How to Become a Financial Advisor
If you’re financially literate and love the world of banking, money, and more, you might suit a career as a financial advisor.
Should you have a natural knack for personal finance, stepping into this role will help you share your expertise and knowledge with the world. Ready to give it a whirl? We’ve got you. Here’s what you need to know to become a financial advisor.
What Does a Financial Advisor Do?
First things first, you’re going to need to know what a financial advisor does. Keep in mind that this is a vast and dynamic sector. What you do may vary depending on whether you’re working in personal finance or something more specialised. However, whatever field you decide to enter, there will be some common job-related tasks, including:
There are both full-time, part-time, and contract positions within this sector. That means that the ins and outs of your job role will largely depend on the type of position you choose to take. When you first start out, it may be logical to join a firm where you can learn the trade. That way, you will have the opportunity to shadow a successful financial advisor.
Should you choose to go it alone and become a sole trader, you will also need to learn how to market yourself. Client acquisition will likely be a major part of your day-to-day job. Put simply, that means that you will need to become an expert at selling yourself to clients.
How Much Does a Financial Advisor Earn?
Next up, let’s talk about money. The average salary of a financial advisor ranges from £23,500 to £45,000 per year according to the National Careers Service. That’s based on working a full-time contract of around 35 to 38 hours per week. You should keep in mind that you may have to do some evening or weekend work when you take on this type of job.
Since you will be working with clients from all walks of life, you need to fit around their existing schedules. The more available you are to clients, the more likely they are to use your services. Of course, if you choose to work part-time, you will earn less money.
What Qualifications Are Needed to Become a Financial Advisor?
Think that you have what it takes to make it in the big, bad world of finance? If you’re ready to get on this career path, the first step is qualifying for the role. There are different routes into this job—you can take an apprenticeship, undertake a degree, or learn on the job.
Want to go down the academic pathway? You should choose a bachelor’s degree in a related field. You may want to look into doing an undergraduate or other course in accountancy, account management, business management, or finance. When you have that under your belt, it’s worth looking into a financial advisor traineeship. You can use your existing knowledge of finance to inform your career while also picking up new skills and expertise on the job.
However, you don’t always need a degree to become a financial advisor. So long as you have some GCSEs or an equivalent qualification, you can apply for a financial services professional degree apprenticeship.
Alternatively, you may want to gain an entry-level role in a finance company and work your way up through the ranks. Gaining relevant finance qualifications, including a level 4 qualification that the Financial Conduct Authority recognises will be essential.
What Skills Are Needed to Become a Financial Advisor?
Before you can get moving and work towards becoming a financial advisor, you need to know if you have what it takes. The truth of the matter is that it takes a talented individual to excel within this particular role. Before you get started, you should have:
A high level of financial know-how
Excellent intrapersonal skills
Trustworthiness and honesty
The ability to easily share complex ideas
Listening and communication skills
Business understanding and knowledge
Having these baseline skills will help you deal with clients and ensure that they understand the information you’re sharing. For example, you may have to take complex theories and spell them out in layperson terms. If you already possess this skill-set, chances are you have what it takes to become a financial advisor.
Does Becoming a Financial Advisor Need Any Work Experience?
As we have already covered, there are three different routes into this particular career. Which one you choose will determine how much work experience you need. The more experience in the world of finance you can get, the better. For example, if you decide to gain a degree, you will go in at a higher level than if you go down the apprenticeship route.
Regardless of where you start out, learning from experts already working as financial advisors is a savvy career move. However, keep in mind that there is no ‘right’ answer here. You need to decide what path suits your skill-set, lifestyle, and current position.
Career Prospects For a Financial Advisor
Are you ready to get started and qualify to become a financial advisor? Great stuff. But what about the long-term? Before you invest both time and money into this pursuit, you need to know where it will take you.
The good news is that the career prospects for a financial advisor are bright. When you qualify for this role, you will become a Trainee Financial Advisor. The next level up is, of course, a fully-qualified Financial Advisor, and it doesn’t end there. When you’ve gained years of experience in the field, you could move into a consulting role.
Becoming a financial advisor is a long but rewarding process. If you think that this fulfilling career is right for you, there’s no time like the present. You might just have your dream job in no time at all! Consider what qualifications you already have and how they apply to the position. Next, choose one of the routes we have outlined and get to work.
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