Banking & Financial Services
Financial planners or advisers give financial advice related to investments, taxes, and insurance decisions..
What does a Financial Planner/Adviser do?
Financial planners or advisers give financial advice related to investments, taxes, and insurance decisions, to help individuals meet their financial goals.
As a financial planner or adviser, your work would normally involve:
- talking to clients about their current finances and future plans
- researching financial products
- explaining details of products to clients
- preparing clear recommendations on investments or financial products that suit your clients' needs
- negotiating with providers of financial products
- keeping detailed records
- dealing with client enquiries
- producing financial reports
- keeping clients regularly updated about their investments
- meeting performance and sales targets
- keeping up to date with new products and changes in legislation.
Some financial advisers work with businesses and give advice to companies on benefits for their employees.
You would need to follow strict financial industry rules and guidelines. These make sure that you act fairly and that you are properly qualified to give appropriate financial advice.
Key skills and interests
To become a financial adviser, you would need:
- excellent communication and listening skills
- the ability to explain complex information clearly and simply
- the ability to analyse and research information
- good sales negotiation and report writing skills
- an interest in financial products and markets
- to be honest and ethical
- to be able to give fair and unbiased advice
- good maths and IT skills.
Working hours and conditions
In a full-time role with a financial services firm, you would usually work standard business hours, Monday to Friday. You may sometimes need to work in the evenings and at weekends to fit with your clients’ needs. Part-time work should be available.
Financial planners work for independent financial planning firms, banks and insurance companies. You would usually work in an office, and may need to travel to meet with some of your clients.
How to become an Financial Planner/Adviser?
Entry Level Education
To become a financial planner, new Australian legislation, currently proposed to come into force on 1 January 2019, will require a mandatory bachelor's degree in an appropriate area such as finance, accounting, economics or financial services at university. To get into these courses you need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent.English and mathematics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Once you have gained your bachelor's degree, you will also be required to undertake a professional year, and to pass an exam.
Under the proposed legislation, existing qualified financial planners will have until 2024 to upgrade to degree-equivalent status.
All advisers will also be required to undertake continuing professional development (CPD) and be party to a code of ethics once the new legislation comes into force.
Employment of financial planners and advisers is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations.
As the population ages and life expectancies increase, demand for financial planning services will increase.