How to become a Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor

A financial advisor works with clients and businesses to help them manage their money. They help their clients make financial decisions that are comfortable for them, while achieving their long term saving goals.

Financial advising is the field of work that helps people make better financial decisions, whatever their goals are; for example, someone’s plan might be to upgrade their house and to save for retirement, but they may require some help to save enough money to get there. Financial advisors can work with people and small businesses to advise on investments, budgeting, insurance, and taxes. Fundamentally, they help people have more money.

Being a financial advisor entails:

  • Meeting with clients and discussing their financial goals, and giving them instant feedback on what they can do to start saving money that day.
  • Educating clients about investments, saving, and managing money. 
  • Working out tailor-made long term financial plans for clients.
  • Keeping up to date with investment opportunities and constantly evaluating what is on offer on the market.
  • Maintaining a form of contact with clients, staying updated with their progress and altering suggestions as time goes by.

Some financial advisors choose to specialise in certain areas – like retirement, risk management or wealth management. There’s also the option to offer online services or in-person services, or even provide the information needed for a robo-advisor – these are online algorithms that provide financial advice, which do not need a financial advisor for each transaction but do require one to oversee the advice and suggest improvements. 

About a quarter of financial advisors are self-employed. While they do have a certain degree of flexibility with their work and can earn a lot, it can be a stressful role with a great deal of pressure, as they must constantly make sure they have enough clients – and working hours are typically very long. 

It is possible to get into this field without tertiary education, but being a graduate in economics or another related subject will be greatly beneficial. A financial advisor is expected, of course, to have impeccable knowledge of investments, taxes and budgeting – so some extra courses and accreditations are essential for any candidate for the job. Work experience in a financial environment is also beneficial. 

As well as an outstanding knowledge of managing money, a financial advisor must be approachable, have great communication skills and a trustworthy persona.

What degree is most commonly held by a Financial Advisor?

  • Bachelor of Accounting / Finance
  • Bachelor's of Business / Commerce / Economics
  • MBA
  • Diploma in Financial Planning
  • MBA Finance

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: Low
Due to the fact that the investment, stock and tax situations vary greatly over countries, becoming a financial advisor abroad is difficult. However, virtual advisors could enjoy the flexibility of working remotely, as all of their work is online; therefore a candidate in this situation might be able to work abroad, as long as they had the relevant visa.

What is the Salary of a Financial Advisor?

Experience Average salary | year
Client Services Manager $46,000 £38,411 $70,000
Financial Adviser 1-4 Years $65,000 £54,873 $100,000
Asset Manager 5+ years $90,000 £76,823 $140,000

What skills are needed to become a Financial Advisor?

  • Finance
  • Investments
  • Management
  • Financial Services
  • Portfolio Management
  • Financial Analysis
  • Financial Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Risk Management
  • Wealth Management
  • Financial Advisory
  • Leadership
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Strategic Financial Planning
  • Insurance
  • Customer Service
  • Business Strategy
  • Microsoft Office
  • Strategic Planning
  • Investment Strategies
  • Banking
  • Equities
  • Sales
  • Business Development
  • Investment Advisory

Financial Advisor Courses

Someone who is learning how to become a financial advisor would initially benefit from taking some courses to ensure that their financial knowledge is impeccable. Courses such as financial services after a banking crisis and the future of payment technology are great options.
  • Understanding Public Financial Management: How Is Your Money Spent?

    How do governments acquire and spend public money Take a fresh look at public financial management with this free online course

  • Introduction to Financial Accounting

    Refresh your knowledge of basic accounting processes and discover recent changes in International Financial Reporting Standards

  • Understanding Financial Statements

    Learn how to make better business decisions with financial information

  • An Introduction to Financial Management in Construction

    Explore financial management and accounting conventions and their importance in the construction industry and other sectors

  • Understanding Financial Concepts

    Prepare for a wide range of roles in the finance industry with an introduction to fundamental financial concepts

  • Finance Fundamentals: Investment Theory and Practice

    Look at the investment choices open to you and the risks and returns of each Start managing your financial future effectively

  • Finance Fundamentals: Financial Services after the Banking Crisis

    Explore the UK financial services landscape how financial firms and products are regulated and how consumers are protected

  • Finance Fundamentals: Financial Planning and Budgeting

    With household budgets feeling the pinch this course shows how to bring order to your finances and make good financial decisions

  • Finance Fundamentals: Managing the Household Balance Sheet

    Discover how to effectively manage household assets and liabilities in order to improve your household financial health

Financial Advisor Microcredentials

  • Financial Analysis and Decision Making with Xero and Tableau

    Get professional training in financial analysis and learn how to translate financial data insights into deliverable actions

  • FinTech - Financial Innovation

    Investigate the changes brought about by FinTech innovation and harness evolving opportunities in the future of FinTech

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