Financial planners work with clients to help them invest their money. They may work for a bank, insurance company or other financial institution. To become a financial planner you must undertake specific finance training as well as become accredited as it is a highly regulated industry.
What Financial Planners Do
A financial planner will meet with their clients and help them set their financial goals, both short and long term, and then help achieve them. They will come up with a financial plan that will meet their clients needs and adjust it accordingly as time goes on to keep it on track and up to date. They will liaise between clients and the companies that they want to invest in, and will often research these companies, providing detailed reports of their findings.
They will make suggestions to their clients of which stock to purchase based on their research. You can specialise within different areas of financial planning, for example you may choose to work in investments or there are others who are rating analysts. You will need to have excellent people skills and be a good listener. Mostly financial planners work in an office, although they are required to visit clients and attend meetings. It is also not uncommon for a financial planner to work long hours. The job description can be quite varied or you may choose to specialise in areas such as estate planning, superannuation, retirement planning, small business financial management, work in investments in the stock market, handle debt and risk management or work in insurance.
Benefits of being a Financial Planner
Working as a financial planner will offer you a lot of job satisfaction as you are helping people achieve their financial goals. It is challenging and rewarding and through the many career opportunities you will experience personal and professional development. There is also the opportunity to earn a good income as well as there being plenty of job prospects since it is one of Australia’s fastest growing professions.
To become a Financial Planner
To have a career in financial planning you do not need a university degree, although you will find that most have a degree in either business, finance or accounting. It is important to have good problem solving skills as well as be proficient in maths. You will need to be confident and able to work on your own. Good communication skills are a must. It is also useful to have a working knowledge of money markets, tax laws and the general economy.
To start with you will need to do a recognised entry level training course, which will give you the skills and knowledge to become a financial planner. A Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning) is available. Beyond having the right skills you will need to comply with the minimum training requirements according to ASIC’s policy statement and you are also required to hold an Australian Financial Services License. When you are new to the field you generally will not be able to obtain a license but you can operate under an existing license holder until you have met the job experience requirement.