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The complete guide to becoming a financial adviser

We support you in your first step to become a Financial Adviser, helping people and organisations to choose investments, savings and pension products.

1000s of Jobs Advertised

1’000s

of Jobs Advertised

£30,000 Estimated Starting Salary

£30,000

Estimated Starting Salary

£90,000+ Potential Earnings

£90,000+

Potential Earnings


Is Financial Advice for me?

The world of financial advice offers great opportunities and job prospects:

Every day people make important decisions about what to do with their money. Most need guidance from someone who is qualified to advise on these decisions… and that highly valued professional could be you.

  • Potential to earn a fantastic salary
  • Advance your prospects through ongoing training
  • Help people with your valued, professional skills
  • Work independently or for a company
  • Options to specialise within your field

If you want to work as a financial adviser in the UK, you must hold a qualification recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), The Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA) is FCA approved and the perfect first step along your new career path. It prepares you with the skills required to begin advising clients on retail investment.

Is Financial Advice for me?
Mortgage Adviser

Mortgage Adviser

CeMAP®/Diploma

Mortgage Adviser/Equity Release Adviser

Equity Release Adviser

CeMAP®/CeRER®

Financial Adviser

Financial Adviser

DipFA®

What do you need to become a financial adviser?

Do you have these five essential skills?

Once you have completed your DipFA training you are technically ready to begin offering professional financial advice on retail investment. However, great advisers also have the following five skills which truly set them apart…

Integrity

Trust is extremely important between client and adviser. It is essential that you offer honest advice for each individual client based on your professional opinion. If a client believes you’re working in their best interest, they are more likely to take your advice and recommend your service to others.

Passion

As with anything, if you’re passionate about what you do, you will be better at it. Your genuine interest and drive to offer an exceptional service will come through in your work and clients will recognise this. Enthusiastic people make great financial advisers.

Accuracy

Clients will approach you for advice and then act upon it. They must be able to trust its accuracy and therefore you must ensure you carefully check your calculations every time. You should have an eye for detail and never rush your work.

People Skills

As a financial adviser, the really important part of your job is presenting your work to your clients. You must be able to effectively communicate and engage with your clients, persuading them to trust your judgement and listen to your professional opinion.

Motivation

Great financial advisers are really interested in what they do. They are motivated to keep themselves up to date with changes in the financial industry and new products that become available. In this way, they always offer the best, current advice.

Where could my career take me?

The industry offers a variety of financial adviser jobs.

Employed

Financial advisers are employed by banks, building societies and wealth management firms, advising on products specific to their employer.

You could alternatively be employed by an insurance firm, specialist pension consultancy or law firm who have developed financial services as part of their business.

What could I earn?

Your earning potential depends on which path you choose. If you are employed by a company you could be working full time: 35-40 hours per week, Monday to Saturday. Your starting salary would be between £25,000 and £35,000 per year, with the potential for more with commission. You may also enjoy other benefits including pension, car allowance and bonuses.


Self-Employed

If you’d rather set your own hours and avoid the office environment, you could become an independent financial adviser. You’d work from home and travel to visit your clients. This type of work allows you the flexibility to suit you and your clients, but you may find yourself working at evenings and weekends.

Should you choose this route you may become Directly Authorised, however, many advisers prefer to work under the umbrella of a network, many of which provide access to products across the market and other benefits, especially around compliance and regulatory changes.

What could I earn?

As an independent financial adviser there are different ways you could be paid, but you will charge your clients directly. You could charge an hourly rate of between £75 and £350, depending on experience. Alternatively, you may arrange an agreed set payment; a monthly fee of either a set amount or based on value of that investment; or an ongoing fee.

You could also increase your earning potential by diversifying your skills with further learning and becoming qualified to advise on a wider range of financial products.


The Figures

Total reported earnings by financial advisers increased by 22% to £4.5 billion in 2017 and aggregate pre-tax profits were up by 23% to £698 million.

Total reported earnings by financial advisers increased by 22% to £4.5 billion in 2017 and aggregate pre-tax profits were up by 23% to £698 million.*

Firms providing retail investment advice services reported that they provided 1.2 million initial advice services and had over 2.8 million clients paying for ongoing services.

Firms providing retail investment advice services reported that they provided 1.2 million initial advice services and had over 2.8 million clients paying for ongoing services.*

There are around 8,000 AR’s registered to financial adviser firms.

There are around 8,000 AR’s registered to financial adviser firms.*

The reported number of adviser staff at financial adviser firms is 26,311

The reported number of adviser staff at financial adviser firms is 26,311*

A new FCA survey found that 4.5 million, or one in ten, UK adults took financial advice on investments, pensions or retirement planning over the last 12 months – a huge increase of 1.3 million compared to the previous year.

A new FCA survey found that 4.5 million, or one in ten, UK adults took financial advice on investments, pensions or retirement planning over the last 12 months – a huge increase of 1.3 million compared to the previous year.**

*FCA Data Bulletin – The retail intermediary sector in 2017. **Financial Reporter Sept 2018 .

Finding the Right Course

At Simply Academy you’ll discover a range of fantastic financial adviser courses which include the DipFA qualification.

Although many people choose to follow the well-worn career path of mortgage to financial adviser, the level 4 DipFA qualification is doable for career changers. The coursework is very suited to individuals entering the profession for the first time.

Whichever path you choose, our experienced, friendly staff are on hand to help you every step.

FAQs

How do I become a financial adviser?

In order to become a financial adviser, you must hold an FCA recognised qualification. The Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA) is the perfect course to begin your financial adviser career as it prepares you with the skills and knowledge to get started, while being approved by the FCA.

Once you have successfully completed this financial adviser course, you are legally able to offer professional financial advice.

How much does a financial adviser earn?

The amount you will earn once you become a financial adviser depends on the career path you choose. A full time financial adviser is likely to work 35-40 hours per week and earn £25,000 - £35,000 p/a. You may also receive benefits such as a car allowance, pension and bonuses and have the potential to boost your pay with commission.

If you decide to become an independent financial adviser, you will set your own working hours. Your pay, therefore, will be linked to the amount you work. Your hourly rate could be between £75 and £350 or you may agree a monthly or ongoing fee with your clients.

How do I become a self-employed IFA?

To establish an independent financial adviser career, you should still begin by studying a recognised financial adviser course. The DipFA is perfect for this. You then need to advertise your services, attract clients and set up meetings.

Many financial advisers choose to work as part of a network which can provide access to products and benefits.

What is the professional qualification for financial advisers?

There is a choice of qualifications but the DipFA is a fantastic access point into the industry. The Level 4 DipFA qualification is doable for both career changers and mortgage advisers looking to expand their product portfolio.

By completing this financial adviser course you will become fully prepared for your new career while gaining an FCA approved qualification.