Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JUN. 09, 2014
version 3, draft 3

How to Become a Financial Adviser

The financial world is vast, and can be confusing. People need assistance when it comes to their financial past, present, and future. There are many important decisions to make throughout life in terms of one's finances. Financial advisers are working hard to make other people's financial lives easier. 

Have you always been good with money? Do you give your friends and family advice? Why not become a financial adviser?

What Exactly Does a Financial Adviser Do?

Of course every scenario is different, but duties are fairly similar across all financial adviser positions. These tasks include:

  • Meeting with clients and discussing their current and future financial plans
  • Research financial products
  • Prepare recommendations
  • Meet all of the client’s needs in terms of questions, while providing detailed information
  • Update clients regarding their investments along the way
  • Negotiate with financial product providers
  • Performing well, and staying on target with sales
  • Obtaining knowledge regarding new products
  • Knowing when the laws change
  • Producing financial reports

Required Skills

  • Communicate effectively 
  • Great listening skills
  • Be able to grasp and explain complex information
  • Thrive in sales
  • Be able to negotiate 
  • Be interested in the financial market and the products it offers 
  • Good math skills
  • Great attention to detail
  • Able to research and analyse new information

Types of Financial Advisers

There are three options for a financial adviser career; tied, multi-tied, or independent.

  1. Tied: These individuals will work for banks, insurance companies, or building societies. If you are working as a tied financial adviser, you will only offer your company's products.
  2. Multi-tied: This means you will be associated with a number of companies, selling products from these companies only.
  3. Independent Financial Adviser: When you work as an IFA, you are able to offer products regarding all products that are currently on the market. You will have a thorough understanding of all these products, offering advice to clients.

These various positions are created so that clients are receiving accurate, appropriate advice. There are strict financial rules and guidelines to follow within this industry.

Education and Training

Becoming a financial adviser involves both practical experience and study. As a trainee, you must take a qualification that is recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority. The recognised qualifications include:

  1. Chartered Insurance Institute Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning
  2. School of Finance Diploma for Financial Advisers
  3. Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment: Investment Advice Diploma

You can become qualified through distance education, college, or a private training centre.

Income

Financial advisers are generally paid a salary. Independent financial advisers sometimes charge a fee as well. It is also possible to earn commission, but only on mortgage and insurance products. 

 

Position

Income

Trainee

Approximately £22,000 to £30,000 per year

Experienced Adviser

Up to £40,000 a year

Highly successful advisers (generally working within wealth management, providing private advice to clients)

Between £50,000 and £70,000 per year. These figures may be even higher. 

Career Development

  • Financial advisers generally have great people skills. Many have a background in customer service, financial services, or even sales. Once you have received your qualifications, you will more than likely start as a tied financial adviser. You will be promoted from a customer service role, gaining experience. 
  • While you're a trainee, you will need to obtain all the necessary qualifications. If you want to work in the retail investment market, you will need to obtain your Level 4.  
  • Others begin their career as a paraplanner. These individuals assist independent financial advisers, providing administrative support and research.
  • Once you become a member of the Personal Finance Society, you can achieve your Chartered Financial Planner status. This will require to get your CII Advanced Diploma. You will also need to have at least five years of experience. 
  • It's important to continue learning and improving your skills. You can take a number of courses throughout your career, this is encouraged. These courses will teach you about the latest products and any changes made to financial rules. 

If you have an interest in the financial market, this will be a great career for you. If you are great with people, possess excellent communication skills, and love a growing market; take the necessary steps. Begin your future as a financial adviser today; helping people reach their financial goals. 

Photo credit: AAG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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