Obtaining a license as a financial adviser does not require an Master's of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) is responsible for issuing licenses to financial advisers and requires at least a bachelor's degree or higher, three years of relevant working experience, adherence to the highest standards of ethics and passing the board's examination. Some financial advisers can later choose to obtain an MBA degree, which can help them get promoted or obtain better job prospects.

Educational Requirements

A prospective financial adviser must have a regionally accredited bachelor's degree and must have completed coursework that covers various financial topics such as insurance, investment and retirement planning, income tax planning, and estate planning, as well as interpersonal communication. An MBA degree is not necessary, but is helpful if its coursework covers topics that are not addressed by an applicant's previous education. The CFP Board requires the coursework requirement to be completed before sitting for the certification exam, while the bachelor's degree requirement may be satisfied within five years after an applicant passes the exam.

MBA and Career Advancement

While some financial advisers are self-employed and act as personal consultants for individuals, most choose to work at investment and brokerage companies and banks, which pay them fixed salaries and bonuses. Many financial advisers choose to specialize in certain areas, such as insurance, stocks, fixed income or estate planning.

Getting an MBA degree may prove advantageous for both self-employed and salaried advisers. Since advisers can specialize on certain area during their MBA studies, they can obtain additional knowledge of the subject area that can help them attract more customers. However, an adviser who is thinking about getting an MBA should carefully weigh the costs of MBA degree against the expected increase in future income.

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