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Career and Education Opportunities for Personal Financial Planners in Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for personal financial planners. The national trend for personal financial planners sees this job pool growing by about 30.1% over the next eight years. Personal financial planners generally advise clients on financial plans utilizing knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, and real estate.

Personal financial planners earn approximately $50 per hour or $104,370 per year on average in Massachusetts. Nationally they average about $33 per hour or $69,050 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing, people working as personal financial planners in Massachusetts earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing nationally. Jobs in this field include: investment adviser, investment advisor, and estate planning counselor.

There are eighteen schools within twenty-five miles of Boston where you can study to be a personal financial planner, among 151 schools of higher education total in the Boston area. The most common level of education for personal financial planners is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become a personal financial planner if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Personal Financial Planner

Personal Financial Planner video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, personal financial planners advise clients on financial plans utilizing knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, and real estate. They also duties include assessing clients' assets, liabilities, and financial objectives to establish investment strategies.

Personal financial planners analyze financial data obtained from clients to establish strategies for meeting clients' financial objectives. They also inspect clients' accounts and plans regularly to establish whether life changes or financial performance indicate a need for plan reassessment. Equally important, personal financial planners have to monitor financial market trends to insure that plans are effective, and to pinpoint any needed updates. They are often called upon to explain and document for clients the types of services that are to be provided, and the responsibilities to be taken by the personal financial advisor. They are expected to answer clients' questions about the purposes and specifics of financial plans and strategies. Finally, personal financial planners meet with clients' other advisers and investment bankers, to fully understand clients' financial goals and circumstances.

Every day, personal financial planners are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to deal with basic arithmetic problems. It is also important that they think through problems and come up with general rules.

It is important for personal financial planners to build and maintain client bases, keeping current client plans up-to-date and recruiting new clients on an ongoing basis. They are often called upon to sell financial products such as stocks and insurance if licensed to do so. They also devise debt liquidation plans that include payoff priorities and timelines. They are sometimes expected to conduct seminars and workshops on financial planning topics such as retirement planning and the evaluation of severance packages. Somewhat less frequently, personal financial planners are also expected to open accounts for clients, and disburse funds from account to creditors as agents for clients.

Personal financial planners sometimes are asked to meet with clients' other advisers and investment bankers, to fully understand clients' financial goals and circumstances. And finally, they sometimes have to explain to individuals and groups the specifics of financial assistance available to college and university students, such as loans and scholarships.

Like many other jobs, personal financial planners must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Boston include:

  • Accountant. Analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain records of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.
  • Assessor. Appraise real and personal property to determine its fair value. May assess taxes in accordance with prescribed schedules.
  • Auditor. Examine and analyze accounting records to determine financial status of establishment and prepare financial reports concerning operating procedures.
  • Budget Analyst. Examine budget estimates for completeness, accuracy, and conformance with procedures and regulations. Analyze budgeting and accounting reports for the purpose of maintaining expenditure controls.
  • Cost Analyst. Prepare cost estimates for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services to aid management in bidding on or determining price of product or service. May specialize according to particular service performed or type of product manufactured.
  • Credit Analyst. Analyze current credit data and financial statements of individuals or firms to determine the degree of risk involved in extending credit or lending money. Prepare reports with this credit information for use in decision-making.
  • Financial Analyst. Conduct quantitative analyses of information affecting investment programs of public or private institutions.
  • Financial Examiner. Enforce or ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing financial and securities institutions and financial and real estate transactions. May examine, verify correctness of, or establish authenticity of records.
  • Income Tax Advisor. Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses but do not have the background or responsibilities of an accredited or certified public accountant.
  • Insurance Adjuster. Investigate, analyze, and determine the extent of insurance company's liability concerning personal, casualty, or property loss or damages, and attempt to effect settlement with claimants. Correspond with or interview medical specialists, agents, or claimants to compile information. Calculate benefit payments and approve payment of claims within a certain monetary limit.
  • Insurance Appraiser. Appraise automobile or other vehicle damage to determine cost of repair for insurance claim settlement and seek agreement with automotive repair shop on cost of repair. Prepare insurance forms to indicate repair cost or cost estimates and recommendations.
  • Insurance Underwriter. Review individual applications for insurance to evaluate degree of risk involved and determine acceptance of applications.
  • Loan Counselor. Provide guidance to prospective loan applicants who have problems qualifying for traditional loans. Guidance may include determining the best type of loan and explaining loan requirements or restrictions.
  • Loan Officer. Evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans. Advise borrowers on financial status and methods of payments. Includes mortgage loan officers and agents, collection analysts, loan servicing officers, and loan underwriters.
  • Real Estate Appraiser. Appraise real property to determine its value for purchase, sales, or loan purposes.
  • Tax Examiner. Determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Personal Financial Planner Training

Bridgewater State College - Bridgewater, MA

Bridgewater State College, 131 Summer Street, Bridgewater, MA 02325. Bridgewater State College is a large college located in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,269 students and an admission rate of 62%. Bridgewater State College has a bachelor's degree program in Finance.

