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How to become a better financial adviser in 2021

18 January, 2021Juno Baker

According to a recent Financial Conduct Authority survey, financial advisers may be among the more resilient of regulated firms. However, in many areas of financial advice, Covid-19 continues to have huge impact. So how can you prepare for the challenges ahead?

2021 written on purple background1) Study for an advanced qualification

A Financial Times poll of more than 90 leading economists in January, concluded that it will take more than 18 months for the economy to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Complex times produce complex financial situations. So you need to be able to offer sophisticated financial advice to clients whose circumstances have been affected in ways they never imagined.

Developed with the financial advice industry, our Advance Diploma in Financial Advice (Adv DipFA) will build on your DipFA learning – giving you the expertise you need to do just that.

By following a structured course with weekly study and tutor support, you’ll deepen your understanding of tax, pension transfers and a specialist area of your choice. And you’ll learn about business strategy.

Stuart Cartwright, a Director at Later Life Asset Management, completed Adv DipFA in 2020.

“The format and structured study each week is excellent and helped me stay focused, on track and motivated,” he told us. “It's just a well organised and thorough qualification delivered really well online."

When you’ve completed the qualification you can use the ‘Adv DipFA’ designation after your name. And if you have three years’ professional experience, you’ll be eligible to apply for chartered status.

2) Keep up with your CPD

One of the best things about doing a qualification is you can use your study hours as continuous professional development (CPD).

Adv DipFA can count towards CPD, as well as your Statement of Professional Standing (SPS), which you need to practise as a retail investment adviser in the UK.

If you’re looking for independent, structured CPD – rather than a new qualification – you can use our Online Structured CPD programme to fulfil all or part of your annual requirement.

3) Specialise

If you don’t have time to do the full Adv DipFA, you might consider doing the Pension Transfers module, which you can complete in five months.

Level 6 Pension Transfers will teach you what you need to know about the pension transfer market and build your practical skills.

As well as helping you support your clients, it counts as 150 hours of CPD.

4) Invest in training

To keep pace with ever-changing demand from customers, you need to think not only of your own skillset but training the staff who support you. The more competent your teams are, the more effective they’ll be – leaving you time to focus on the job you’re doing and building the business.

Paraplanners perform a vital role in any financial advice firm. But their work is becoming increasingly technical and demanding, for example with changes in regulation brought about by Brexit and the new Capital Gains Tax regime in 2021.

The Diploma in Paraplanning (DipPP) will give them the knowledge and skills required to:

  • meet new challenges
  • provide detailed, research proposals, and
  • produce high-quality suitability reports.

Another growth area is protection insurance. The Covid-19 pandemic has made consumers more aware that they need to ensure that they – and their families – will be financially protected in the event of death, illness or disability.

The Certificate in Protection (CertPro) covers the protection sector and the relevant rules and regulations. Your support staff will develop specialist knowledge to understand customer needs, and be able to advise on the different types of protection products.

Investing in staff will also help your firm comply with regulations, such as SMCR, as well ensuring your business stays competitive.

Related content

See the qualifications and programmes that can help you progress as a financial adviser

Advance Diploma in Financial Advice (Adv DipFA) 

Level 6 Pension Transfers (PETR)

Online Structured CPD programme

The Diploma in Paraplanning (DipPP)

The Certificate in Protection (CertPro)