How to become a Financial Adviser

This job is so much more than I had thought it would be going into it

It is not a job that I had considered growing up, and from the outside looking in, I would have thought that the focus would be on stock trading, complex financial instruments and trying to beat the market. I thought it would be about the money.

In reality, it is far more about people and relationships

As advisers, we are trusted to gain insights into people’s wants and needs, and then deliver a plan to help them achieve this. If that sounds like something that would suit you well, I would encourage you to consider becoming a financial adviser. We certainly need to build our numbers to help cater to the growing demand for advice.

On my YouTube channel, I cover what it means to be a regulated financial adviser

I first clarify that in order to provide regulated advice, you will need to meet certain criteria in terms of qualifications and competence. These regulations help set the standards and protect those who receive advice.

I then discuss the importance of soaking up financial planning content. You need to work out whether this type of role would float your boat. Ultimately, I hope you find the same passion that I have for this profession. There are tons of incredible sources for content on this website and out there and I’ve highlighted many key players including the TRAP podcast, the Financial Planner Life podcast, Pete Matthews with Meaningful Money, amongst many others. I mention some fellow YouTubers and encourage you to dig into a few of the classic financial-related films out there.

I raise the importance of exploring the qualification routes. You will need to achieve a certain qualification level if you are going to provide financial advice, and therefore I talk about my route to meeting this requirement through the CII. There are of course some alternative routes you may wish to explore. Importantly, if you are considering seeking an employed role in this profession, it will certainly help you stand out to employers if you understand and appreciate the qualification routes available.

Gaining investment experience will be an invaluable part of the journey

I encourage you to get some ‘skin in the game’ and feel the investment experience firsthand. If you are going to talk to people about the risks associated with investments and help them craft an investment portfolio aligned with their goals, I believe you should have some real-world experience of what it feels like to be invested. It will force you to explore the options, do some research, and gain a better understanding of what sensible investing looks like. Whilst financial advice isn’t all about the investments, it is important to have a clear investment philosophy when you communicate your advice to others.

It would also be advisable to gain an insight into the ‘tools of the trade’

Cashflow modelling has now become an integral part of delivering quality financial advice. It helps in painting a visual for clients to better understand their financial plan. It is also a powerful tools for advisers to stress test financial plans and explore ‘what if’ scenarios.

There are also other tools that help in the day job. If you are considering a financial adviser role, I would strongly encourage you to look at the various tools available in the market place and get a feel for how they can help you. Again, if you are seeking employment, this kind of preparation will be invaluable.

Once armed with this knowledge, I recommend that you connect and network with others in our profession. You can use the FCA Financial Services Register to look at firms in your area, browse their websites, and get a feel for what is out there. Use LinkedIn and other social media platforms to your advantage to follow and connect with other financial advisers and build your network.

You can view my YouTube video ‘How to become a Financial Adviser’ here: