Wealth Advisor Associate Program

Search for Program Openings

Jump to section:

Program Description

The Morgan Stanley Wealth Advisor Associate (WAA) program offers a unique opportunity to prepare and develop the skillset for a career as a financial advisor. While leveraging your strengths, the program will provide in-depth insight in to the nuances of wealth planning and the innovative digital tools and resources advisors utilize to support and promote their businesses. Through the program, you’ll learn how to fine tune your skills so you can better help high-net worth clients uncover their long-term objectives and take the steps necessary to reach their goals. You will learn how to utilize Morgan Stanley’s state-of-the-art tools and, by working with experienced Financial Advisors, you’ll discover how wealth management strategies can help clients better prepare for their financial future. Upon completion of the 2-year program, you will transition into our 3-year Financial Advisor Associate (FAA) Program.

Becoming a Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley will allow you to:

Help Others Achieve Their Goals - You can help others achieve their personal and financial goals and make a difference in their lives. 

Make a Difference While Accomplishing Work-Life Balance - As a Financial Advisor you will have the freedom to control your work schedule and the flexibility to achieve work-life balance as you manage your own business.

Play Your Part – Listen to your clients and work with them to activate portfolios towards what’s most important to them, advocating for sustainable, responsible and impact investing strategies that directly contribute to environmental, social and governance factors.

Build a Personally and Financially Rewarding Career – You have the potential to grow your business, care for your clients and meet your personal financial goals.

To succeed, you’ll need the right combination of personal attributes:

  • Drive: As a Financial Advisor, you are entirely responsible for generating your own income. To succeed, you’ll need to be organized, focused and highly disciplined.
  • Ambition: You’ll work hard, struggle through slow periods and face tough challenges while building your business. You’re the kind of person who doesn’t give up — and knows you’ll get to where you want to be.
  • Accountability: There are no shortcuts to succeeding in this business, and you’ll need to be demanding of yourself. You’ll treat your clients properly, with consistency and care. You’ll be diligent in your work and in disclosing details your clients need to know.
  • Confidence: Assurance in yourself and your work conveys to your clients a feeling of confidence in their choices and financial future.

A Training Process Geared Towards Your Success

Our two year WAA Program is a unique opportunity that prepares you to become a Financial Advisor with fine-tuned financial planning skills. The program is broken out into three phases:

Phase 1

This phase includes Financial Advisor preparation skills such as business planning, product knowledge, consultative selling and prospecting. WAAs are required to pass the pass the Securities Industry Essential ( SIE) Exam and obtain the Series 7 and 66 licenses and attend National Performance Training Sessions.

Phase 2

WAAs learn how to develop thorough financial plans and financial goal analyses and the skills and knowledge required to drive goals based wealth management with Financial Advisors and their clients.

Phase 3
WAAs are paired with Financial Advisors to put knowledge into practice and develop financial plans and financial goal analyses with clients while gaining more insights on Morgan Stanley’s wealth planning solutions. WAAs will also build their own book of business, while still focused on supporting financial planning development and goals based wealth management.  

Upon completion of the WAA Program, you will transition into the 3-year Financial Advisor Associate (FAA) Program. FAAs are responsible for using business-management knowledge, wealth planning knowledge and networking talents to provide clients with individualized and comprehensive financial services and investment strategies.

Job Responsibilities

  • Complete proprietary training in finance, wealth planning, investment strategies and products.
  • Assist Financial Advisors with helping their clients articulate their financial goals within the context of their investment strategy
  • Drive goals based wealth management strategy with Financial Advisors and their clients
  • Deliver exemplary service and financial guidance to clients, including recommendation of suitable investments and proposed financial strategies.
  • Complete a minimum number of approved LifeView financial plans and/or financial goal analyses each month.
  • Comply with all regulatory requirements, including licensing and registrations.

Job Requirements

Successful candidates will be able to weave business management skills, financial planning abilities and networking talents to grow their own business, and then support their clients by addressing a spectrum of financial and investment needs:

  • Holder of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent to five years professional experience in business development, management, sales, legal, accounting, education, military, finance or other business-related field.
  • Exemplary in communication, presentation, time-management and organizational skills.
  • Talented at networking with businesses and personal communities.
  • Proficient at listening to client needs, and then be capable of skillful construction of tailored financial solutions.
  • Successful completion of background check and pre-employment assessments.
  • Knowledge of Money Guide Pro and/or Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) (preferred).
  • To qualify, applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States, without requiring, now or in the future, sponsorship for employment visa status.

Hiring Process

The Hiring Process consists of 6 Phases

Online Application
Candidates will complete the online application, attach their resume and complete the below assessments.

The General Reasoning Test (GRT) - measures various aspects of an individual’s reasoning capacity and capabilities.
The Financial Advisor Assessment- design to determine an individual’s potential to become a successful Financial Advisor.

Phone Call with Recruiter
Recruiter will schedule a brief call with candidates to review the program, answer questions, and discuss the next steps within the process.

On Demand Self-Video
To complete the on-demand video interview, candidates record their answers to pre-set interview questions using their computer or mobile device.

Hiring Manager Review
Candidates will have a face to face interview with the local management team, where a business plan exercise will be reviewed.

Offer Extended
Local management performs final evaluation. Employment is contingent upon a background check.


Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Wealth Advisor Associates (WAA) does not work on a commissions-only basis but rather are provided a base salary and incentive opportunities for performing to the firm's high standards and rewarded for exceeding them. The compensation structure is designed to support WAAs throughout the initial development period, offering the opportunity to receive substantial compensation.

WAA compensation has three components:

  • Base salary - Associates will receive a base salary commensurate to their experience.
  • Incentive compensation - Associates become eligible for incentive compensation upon entering the third phase of the program.
  • Incentive bonus - Associates may become eligible to receive a bonus upon successful completion of the program. All compensation referenced herein is subject to applicable income tax and other wage withholdings.


Join Our Talent

Join Morgan Stanley's Talent Network to keep up to date on the organization's employment opportunities.

Learn more

Employee Networking Groups

We are committed to excellence through collaboration, and we believe people with similar goals and interests working together makes our company stronger.

Learn more


A strong commitment to diversity and inclusion is not just what we do—it's also a sound business strategy. Why? Because strong connections with our clients are the key to lasting relationships.

Learn more


See our current list of events for Financial Advisor Associates.

Learn more