In Summary - Financial Adviser
Financial Advisers typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Financial Adviser
Independent financial advisers (IFAs) provide financial advice to suit the needs of their clients (ranging from individuals to large companies). They also make arrangements for that advice to be carried out if the client wishes. Clients may be seeking investment advice for the short, medium or long term.
IFAs are known as independent because they advise on products from a range of companies; they are not 'tied' to dealing with only one company. The products that IFAs deal with are known broadly as personal investment products. These include things like mortgages, life insurance, pensions, savings accounts, protection policies (for example, income protection and personal health insurance) and stock market investment schemes. New products are being designed all the time, so IFAs need to keep up-to-date. Some IFAs specialise in one kind of product.
When the IFA first meets a client they discuss the client's current situation and their financial needs. For example, a person may be self-employed and need to make financial plans to provide an income in case they are ill. Another may want to set up a health protection policy to cover their family for private medical care.
The IFA then researches the financial market for appropriate products and recommends different options to the client. The client might then ask the IFA to act on the recommendations (for example by making arrangements for a policy to be set up) or to do further research.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Interview clients to determine their current income, expenses, insurance coverage, tax status, financial objectives, risk tolerance, or other information needed to develop a financial plan.
- Answer clients' questions about the purposes and details of financial plans and strategies.
- Recommend to clients strategies in cash management, insurance coverage, investment planning, or other areas to help them achieve their financial goals.
- Analyze financial information obtained from clients to determine strategies for meeting clients' financial objectives.
- Implement financial planning recommendations or refer clients to someone who can assist them with plan implementation.
- Review clients' accounts and plans regularly to determine whether life changes, economic changes, environmental concerns, or financial performance indicate a need for plan reassessment.
- Manage client portfolios, keeping client plans up-to-date.
- Contact clients periodically to determine any changes in their financial status.
- Prepare or interpret for clients information such as investment performance reports, financial document summaries, or income projections.
- Recruit and maintain client bases.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Interests - Financial Adviser
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
As an IFA you will need to be numerate and have excellent communication skills. Clients need advice at all stages of life, including events like redundancy and bereavement, so you will need to be sensitive to the pressures that people face.
When you are carrying out research and writing up reports you will need to be methodical and thorough in your work. The ability to make strategic decisions is essential. The ability to handle complex information is also desirable.
Familiarity with information technology is important.
Entry Requirements - Financial Adviser
The official entry route for a Financial Adviser is through undertaking an apprenticeship.
Most Independent Financial Advisors are qualified accountants.
To qualify as an accountant, you need to register with one of the appropriate professional bodies. You then combine on-the-job training with part-time study and written examinations.
The relevant bodies are:
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland
- Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland
If you want to register with one of these bodies you must meet their minimum educational requirements. If you exceed the minimum entry requirements you may be exempt from some written examinations.
Accountancy courses are available at many of the universities and I.T.s countrywide.
These courses in accounting range from Ordinary Bachelors Degree (Level 7) to Honours Degree (Level 8) and Postgraduate Diploma/Masters Degree (Level 9)
Other entry routes would involve gaining a business degree and obtaining a position with a company in the finance industry.
Last Updated: April, 2016
Pay & Salary - Financial Adviser
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 22k - 125k
Equity Analyst: 22 - 125
Credit Analyst: 22 - 65
Financial Adviser: 28 - 50
Senior Financial Analyst: 29 - 80
Financial Analyst: 26 - 70
Sigmar / Brightwater / CPL / Robert Walters / Hudson / Abrivia / Lincoln
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Financial Adviser
Employment growth was above the national average for this occupation and there are indications of some difficulties in sourcing candidates in the labour market.
National Skills Bulletin 2018