How to Become a Financial Planner

I would like to get into the financial planning field, but I’m not sure where to start. I would like to complete any necessary course work, but I’m also interested in opportunities for on-the-job training. Any suggestions?
Anonymous –Via the Internet

Whether you’re interested in becoming a financial adviser or simply looking to hire one, there’s something that everyone should know: There are no requirements to become a financial planner. It’s an unregulated profession without any formal education or experience requirements.

Cautionary note aside, one key credential that you’ll want is to become a certified financial planner. The CFP designation is an important qualification for reputable financial planners. More details on what’s required to sit for the 10-hour multiple choice exam are available at

On a more advanced level, there are additional exams administered by the National Association of Securities Dealers that can qualify you to handle securities transactions. For details, see

Finally, with respect to on-the-job training, at least two major firms have structured programs. Edward Jones Investments’ training program starts with each candidate being assigned a mentor and another experienced adviser to observe. Visit for more details. To check out the training program at Ameriprise Financial, see
Mail your money management questions
to Money Matters, BLACK ENTERPRISE
130 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011 or send an e-mail to