Financial Planner

Financial Planners are also referred to as personal financial advisors, who provide financial advice for their clients. They help with investments, taxes, and insurance decisions.
The typical duties of a Financial Planer are: to meet with clients to discuss their financial goals; Explain the types of financial services they provide to potential clients; Educate clients and answer questions about investment options and potential risks; Recommend investments to clients or select investments on their behalf; Help clients plan for specific circumstances, such as education expenses or retirement; Monitor clients’ accounts and determine if changes are needed to improve account performance or to accommodate life changes, such as getting married or having children; Research investment opportunities

Sample Companies:


Wells Fargo

Charles Schwab

Edward Jones

AXA Advisors

McAdam Financially Advaced



The median salary for Financial Advisors is $88,890. However, salary varies greatly with education. For financial planners with a bachelor's degree, the median salary is $73,000. For those with a master's degree, the median salary is $101,000.

How to get there:

Financial Planners need a bachelor’s degree. A degree in finance, economics, accounting, business, mathematics, or law is good preparation for this occupation. Courses in investments, taxes, estate planning, and risk management are also helpful. Typically, in order to give advice to clients someone interested must take courses and tests to obtain a CFP, becoming a Certified Financial Planner. U of I offers a program for this if you are interested. Employers will often pay for this as well.
Financial Planners who directly buy or sell stocks, bonds, insurance policies, or give specific investment advice need a combination of licenses that varies based on the products they sell. In addition to those licenses, smaller firms that manage clients’ investments must be registered with state regulators, and larger firms must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Important Qualities:

Analytical Skills
Interpersonal Skills
Hard working
Computer Skills
Math Skills
Sales Skills
Speaking Skills


A master’s degree in an area such as finance or business administration can improve a Financial Planner’s chances of moving into a management position and attracting new clients.

Relevant Classes:

  • Composition I and Advanced Composition/Writing
  • CMN 101- Public Speaking
  • CMN 211- Business Communication
  • ECON 426- Monetary Economics and Policy
  • ECON 460- Financial Economics
  • FIN 221- Corporate Finance
  • FIN 230- Introduction to Insurance
  • *Actuarial Courses (MATH & FIN)

Relevant Clubs & Organizations:

  • Beta Alpha Psi Professional Business Society
  • Business Professionals of America (BPA)
  • Finance Club
  • Illini Business Financials
  • Personal Finance Club
  • Financial Planning Club




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