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What is a financial advisor?

24 October 2018

Financial advisors help people decide what to do with their money. Everyone wants to use their money wisely and so financial advisors’ skills are highly valued. As well as job satisfaction, a career in this field can offer a great salary and opportunities for progression.

Financial advisor job description

As a financial advisor it’s your job to help clients manage their money. You’ll recommend products such as pension schemes, mortgages and savings plans based on what’s best for your client’s specific situation. You have the option to become a general financial advisor and offer advice on a wide range of financial products, or specialise in a certain area e.g. mortgages.

In your day-to-day job role you’ll spend your time meeting with clients to understand their goals; recommending financial products based on research; negotiating on behalf of your client; and closing the sale of the best product for their needs. You’ll often then keep in touch with clients to update them on their investment’s progress.

Alongside liaising with your clients you’ll need to keep your market knowledge right up to date so that you can offer relevant advice and a trustworthy service.

Where will I work and what will my hours be?

Where you work will affect the products you recommend. You could choose self-employment for your financial advisor career, or work for a company such as a:

  • Bank
  • Building society
  • Estate agency
  • Specialist pension consultancy
  • Law firm
  • Financial planning firm
  • Insurance company
  • Investment firm

If you work for a company, you may be restricted to advising only on products sold by your employer. As an independent advisor you will offer products from the whole market.

Your working hours will depend on your employer. You may find yourself working 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday but you must keep in mind that you need to be available when clients want to speak to you. Therefore, you might work a shift pattern and/or work evenings and weekends.

Self-employed financial advisors can choose their working hours but may need to do what’s best for their clients.

How much does a financial advisor earn?

A financial advisor career can be extremely lucrative. As a guide, an entry level advisor could earn £22,000 – £30,000 pa. With experience, this figure goes up to £60,000 and some wealth managers could earn £100,000+.

There’s also scope for bonuses and commission which could significantly boost your salary.

What qualifications do I need?

In order to become a financial advisor you must hold a relevant qualification which is recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The Diploma for Financial Advisors (DipFA) is the perfect qualification to begin your financial advisor career. It prepares you with the knowledge you must master in order to offer expert advice alongside practical skills for the real world of work.

DipFA has been specially written for people who are new to the industry and have no previous experience. With just this single qualification you could start a brand new career and begin offering valued, professional financial advice.

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