Financial advisors or consultants help clients to sort out their financial needs, and advise them of suitable financial products and services. The products available include:
Clients can be corporate or individual.
Financial advisors 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 advisors 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. Advisors 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 advisors 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 Financial advisors must act in an impartial and ethical manner, or their approval could be withdrawn.
Hours may vary depending on whether they are tied or independent, and depending on their employer. Most advisors usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. However, tied advisors often work Saturdays on a rota basis. IFA's often have to meet clients during the evenings and sometimes at weekends, as well as during normal office hours.
Most advisors work from an office but some work from home. A driving licence is essential as travel will be involved.
As a financial advisor you should:
You can get into a trainee role by having gfood GCSE's in English and maths. Work experience will also be useful. This can be in customer service or finance. Some people opt to start in an assistant role as a paraplanner, which supports financial advisors.
It will also help you to get a qualification in financial advice that is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority. this can be one independently or whilst you're working.
Alternatively, you may be able to gain entry to this job through an apprenticeship.
Financial advisors 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 advisors 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 advisors can move into management positions or into training or marketing.
There are opportunities for experienced advisors 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 learn mroe about becoming a financial advisor that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Financial Services Skills Council
51 Gresham Street
Tel: 020 7216 7366
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