Financial advisors are in demand today as more people seek to manage their money and prepare for major life events like buying a house or retiring. If you want to join this growing profession, however, you may wonder what kind of training you must undertake. The training required for a financial advisor career can appear to be challenging and lengthy. However, it will give you the expertise and confidence you need to serve your future clients and earn a solid income throughout your career.
Educational Background and Work Experience
Prior to starting your training to become a financial advisor, you may consider what kind of educational background and work experience you bring with you to this potential career. Many training programmes prefer that you have GCSEs in maths and English, for example. It also may benefit you to have work experience that commiserates with your professional ambitions in this field. For instance, you may be well suited for your upcoming training if you have worked in:
- Customer service
- Office management
These occupational skills will help you undertake the necessary training and better understand the concepts and new material you will encounter in your formal education as you prepare to become a financial advisor.
The Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA, oversees the process involved with becoming a financial advisor in the UK. You will be expected to obtain Level 4 qualifications that include obtaining diplomas in:
- Regulated Financial Planning
- Investment Planning
- Financial Advising
- Investment Advice
You can get specific details about these qualifications from the FCA’s website. If you plan on being a financial advisor who specializes in mortgage, stocks, equity, and shares advice, you will be expected to complete additional training that pertains to these unique areas of finance.
After you complete your formal training, you can expect to work under the supervision of managers or supervisors at your place of employment. You also may be required to complete an apprenticeship before being formally hired at a firm. Most employers pay for apprenticeships. This on-the-job training will allow you to gain confidence and skills required to work with actual clients.
Along with completing on-the-job experiences, you also may be required to obtain certifications proving that you are capable of sustaining a successful career in financial advising. One of the primary certifications you will need to present to a potential employer is a Statement of Professional Standing, or SPS certificate. This certificate shows that you underwent the required training and that you are registered with the FCA.
Likewise, your employer may require that you submit to a credit check and that you go through a Disclosure and Barring Service check as well. These checks will ensure that you do not have any financial circumstances that could prevent you from carrying out your professional duties or put your clients at risk.
Finally, once you begin your career as a financial advisor, you will be expected to keep your certifications and training updated. You can obtain formal continuing education with CII, ifs University College, and CISI. You can sign up for and complete short-term courses that will keep your skills updated and also let you learn about new trends or changes in the financial advising industry.
Many people today understand the importance of managing their money and preparing for major life events like getting married, having children, or retiring. You can join the growing industry of financial advising by learning how to become a successful financial advisor in the UK. These steps are required for anyone hoping to join this career field.