A young persons guide to a career in financial planning

By FMB on 

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Most young people don't know what a Financial Planner (or Financial Adviser) does. Your parents or grandparents might have one to help them with their finances. The perception is only very wealthy people have a Financial Planner but that's not the case.

Financial Planning is a professional service that people and businesses can get help and advice from just like a Solicitor or Accountant.

Financial Planners have technical knowledge about financial products, tax and state benefits. There are exams they have to pass in order to provide advice on these things. They also are trained to listen to people and understand their wishes and goals.

So rather like a personal trainer, a financial planner helps get someone financially fit in order to save for a rainy day, invest their money to grow, find insurance to cover a disaster (like a serious illness) and then make sure someone has enough money to retire from work.

The profession is quite highly regulated understandably, so you have to have minimum qualifications and meet certain criteria before you can help members of the public. The basic qualification you need is the Diploma in Financial Planning which is delivered by the Chartered Institute of Insurance. It is 6 technical exams. The best way to do this is to find a company that will sponsor you while you are working and learning about the profession at the same time, just like FMB. You can also do a degree in Financial Planning at some universities now. These exams are useful in the financial services industry even if you don't go on to become a Financial Planner. If you do, once you have the exams there is also a rigorous training, watching other colleagues, role plays and finally working with real life clients under supervision. It takes time to build up the expertise and confidence necessary. Once you have some experience under your belt there are more advanced exams which lead to becoming a Chartered Financial Planner.

Key skills

  • being thorough
  • asking lots of questions
  • listening carefully and making connections
  • researching
  • analysing
  • empathising - we help people make difficult decisions

Surprisingly maths is important but not as important as good people skills.

Places to look for more information:-

Chartered Institute of Insurance Diploma in Financial Planning

Job Profile- Financial Planner

How to become a Financial Adviser

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