Financial Adviser

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    A financial adviser provides specialist advice to clients on managing their money in the most profitable and secure way. Clients can be commercial enterprises, institutional groups/societies or private individuals.

    Financial advisers may provide investment advice across a variety of financial products and services or choose to specialize in a few selected products and services. A financial adviser is essentially an intermediary or agent between providers of financial products and services on the one hand and customers on the other.

    Advisers may specialize in particular products, depending on their clients, such as selling employee pension schemes to companies or offering mortgage, pension or investment advice to private clients. Others are generalists, offering advice to clients in all of these areas, as well as saving plans and insurance.

    In order to give financial advice, advisers must have professional qualifications and follow strict financial industry rules.

     

    Employers of Financial Advisers

    • banks and building societies
    • financial planning firms
    • independent financial advice companies
    • insurance companies
    • investment firms.

     

    Duties

    • contacting clients and setting up meetings, either within an office environment or in clients’ homes or business premises
    • conducting in-depth reviews of clients’ financial circumstances, current provision and future aims
    • analyzing information and preparing plans best suited to individual clients’ requirements
    • completing risk analyses
    • researching the marketplace and providing clients with information on new and existing products and services
    • designing financial strategies
    • assisting clients to make informed decisions
    • researching information from various sources, including providers of financial products
    • reviewing and responding to clients changing needs and financial circumstances
    • promoting and selling financial products to meet given or negotiated sales targets
    • negotiating with product suppliers for the best possible rates
    • liaising with head office and financial services providers
    • communicating with other professionals, such as estate agents, solicitors and valuers
    • keeping up to date with financial products and legislation
    • producing financial reports
    • contacting clients with news of new financial products or changes to legislation that may affect their savings and investments
    • meeting the regulatory aspects of the role, e.g. requirements for disclosure, costs of the services provided and also the advised products.

     

    Qualifications

    Although this area of work is open to graduates and diplomates of any discipline, the following subjects may improve your chances:

    • accountancy
    • business management
    • finance or financial studies.

    Entry without a degree is possible and employers often regard personal qualities as just as important as academic qualifications.

    Relevant experience in a customer service, sales or financial services setting is also viewed positively. New entrants often start in a bank and study part time, learning alongside experienced advisers.

     

    Skills

    • excellent communication, interpersonal and listening skills
    • the capability to explain complex information simply and clearly
    • the ability to network and establish relationships with clients
    • research and analytical skills
    • negotiation and influencing skills as well as determination and tenacity
    • the ability to work in a team
    • time management skills
    • customer service skills
    • self-motivation and organization
    • a good level of numeracy and IT skills
    • a target-driven mindset
    • a flexible approach to work
    • decision-making skills
    • discretion and an understanding of the need for client confidentiality
    • an ethical and professional approach to work.

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