Independent financial adviser
Financial advisers help people and organisations to choose investments, savings, pensions, mortgages and insurance products.
Salary Range: £25,000 to £90,000
How to become a financial adviser
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
You could start by doing a degree in:
- financial services
- business management
Once you finish your course you could apply to join a financial services company or bank as a trainee adviser.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You could do a financial adviser higher apprenticeship or a financial services professional degree apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You could start as a financial services administrator or customer services adviser in a bank and work your way up.
To do this, you’ll need to study for a level 4 qualification in financial advice recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority. These include:
- Chartered Insurance Institute Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning
- The London Institute of Banking & Finance Diploma for Financial Advisers
- Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment Investment Advice Diploma
- you’ll need to register as an ‘approved person’ by the Financial Conduct Authority
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills for finding out customer needs
- knowledge of economics and accounting for understanding financial markets and products
- maths knowledge for creating financial plans
- the ability to sell products and services
- excellent verbal communication skills
- active listening skills
- business management skills for negotiating product rates
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks will include:
- talking to clients about their finances and plans
- researching financial products and explaining them simply and clearly
- negotiating with providers of financial products
- producing financial reports
- updating clients about their investments
- meeting performance and sales targets
- keeping up to date with new products and law changes
You could work in an office, from home, at a client’s home or in a contact centre.
Career path and progression
If you work for a large financial organisation, you could specialise in one area of work like retirement planning. You could also move into management, recruiting and training new staff.
With further specialised professional qualifications, you could become a director or partner in your firm.
Another option is to move into compliance work, making sure your company is following industry guidelines.