Financial advisers or consultants help clients to sort out
their financial needs, and advise them of suitable
financial products and services. The products available
include: pensions; mortgages; investments; house and
life insurance; critical illness cover; income protection
and savings plans. Clients can be corporate or individual.
Financial advisers can act as tied or independent agents. Tied agents offer the products of one company whereas independents need to offer whole-of-market advice. New rules state that financial advisers can now offer both types of advice as long as they clearly inform the client of which role they are in.
Day-to-day activities include questioning clients to
gather information, researching products and making
recommendations. They may work with paraplanners
that collate product research into written reports.
Advisers will also have meetings with providers of
financial products, such as broker consultants. Financial
consultants need to keep up to date with any changes
in the legislation or developments in best practice.
Financial advisers are governed by the Financial Services Authority's (FSA) code of practice and their firm must seek approval for them before they can engage in any regulated activities, such as investment advice. Financial advisers must act in an impartial and ethical manner, or their approval could be withdrawn. Contact the FSA for further details.
Hours may vary depending on whether they are tied or
independent, and depending on their employer. Most
advisers usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
However, tied advisers often work Saturdays on a rota
basis. IFAs often have to meet clients during the
evenings and sometimes at weekends, as well as during
normal office hours.
Most advisers work from an office but some work from home. A driving licence is essential as travel will be involved.
As a financial adviser you should:
Financial advisers can be employed by any company
selling financial products such as a bank, building society
or an IFA. With experience, it is also possible to become
self-employed. At least two years of post-qualifying
experience is preferred.
The financial services sector has grown quickly since the mid 1980s. Financial advisers with either a Certificate in Financial Planning or an AFPC can become members of the Personal Finance Society (a member of the CII Group). They will need to abide by a professional code of conduct and can develop through conferences, seminars and workshops.
Financial advisers can move into management positions or into training or marketing.
There are opportunities for experienced advisers to work for banks, building societies or insurance companies dealing with compliance. This means making sure that the company is following the guidelines and standards laid down by regulatory bodies as well as their own company rules.
If you would like to know anything about Financial Advisor that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Institute of Financial Services
4-9 Burgate Lane
Tel: 01227 818609
Securities & Investment Institute (SII)
24 Monument Street
Tel: 020 7645 0680
The Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland
38b Drumsheugh Gardens
Tel: 0131 473 7777
Financial Services Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Tel: 020 7066 1000