Merrimack College - North Andover, MA

Merrimack College, 315 Turnpike St, North Andover, MA 01845. Merrimack College is a small college located in North Andover, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,154 students and an admission rate of 79%. Merrimack College has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated twenty-eight students in 2008.

Bentley University - Waltham, MA

Bentley University, 175 Forest St, Waltham, MA 02452-4705. Bentley University is a medium sized university located in Waltham, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,675 students and an admission rate of 38%. Bentley University has 2 areas of study related to Personal Financial Planner. They are:

  • Finance, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree which graduated 203, zero, and ninety students respectively in 2008.
  • Financial Planning and Services, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and post-master's certificate which graduated twenty-two, twenty-eight, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Suffolk University - Boston, MA

Suffolk University, 8 Ashburton Pl Beacon Hill, Boston, MA 02108-2770. Suffolk University is a medium sized university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,783 students and an admission rate of 82%. Suffolk University has 2 areas of study related to Personal Financial Planner. They are:

  • Finance, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and post-master's certificate which graduated thirteen, zero, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Financial Planning and Services, one to two year, bachelor's degree, and postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated three, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Simmons College - Boston, MA

Simmons College, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115-5898. Simmons College is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,933 students and an admission rate of 55%. Simmons College has a bachelor's degree program in Finance.

Boston College - Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. Boston College is a large college located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,623 students and an admission rate of 26%. Boston College has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Finance which graduated sixty-two, seventy-two, and five students respectively in 2008.

Lasell College - Newton, MA

Lasell College, 1844 Commonwealth Ave, Newton, MA 02466-2716. Lasell College is a small college located in Newton, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,484 students and an admission rate of 61%. Lasell College has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated one student in 2008.

Stonehill College - Easton, MA

Stonehill College, 320 Washington Street, Easton, MA 02357-6110. Stonehill College is a small college located in Easton, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,426 students and an admission rate of 45%. Stonehill College has a bachelor's degree program in Finance.

Gordon College - Wenham, MA

Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Rd, Wenham, MA 01984. Gordon College is a small college located in Wenham, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,700 students and an admission rate of 71%. Gordon College has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated two students in 2008.

Salem State College - Salem, MA

Salem State College, 352 Lafayette St, Salem, MA 01970. Salem State College is a large college located in Salem, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,168 students and an admission rate of 58%. Salem State College has 2 areas of study related to Personal Financial Planner. They are:

  • Finance, bachelor's degree which graduated 27 students in 2008.
  • Financial Planning and Services, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Assumption College - Worcester, MA

Assumption College, 500 Salisbury St, Worcester, MA 01609-1296. Assumption College is a small college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,888 students and an admission rate of 71%. Assumption College has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated one student in 2008.

Newbury College-Brookline - Brookline, MA

Newbury College-Brookline, 129 Fisher Ave, Brookline, MA 02445. Newbury College-Brookline is a small college located in Brookline, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,042 students. Newbury College-Brookline has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated zero and three students respectively in 2008.

Clark University - Worcester, MA

Clark University, 950 Main St, Worcester, MA 01610-1477. Clark University is a small university located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,330 students and an admission rate of 56%. Clark University has a master's degree program in Finance which graduated thirty-nine students in 2008.

Brandeis University - Waltham, MA

Brandeis University, 415 South St, Waltham, MA 02454-9110. Brandeis University is a medium sized university located in Waltham, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,347 students and an admission rate of 34%. Brandeis University has a master's degree program in Finance which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

Bunker Hill Community College - Boston, MA

Bunker Hill Community College, 250 New Rutherford Ave, Boston, MA 02129-2925. Bunker Hill Community College is a medium sized college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,500 students. Bunker Hill Community College has an associate's degree program in Finance which graduated nine students in 2008.

