In a world where financial decisions impact the course of one’s life, a career in financial planning stands out as a beacon of guidance. It offers numerous opportunities and specialities, where you can be instrumental in guiding individuals and families towards their aspirations.
A career in financial planning is unique. You’re not just assisting clients in accumulating wealth; you’re helping them craft fulfilling life journeys, where financial stability enables them to pursue passions, embrace experiences, and cherish moments that truly matter.
Pros and Cons of a career in financial planning
Like with any career path, there are variables to consider before embarking on this professional journey.
Pros of a career in financial planning
1. A purpose-driven profession
At the heart of financial planning lies the noble purpose of transforming lives through informed decisions. A career in financial planning is not about crunching numbers; you’re shaping dreams. Guiding clients towards their aspirations provides a rewarding career of making positive impacts.
2. A dynamic landscape
The financial world is ever-evolving, and a career in financial planning places you at the forefront of change. Regulatory shifts, technological advancements, and economic fluctuations keep the field vibrant and challenging.
Whilst change can be challenging, as part of a team, you’re not isolated by industry changes; you’re propelled by them. You’re continually learning, growing, and enhancing your expertise to provide clients with insights that lead to sound financial decisions aligning seamlessly with their life goals.
One of the great things about a career in financial planning is the opportunity to build relationships with your clients and provide them with significant, meaningful advice that is pivotal to their lives. Managing finances can be overwhelming for many people, so knowing you are helping them can lead to a rewarding career where you can make a difference.
4. Pathways to success
A career in financial planning offers multiple pathways to success. Whether you’re driven by technical expertise, relationship building, or strategic thinking, you’re encouraged to bring your own unique strengths to the table. The dynamic nature of the job ensures that your growth is not limited by a single dimension; the financial world is your oyster!
Cons to a career in financial planning
1. Finance can be complicated
Sometimes a challenging journey can be the best adventure. Each client will have their own individual circumstances, and whilst this will certainly make a career in financial services interesting and dynamic, you’ll need to have a good understanding of various financial topics including tax planning, retirement and pensions, insurance and investing. Alongside this, you’ll need to be able to communicate this to your clients in a way that they’ll understand, which takes time and practice.
2. Emotional Labour
Working in financial planning often involves delving into clients’ personal aspirations and financial concerns. While this emotional labour can be demanding, it presents a unique opportunity to build trust with your client.
3. Regulation and compliance
The field of financial planning in the UK is characterised by a robust regulatory framework designed to protect clients’ interests. While navigating these regulations might seem complex, they serve as a solid foundation for ensuring professional excellence. Adhering to these standards not only enhances your credibility but also demonstrates your commitment to ethical practices and client welfare.
4. Continuous learning
The evolving landscape of financial markets demands ongoing learning and vigilant market research. While this may seem like a drawback, it actually positions you as a dynamic professional who remains at the forefront of industry trends. Embracing continuous learning not only enhances your expertise but also allows you to offer your clients the latest insights and strategies.
How to become a financial adviser
There are various different routes that can lead you to a career in financial planning and it completely depends on where you are in life and what you are looking for.
Probably the most traditional way to become a financial adviser is through a degree at university. In order to study as an undergraduate at university you will need two – three A Levels (or equivalent).
While people with all sorts of degrees can move into a career in financial planning, relevant degrees to stand you in good stead include finance, economics, accounting and business management. Once you’ve finished your degree you could look for a graduate job within a finance company or a bank.
It’s also possible to train to become a financial adviser by completing a financial adviser higher apprenticeship or a financial services professional degree apprenticeship.
In order to be accepted for a higher or degree apprenticeship, you will need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A Levels, or equivalent.
It’s also possible to become a financial adviser by working your way up in a similar role, for example, a financial service administrator or customer services adviser in a bank. You’ll need to study for a level 4 qualification in financial advice as you work, as recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Financial planning course
If you have decided that a career in financial planning is right for you, then there may be a few courses you can go on. Below we have included three known courses to get you started.