Pre-employment tests for Personal Financial Advisors

Personal Financial Advisors

Families and working professionals seek out personal financial advisors for guidance and to devise a long term financial roadmap. Personal financial advisors assist their clients in making sound investment decisions, planning for large expenditures such as college tuition, and becoming familiar with different financial products. Most personal financial advisors are employed by insurance companies or private investment firms. They are authorized to sell insurance, give tax advice, invest assets in the stock and bond markets, and make decisions regarding their clients' portfolios. Financial advisors earn a median salary of about $67,520 per year, but can earn much more if successful.

Personal financial advisors usually possess at least a bachelor's degree. Many choose to pursue a master's degree and additional certification in order to become more competitive. There is no strict education requirement for this position, resulting in advisors originating from a wide variety of backgrounds including: finance, law, economics, and business. Advisors who sell financial products also need to obtain the corresponding licenses. Personal financial advisors need to be adroit, effective communicators who have the ability to explain financial products and options in clear, understandable language. Good critical thinking skills, and an aptitude for quantitative problem-solving is also helpful. Many of Criteria Corp's customers in the financial services industry use two tests to evaluate prospective financial advisors. The first test is the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) which assesses problem-solving skills and the ability to learn, digest and apply new information. The second is the Sales Achievement Predictor (SalesAP), which is a personality test designed to measure behavioral traits that are linked to sales disposition. This test is critical for financial advisors because they will either be selling themselves or their company, and the virtues of their approach to financial planning can be a key component of the role of a financial advisor.

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Fast Facts

Rank in HireSelect:
97 out of 1,100

Median wage in U.S.:
$108,090/yr, $51.97/hr

Expected growth rate 2012-2022:
27%

Number employed (2014): 196,490

Education level of Personal Financial Advisors:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Top 5 Skills and Abilities to Look For in Personal Financial Advisors

  • Active Listening
  • Critical Thinking
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • Inductive Reasoning

Top 3 Tasks for Personal Financial Advisors

  • Interview clients to determine their current income, expenses, insurance coverage, tax status, financial objectives, risk tolerance, or other information needed to develop a financial plan.
  • Answer clients' questions about the purposes and details of financial plans and strategies.
  • Recommend to clients strategies in cash management, insurance coverage, investment planning, or other areas to help them achieve their financial goals.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor