[3] Ibid.

[4] D. Armstrong.  Why ETF Investors Need to Do their Homework http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/the-smarter-mutual-fund-investor/2011/02/11/why-etf-investors-need-to-do-their-homework

[5] SEC Article on ETF Exchange Traded Funds http://www.sec.gov/answers/etf.htm

[6] CNN Money. “Most Job Growth-Personal Financial Advisor”.

[7] Ibid.

[8] See Advisorfyi.com-Summit Business Media/The National Underwriter Company. “Wealth Management Employment in the Coming Decade.” Posted October 11th, 2010. http://www.advisorfyi.com/2010/10/wealth-management-employment-in-the-coming-decade/. Last Accessed 5/25/2011. Citing Cap Gemini.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] 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

[12] FINRA Financial Industry Regulatory Authority –  Understanding Professional Designations – http://apps.finra.org/DataDirectory/1/prodesignations.aspx

[13] Wealth Management Certifications Wall Street Journal – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB109883075169856486.html

[14] eFinancialCareers.com www.AAFM.eFinancialCareers.com

[15] Ibid., citing Oliver Wyman.