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Careers Advice: How To Become a Financial adviser

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What is a Financial adviser?

A financial adviser is someone who can offer advice on a variety of financial investments, including mortgages, loans, insurance and pensions, to both companies and individuals. Financial advisers are split into two groups; independent advisers consider all possible products whereas restricted advisers only advise on a limited number of products.

What does a Financial adviser do?

The day-to-day responsibilities of a financial adviser include:

  • Setting up meetings

  • Advising clients and meeting their specific needs

  • Selling various financial products

  • Negotiating terms and sales

  • Liaising with a variety of other professionals

  • Researching new financial products

  • Undertaking risk analysis

  • Ensuring all regulations are met

Skills & interests required for a Financial adviser

A financial adviser will need to be highly numerate and good at dealing with complex information. They will also need to be highly discreet when handling confidential client information, while also making the best recommendations to clients in accordance with detailed legal restrictions.

- Adaptability
- Attention to detail
- Data Analysis
- Numeracy
- Verbal Communication
- Written Communication

Working hours

Most financial advisers will work typical office hours (9am to 5pm), but there may often be times which require you to work over evenings - particularly attending networking events.

Work base

Either in an office or at a client’s premises.


Depending on the type of financial adviser you are there may be very little travel, or you may spend a large proportion of your time travelling between client’s offices.

Salary ranges & earning potential

Trainee financial advisers can expect to earn between £22,000 and £30,000 per annum, rising to £30,000 and £45,000 once qualified.

Those who go on to become senior financial advisers can expect to earn around £60,000, with those working with high net-worth private clients often earning in excess of £100,000.

Perks & benefits

Financial advisers typically earn bonuses and commission on top of their already generous salaries if they perform well.

Education requirements

To become a financial adviser, you must have at least an undergraduate degree in an associated subject, with many employers expecting an additional postgraduate degree.
In addition to this, other courses which can help your chances in an incredibly competitive industry include:

  • CII Diploma in Financial Planning

  • Advanced Diploma

  • MBA

  • ACA / ACCA

Many employers will offer sponsorship and support to complete professional qualifications.

Useful subjects to study at school & university

  • Finance

  • Economics

  • Statistics

  • Accounting

  • Mathematics

Useful resources

Financial Conduct Authority
Financial Planning Standards Board
Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments

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