A Master’s in Financial Planning degree is the next logical career step for a bachelor’s degree holder who has already passed the CFP certification exam. This degree program teaches advanced concepts and techniques in the fields of financial analysis, wealth management, retirement planning, employee benefits, estate planning, analytical tools, financial counseling and client communication. Financial planners usually help individual clients or work for corporations performing analysis and administration duties.
Financial consultants are the most widely recognized type of personal financial planner and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this occupation is growing much faster than average. Financial planning consultants perform a wide range of duties that include investment input, plan presentations, account research, and employee benefits. They may lead regular investment review meetings with clients and be the primary point of contact for client communications, relationship-building, and problem solving. They usually attend internal wealth management and investment team meetings as well as external events to meet and seek out new clients. They must possess excellent judgment, decision making, and customer service skills.
Business analysts with a Master’s in Financial Planning will likely work on national accounts for major clients. They may provide plans, track data, update deliverables, and initiate strategic initiatives for clients. A business analyst who works in a financial planning firm may use their knowledge and project management skills to assist clients with budgeting management, financial analysis, and account organization. Business analysts must be comfortable gathering and interpreting operational and financial information to effectively communicate outcomes and trends to clients with minimal financial knowledge.
Financial Project Coordinator
Project coordinators who work on major ventures will collaborate with teams and leaders to track and update key deliverables to clients. They may maintain the master financial planning calendar through online dashboards, so they must regularly communicate with finance teams on task, account, deadline, and project statuses. On one day, they may review complex fee, invoice, and billing data to identify improvement opportunities and accounting control strength. On another day, they may provide financial planning and management perspectives to clients who are trying to improve operational efficiency, forecasting, and effectiveness.
The duties performed by a finance analyst depend on their organization and industry. Finance analysts who deal with investment reporting will work with finance directors and accounting managers to create forecasts, analyze variances, track accounts, and follow up with client requests. A finance analyst may manage budgets, estimates, accruals, and landings. Those who help clients with advertising may assist with the analysis and administration of activities like sales promotions, point of sales, and value-added packaging. They will need to be familiar with brand management, purchasing workflow platform, and accounting journal entries.
Financial Analysis Manager
Financial analysis managers are usually responsible for the development, analysis, and reporting of product, pricing, costing, marketing, and advertising initiatives and projects. They contribute to performance management, accounting administration, and annual budgeting processes. They may review or approve monthly reports, capital expenditures, payback calculations, and cost savings based on operating budgets. Some financial analysis managers work with clients to transition, integrate, and retire entities financial planning systems. They may work with accounting managers to plan and prepare annual audit schedules and procedures for clients.
Graduates who earn a Master’s in Financial Planning may choose a popular concentration, such as financial life planning, which uses psychology research and behavioral finance to facilitate positive change for clients. A taxation concentration will cover taxation law and best practices. An estate planning focus will prepare students to deal with estate law, lifetime gifting and wealth transfer methods. Each of these paths will lead to opportunities for personal and professional growth and advancement.