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If financing accounts and budgets are your fortes and if customer service is your passion, a career as a financial advisor could be your best match.

The responsibilities

"The role of a financial advisor is primarily four-fold," says David Illingworth, financial advisor for Edward Jones. Illingworth adds that his day-to-day responsibilities include: meeting with clients to establish goals, accounts, and strategies, as well as reviewing client accounts and keeping up with relevant market news and developments.

"I also need to organize client and prospective client events," he says, "as well as conduct face-to-face contacts with prospective clients to earn their business."

As a financial advisor, Illingworth says he enjoys assisting people with their finances, which isn't always about money talk and investing. "The real reward is seeing each client make progress towards their goals, and knowing that I was a critical part of that progress."

He values the freedom he has as an advisor for Edward Jones because he can run his practice as he chooses, while also receiving a large amount of encouragement from the firm.

"It's a rare combination of freedom and support, and it's fantastic for work and life balance," he says.

The training

When Illingworth first started, like every new employee, he had to endure the training program. He describes the process at Edward Jones as second-to-none.

"I not only received exceptional support during my licensing and examination process, but I also received extensive training and support while building my practice, he explains. Edward Jones taught me how to build a business from the ground up, and provided constant support the whole way through."

And since the financial industry is constantly evolving, Illingworth mentions that he still receives regular training and support as the practice continues to grow and develop. "No one ever truly learns everything about investments and the financial industry—that's one of the appeals of a career as a financial advisor."

The position

For students interested in a career as a financial advisor, Illingworth says there is enormous potential for both new and young advisors. And there is a plethora of opportunity in Canada since the older demographic is reaching the age of retirement.

"If you enjoy the prospect of running your own business, helping people in your community with their finances, and having unlimited earning potential, then you should apply," explains Illingworth.

To get started with a financial firm like Edward Jones, Illingworth suggests talking to a local advisor. "Anyone interested can–and should—simply call an Edward Jones advisor in or around their community. They can give you insight about the profession and help you get started on the application process."

In addition, he says that being a successful financial advisor is one of the most rewarding careers anyone can have, but it isn't always easy. "For those willing to put in the time and enormous effort up front, the rewards can be very fulfilling."

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