Financial Advice is all about securing the financial future of a client, whether it is an individual, a family or a business.
A career in Financial Planning is hugely rewarding. Advisers, through building relationships with clients, help them reach their financial goals and obtain financial security. It is the adviser’s role to use their technical and product knowledge in order to meet the client’s needs. As individual’s knowledge and understanding of the financial world differ vastly, the Adviser needs to be able to adapt their style and approach to ensure the client feels comfortable and understands the financial plan.
A client’s Financial Planning needs will change over time in response to the different stages of life, securing employment, having children, saving for the future and eventually transferring wealth to family. There are however the unexpected situations such as illness and death. These can be challenging and require the Adviser to be sympathetic, compassionate yet professional.
Financial Planners must hold at least a Level 4 qualification such as the CII’s Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning with some Advisers working towards Chartered Status. It is however a fast-paced environment with regular legislation, taxation and product changes. Advisers need to ensure their knowledge base and skills are kept up to date. This is achieved partly with Continued Professional Development (CPD), shared knowledge with other Advisers, regular reading and attending seminars and webinars.
Most Financial Advisers begin their career as a Financial Planning Administrator. Th role gives you a good basis and understanding of the industry and will help build your product knowledge initially. The natural progression then is to a role in Paraplanning which involves the more technical aspects of Financial Planning that includes creating, preparing, implementing, and reviewing a client’s financial plan in tandem with the Financial Adviser.
Paraplanners will complete professional qualifications (see page on Paraplanning) that prove their technical knowledge, as well as giving them the ability to progress to a client-facing role should they wish.
Being a client-facing Financial Planner is the aim of many who enter the sector. Meeting the client, understanding their needs and appetite for financial risk results in a challenging yet satisfying career. No two clients or two days are the same and it is a career that provides individuals with diversity and plenty of opportunity to grow and develop their skills.