Nichols College - Dudley, MA

Nichols College, Center Rd, Dudley, MA 01571-5000. Nichols College is a small college located in Dudley, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,520 students and an admission rate of 65%. Nichols College has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated eight students in 2008.

Boston University - Boston, MA

Boston University, One Silber Way, Boston, MA 02215. Boston University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 31,669 students and an admission rate of 59%. Boston University has a master's degree program in Financial Planning and Services which graduated twenty-nine students in 2008.

Northeastern University - Boston, MA

Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115-5000. Northeastern University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,368 students and an admission rate of 35%. Northeastern University has associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and master's degree programs in Finance which graduated three, zero, and twenty students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Accredited Tax Advisor: This credential is for practitioners who handle sophisticated tax planning issues, including ownership of closely held businesses, qualified retirement plans and complex estates.

For more information, see the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation website.

Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter: More than 65,000 people have earned the CPCU professional designation.

For more information, see the American Institute for CPCU and Insurance Institute of America website.

Personal Financial Specialist: CPAs who specialize in personal financial planning can earn a specialist's designation, the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS).

For more information, see the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants website.

Certified Pension Consultant: The Certified Pension Consultant (CPC) credential is designed for benefits professionals working in plan administration, pension actuarial administration, insurance, and financial planning.

For more information, see the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries website.

Qualified 401(k) Administrator: The Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) credential is conferred by ASPPA to retirement plan professionals who work primarily with 401(k) plans.

For more information, see the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries website.

Certified Financial Planner: The CFP certification process, administered by CFP Board, identifies to the public that those individuals in the U.

For more information, see the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. website.

Certified IRA Services Professional: Applicable to financial services professionals who have dedicated IRA operational and technical experience.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Bankers website.

Certified Personal Banker: Applicable to financial services professionals who have completed the AIB Personal Banking Diploma and who function as personal bankers.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Bankers website.

Certified Funds Specialist: The CFS 60-hour program provides the practitioner with everything needed to select the right fund for any given situation.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Fund Specialists website.

Certified Annuity Specialist: The CAS program is a 60-hour self-study program.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Fund Specialists website.

Board Certified Estate Planner: Board Certified in Estate Planning (BCE) is the only designation designed and offered to brokers, advisors, and planners who have clients interested in estate accumulation, preservation, and distribution.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Fund Specialists website.

Registered Financial Associate: The Registered Financial Associate (RFA) is a designation granted only to recent graduates of an approved academic curriculum in financial services.

For more information, see the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants website.

Certified Investment Management Analyst: The CIMA offers an intense educational experience focusing on asset allocation, manager search and selection, investment policy and performance measurement.

For more information, see the Investment Management Consultants Association website.

Chartered Market Technician: The Chartered Market Technician (CMT) designation is the culmination of a certification process in which candidates are required to demonstrate proficiency in a broad range of technical analysis of the financial markets.

For more information, see the Market Technicians Association website.

Certified Retirement Specialist: If you are a professional with an interest in issues and opportunities in the 403(b) marketplace, advance your career by obtaining the Certified Retirement Specialist (CRS) designation.

For more information, see the NTSAA (National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association) Educational Institute website.

Economic Development Finance Professional: In NDC's EDFP Certification Program you will build the capacity to translate development opportunities into results for their communities.

For more information, see the The National Development Council website.

LICENSES

INVESTMENT ADVISER/REPRESENTATIVE

Licensing agency: Office of the Secretary of State
Address: Securities Division, One Ashburton Place, Room 1701, Boston, MA 02108-1618

Phone: (617) 727-3548
Website: Office of the Secretary of State Securities Division

LOCATION INFORMATION: Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts photo by Ahonc

Boston is situated in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 609,023, which has grown by 3.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Boston, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Boston are valued at $216,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were constructed in Boston, down from forty-eight the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Boston are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 35.6% of Boston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Boston is 8.2%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Boston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Brighton Congregational Church, Leslie Lindsay Chapel and Universalist Meeting House are some of the churches located in Boston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Episcopal Church.

Boston is home to the Metropolitan Water Works Pumping Stations and the Mystic Pier 1 as well as Schoolboy Stadium and Liberty Square. Shopping centers in the area include Legion Shopping Center, Longwood Galleria Shopping Center and Neponset Circle Shopping Center. Visitors to Boston can choose from Federalist Restaurant, Eco-Logical Solutions and Omni Parker Hotel for temporary stays in the area.