Do you want to know more about how to become financial adviser? We’ve put together a breakdown for you, to help you decide if it is right for you. We cover everything from the character traits to the qualifications you’ll need to succeed.
In this blog we cover the technical aspects of becoming a financial adviser, as well as how to develop the characteristics and experience to succeed.
What does a financial adviser do?
Financial advisers provide regulated financial advice to individuals on a number of matters. These include buying a home, investing savings and dealing with tax affairs to name a few. The key responsibilities include:
- meeting with clients and discussing their financial goals
- answering client questions and educating them about investment options and potential risks
- researching, recommending or select investments for clients
- helping clients plan for the future, such as retirement
- monitoring client account performance or accommodating life changes, such as marriage.
Is financial advice the route for you?
Due to the client relationship aspect, providing financial advice is a profession which requires full commitment to the role, and being able to perform as your best self for large portions of your working day. If you wish to become a financial adviser, you'll need a firm understanding of what exactly the role involves.
What qualifications do I need to be a financial adviser?
To practice financial advice, you will need to have a recognised financial adviser qualification, approved by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA) is a great option. It meets the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA’s) examination requirements for financial advisers.
Anyone can apply to study as it is equivalent to a first year degree programme. The qualification consists of two units, usually studied as a complete nine-month course, however these can also be studied individually.
Often students achieve this while working, or in a financial adviser apprenticeship. Read about how one student managed to juggle studying the DipFA, family life and work.
While not compulsory, English and Maths GCSEs are beneficial for those wishing to give financial advice.
External DipFA training courses
Our Trusted Partners; Quilter Financial Adviser School (QFAS) and ifs Malta with Recognised Learning Support Providers offer help to support your learning and understanding of the concepts and materials.
DipFA training courses are optional and some may not include our DipFA qualification registration fee. Be sure to check with the provider when registering with them.
What skills should a financial adviser have?
Financial advisers need to possess exceptional communication and organisational skills as well as the ability to write comprehensive reports. Although it is beneficial to already possess these skills, it is possible to develop these key characteristics, and in turn improve them in your lead up to your first Financial Advice job.
Developing skills in a current role
If you come from a customer service background you may already interact with customers face to face or over the phone. Dealing with enquiries and sometimes complaints is a great way to prepare your client-facing skills.
When faced with a client it is important to treat them as a valued customer; setting out clear and concise options to help close the conversation with a satisfactory result for both yourself and the client.
This is a skill that is beneficial for all professionals to possess. It also stems from school, as there are aspects of report writing which resonate in exams and essays. You might be able to ask your work to provide courses or ask a colleague to share their experience of report writing with you.
Explaining complex issues simply
You can practice this technique by doing external learning around the subject of Financial Advice. Getting to know the products or subject matter you will be advising on in great detail will help you pick out the finite information that will be relevant to the client.
Another technique is to practice on a colleague first and try to explain to them a project you are working on. Structure your explanations into 3, it becomes easier to manage your points and much more memorable for whoever you are explaining to.
Developing skills outside of work
Share your knowledge
Inform family members and friends of your expertise and experience and encourage them to ask you for help. Saying that you’re always open to assist improves your approachability.
Active listening skills
You can practice intently listening with anyone. The other person in the conversation should feel as if you have heard and understood them clearly and feel valued by the conversation as a result.
You can practice writing in general. There are many enjoyable ways of doing this. You could start a blog or just try to brush up on your spelling and grammar in general. You could even find a writing partner, someone to analyse your writing and style with you.
Explaining complex issues simply
Again you can practice this on a member of your family or some friends. Pick a subject you consider yourself very knowledgeable in. This does not necessarily have to be work, it could even be as simple as the offside rule! Figure out the key points that others need to understand it and really break it down into simple points. You can practice this on a variety of subjects!
The key is to keep practicing the character skills, as these will aid you with the qualifications as well. It will develop your learning style to complete a professional qualification on top of your day to day life, but also prepare you for your role as a Financial Adviser.
Find out more about our DipFA qualification