Are you a certified financial planner and want to target sports athletes? If YES, here are 7 easy steps to become a financial advisor for professional athletes.

If there is one thing professional athletes really suck at, it is personal finance. It is not uncommon to see a 5-7 figure earning professional athlete burn through his entire savings-if any- within a few years and by the time they retire, they are broke and back to square zero.

The good thing is that this generation of athletes is aware of the inherent financial mismanagement problems that come with their chosen careers, so they rely on the help of professionals who can help them manage their funds and investments, and make sure they have something to fall back on when they retire.

The demand for financial advisors by professional athletes is on the rise. Financial advisors help professional athletes to make smart decisions concerning their financial management. They help to assess the athlete’s financial positions, and understand their needs and goals in order to come up with tailored financial advice for them.

You can earn a decent annual income providing this service to professional athletes in the country, and here’s how to go about it.

7 Easy Steps to Become a Financial Advisor for Professional Athletes

1. Get Professionally Certified: You’ll need to be a professionally qualified financial advisor, and legally certified to be able to work with athletes. You can work as a financial advisor with either of the following professional certifications:

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Certified Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

All three certifying bodies will require you to have at least 3-4 years qualified work experience, and pass a professional examination.

2. Obtain a Federal License: In addition to your professional certification, you’ll also need a professional license to work as a financial advisor in the US. The license is issued by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and before you can be issued this license, you’ll have to pass the FINRA Series examination. The FINRA examination is in two stages:

  • FINRA Series 6: When you pass this test, you’ll be issued a license that allows you to sell a limited group of investment products like variable annuities, mutual funds, and so on.To pass the series 6 test, you must work for a firm registered with FINRA, and pass an examination that features 100 multiple choice questions.
  • FINRA Series 7: The FINRA Series 7 certification qualifies you to act as a general securities representative, and buy and sell all securities products including mutual funds, bonds, stocks, and fixed-income investments. You’ll be required to take and pass a 250 multiple choice question examination, and work for a firm registered with FINRA and already possess the FINRA Series 6 license to be able to secure the FINRA Series 7 license.

3. Obtain State License: The North American Securities Association issues a license known as the NASAA Series license to investment advisors who want to practice in all states in the US except Wyoming.

The certification also comes in two stages; NASAA Series 65 which allows you to practice as a financial advisor, but does not qualify you to buy and sell securities yourself, and the NASA Series 66 exam which is only issued to financial advisors with the FINRA 7 license, and qualifies you to buy and sell investment products to your clients.

4. Gather Some Professional Experience: The financial industry is a very technical one, and no one will be willing to do business with you when you are a green horn. You need to be able to display sufficient background experience. You need to be able to show that you have worked with, and managed athletes’ portfolios in the past.

You can start with interning for financial advisory companies that are renowned in the athletic industry. When you work with such companies and gather sufficient knowledge from them, you can now move on to set up your own private practice.

5. Set up a Private Practice: If you wish, you can continue to work with financial advisory companies to manage athlete’s portfolios. You can earn an average of $60,000 annually doing this.

This is a great option for you if you haven’t acquired your professional license yet. You can gather sufficient experience while you study to pass your professional examinations. After you have obtained your professional certification, you can now set up your own private practice and work individually to manage athlete’s financial portfolios.

You don’t necessarily need to set up an office space, you can work from a home office and arrange for a good meeting place where you and your potential clients can always meet whenever there is a need for a physical meeting. But it helps to observe other financial advisors in your city and understand their modus operandi.

If they all have offices, it means you should get one too so that it doesn’t look out of place to your clients that you don’t have an office, but if there are other successful advisors who do not have physical offices, you can adopt a similar operational strategy for yourself.

If you choose to work from a home office, it’s important to plan your meeting place carefully. Professional athletes are wealthy and are used to luxury. They also love privacy so make sure you pick a meeting place that would meet all of these standards.

6. Look the Part: Professional athletes are used to glitz and glamour, and are usually impressed by it. If you want to convince a professional athlete that you can manage his finances, you have to look the part – dress well, drive a good car, and speak well.

The impression they form about you will go a long way in determining whether they’ll decide to do business with you or not.
7. Network with Other Professionals in the Sports Industry: You want to network with professionals like sports coaches, athlete managers, club patrons and officials, and all other professionals that work closely with athletes, and can influence them.

You need these people to introduce you to some of the athletes that you can pitch your business to. In fact, they’ll be more willing to meet up with you and do business with you if you come recommended from someone else that they trust.

So take out time to get to know, and earn the trust of professionals in the sports industry before you start pitching your business directly to athletes. You can even offer incentives to these professionals for every athlete they help you set up a meeting with. They’ll be motivated to go all out on your behalf if you offer the right incentives.

8. Advertise Within The Industry: It’s a good thing that you already have a specific target market- you don’t have to waste too much money advertising to the general public with the hope that a professional athlete will notice your advert. What you need to do is to focus your advertisement on industry-based publications like industry magazines, events, sports shows, and other sports industry media that’ll get you the attention of the athletes faster.

9. Target Newly Signed Athletes: It’s especially helpful to target new professional athletes that have only been recently signed. You can easily get these categories of athletes to do business with you because there is a great chance that they don’t already have financial advisors that they are working with.

Don’t forget to do a good job and earn their trust so that they can give you referrals that will help you grow your business faster.