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Want to plan other people's finances?

A financial planner helps clients achieve their life goals by planning for their investments, taxes, insurance, retirement, and estate and most importantly, their expenses.

education Updated: Nov 03, 2011 17:05 IST

The lowdown
A financial planner helps clients achieve their life goals by planning for their investments, taxes, insurance, retirement, and estate and most importantly, their expenses. Certified financial planners (CFPs) guide investors and manage their portfolios to help them achieve their goals, particularly those of retirement and children’s education. CFPs are trained to meet the needs of clients and offer a holistic approach to meet those goals. Apart from working in a firm, many students take the entrepreneur route. CFP certification is accepted in 23 countries. In these countries, financial planners cannot advise clients unless they are certified.

Clockwork
7am: Read business newspapers, check Asian market indices
9.30am: Reach office. Confirm appointments
10am: Meet the research team and get an update, including debt and equity market outlook
10.30am: Respond to e-mails
11am: Look up performance of Mutual Funds and other investment avenues
Noon: Head out for meetings
5pm: Have a quick meeting with colleagues to share experiences
7pm: Call/ meet client who is available only after office hours
8pm: Head home
10pm: Check US markets

The Payoff
A fresh graduate with a CFP mark can earn Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh per annum. The earning potential of a CFP is very good from a medium- to long-term point of view

Skills/TRAITS
* Very high on integrity and credibility
* Hunger for knowledge, a practical approach, and not just theoretical knowledge
* Be passionate about the concept of financial planning
* Strong understanding of personal finance

Getting there
Any graduate can pursue CFP certification. There are two ways:
1) Regular Pathway - through either education providers or self study
2) Challenge Status Pathway - in this you need to appear for just the final module exam

Exams are conducted online by National Stock Exchange, the CFP qualification is equal to a masters

Institutes and URLs
* Financial Planning Standards Board India
http://www.fpsbindia.org/
* International College of Financial Planning, multiple cities cities
www.icofp.org
* NSE, Mumbai
www.nseindia.com/

Pros and cons
* May have to face flak from clients when things are not good
* It’s a sunrise profession
* Very high earnings after a while