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- To begin a career as a financial planner, it is recommended to pursue a degree in a financial field such as business management, economics, or mathematics. This will serve as a solid foundation.
- Financial planners play a crucial role in assisting their clients in enhancing their financial situation, both in the short-term and long-term. They achieve this by offering guidance on savings plans, investments, tax strategies, accounting, and pensions.
- At the highest level, financial planners can earn a salary around £60K. However, if you specialize in private wealth management, you could potentially earn up to £100K. Additionally, being self-employed opens doors to even higher earning potential.
- A successful financial planner must possess excellent communication skills and demonstrate advanced numeracy abilities.
What is the Role of a Financial Planner?
A financial planner’s main responsibility is to assist their clients in managing their finances, savings, and investments in various areas, such as:
- Debt management
- Tax planning
A financial planner’s clients can be individuals, families, or limited companies. The financial planner’s role involves gaining an understanding of their clients’ financial situation and offering suitable products to create both short-term and long-term value, while also educating the clients throughout the process.
Financial planners can work as salaried employees or be self-employed. They earn revenue by charging a fee to the individual client and receiving a broker fee from the financial products they sell, such as bonds, savings plans, and investments.
Within financial planning, there are opportunities to specialize in specific areas, which may include taxes, debt management, or superannuation, among others.
What Qualifications Do I Need to Become a Financial Planner?
To pursue a career as a Financial Planner, a bachelor’s degree is typically required. It is recommended that your degree be in a relevant field, such as Economics, Business, Business Management, Finance, or Accounting. Some UK universities offer courses that are accredited by the FCA.
However, it is worth noting that it is possible to enter the field without a degree if you can demonstrate essential personal qualities and relevant experience in industries like financial services, sales, or customer service.
In addition to your degree, you will need to obtain a Diploma in Financial Planning, which is provided by the CISI. This qualification will allow you to achieve Certified Financial Planner (CFP) status. Prior to that, you will also need to hold an up-to-date qualification that complies with the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) requirements and have a current and valid Statement of Professional Standing (SPS).
Some companies may encourage or recommend financial planners to continue their education and pursue industry-specific qualifications while working full-time.
What is the Timeframe to Become a Certified Financial Planner?
In order to become a certified financial planner, here are the necessary steps:
- Pass the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards exam (CFP board).
- Accumulate a minimum of three years of documented work experience.
- Agree to abide by a code of ethics.
Additionally, you will need to complete a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, which typically takes a minimum of 3 years.
We hope this information is helpful as you pursue your Certified Financial Planner certification!
Which Certifications & Licenses Are Required for Qualified Financial Planners?
If you’re interested in becoming a qualified financial planner, there are certain requirements and professional qualifications you need to meet. These qualifications are regulated by the FCA, to ensure that financial planners are competent and knowledgeable.
In order to provide official financial advice, aspiring financial planners must obtain at least Level 4 qualifications in one of the following areas:
- Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) – Investment Advice Diploma
- Chartered Banker Institute – Diploma in Professional Financial Advice
- The London Institute of Baking & Finance – Diploma for Financial Advisers
- SQA/Calibrand Diploma in Professional Financial Advice.
- Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) – Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning
If you wish to offer advice on specific topics like mortgages or stocks and shares, you will need to pursue additional courses in those areas.
What Skills Are Needed To Be a Financial Planner?
Being a successful financial planner requires excellent people skills. In order to understand the specific financial needs of clients, it is important to have strong interpersonal, listening, and communication skills. Developing these skills will help establish and maintain long-term relationships with clients. It is also essential to be able to explain complex ideas in simple terms that are easily understood.
Another important skill for financial planners is research and analytical abilities. These skills enable them to assess the best financial options for clients and provide appropriate advice. Successful financial planners also work collaboratively with various departments to gather relevant information. Numeracy and IT skills are invaluable in this process.
Above all, a financial planner must demonstrate an ethical and professional approach to their work, always prioritizing the best interest of the client. Building relationships with clients based on trust is crucial, and maintaining client confidentiality is of utmost importance.
What is the Average Annual Income of a Financial Planner?
The income of a financial planner can vary based on their level of experience and expertise. As a trainee advisor, you can typically expect a salary ranging from £22,000 to £30,000 per year. Once you become qualified, this amount can increase to up to £45,000.
If you work as a senior financial advisor serving clients with average wealth, you can potentially earn around £60,000 annually. However, if your clients are private or you work as a wealth manager, your earnings as a financial planner can exceed £100,000.
In addition to the base salary, financial planners may also have the opportunity to earn bonuses and commission depending on the company and its salary structure.