As a Financial Adviser, you’ll be providing clients with advice on financial matters, making recommendations on the best ways to utilise their money. Financial Adviser jobs involve advising clients on products and services available; ensuring they are aware of, and understand, those that best meet their needs; and then securing a sale.
Different jobs often require specialisation in particular products, depending on their clients, e.g. selling employee pension schemes to companies, or offering mortgage, pension or investment advice to private clients. Some Financial Adviser jobs require generalists, who can offer advice to clients in all of these areas, plus savings plans and insurance.
Most jobs offer regular office hours, although flexibility is required as some clients may require evening and weekend meetings and it is common to work from home or be self-employed.
Skills and Interests
To be a good Financial Adviser, you need:
• Strong communication and listening skills
• The ability to explain complex information simply and clearly
• The ability to network and establish relationships with clients
• Persuasiveness, determination and tenacity
• The ability to work in a team
• Self-motivation and organisation
• High levels of numeracy
• A target-driven mindset
• Accuracy and attention to detail
• An understanding of the need for client confidentiality
• Willingness to adhere to strict codes of professional conduct
Jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, however evidence of study of the subjects of accountancy; finance; business studies/administration/management; financial services; risk management may improve your chances.
Personality and people skills can be more important than qualifications and individual employers generally set their own entry standards for their Financial Adviser jobs, with not all requiring a higher education qualification.
Evidence of commercial awareness acquired through a relevant vacation, longer-term placement or related opportunity is an advantage.
Many begin as tied advisers, gaining basic training in a range of financial products. Employers usually provide this training in-house through a combination of formal tuition and on-the-job training.
In the early stages, you will usually observe an experienced Financial Adviser, doing some of the research and administration associated with their work, and then you will gradually begin to deal directly with clients yourself, under supervision. As you become more experienced, you will acquire your own list of clients.
When starting out, trainees are required to pass the Certificate in Financial Planning (CFP), which is required by the Financial services Authority (FSA). This is likely to take between two and three years and you must pass these examinations in order to become a fully qualified Financial Adviser.
Most employers provide training and pay for examinations, but trainees are usually expected to study outside working hours, and many courses offer distance learning opportunities. After you become a qualified Financial Adviser, regular supervision ensures that you maintain levels of competence and compliance with regulations.
Financial Adviser jobs can be based anywhere in the UK, although the opportunities are mostly centred on the major cities and the suburbs. Although tied Financial Adviser jobs may be on the payroll of a bank or insurance company, a significant proportion of Financial Advisers are self-employed.
As you gain more experience, you may move on to advising on other financial products, which will require you to obtain further qualifications. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is currently reviewing the large number of qualifications issued by the approved institutes.