Being a financial advisor comes with big responsibilities. Whether you’re giving people guidance on mortgages, investments, insurance or anything else, the stakes can be high, so it’s crucial that you know what you’re talking about. This means that to succeed in this sector, you’ll need to ensure your knowledge and skills are up to scratch by undertaking all the necessary training. Here, we take a look at the development opportunities on offer for fledgling financial advisors.
Get an FCA-recognised qualification
To work as an advisor, you must have a qualification that is recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This is the body that aims to preserve integrity in the financial markets and ensure consumers get a fair deal. For example, if you wish to operate as a mortgage advisor, you can enrol on a Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP). Recognised as a leading qualification within the finance sector, these courses meet the standards set by the FCA. More than 80% of mortgage advisors have achieved this certificate. There are no formal entry requirements for these programmes, but training providers may set their own criteria. For example, to enrol on financial advisor courses from Simply Academy, you must have a good level of English and have access to an online computer for the duration of the training.
Once you’ve successfully completed your training and received your certification, you can put the designation ‘CeMAP’ after your name. Other FCA-recognised qualifications include the Chartered Insurance Institute Level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning and the ifs Level 4 Diploma for Financial Advisers and Professional Certificate in Banking.
Your study options
People often take these qualifications through their employers, and it’s also possible to study towards the certificate by distance learning or by attending classes in colleges or private training centres, while apprenticeships are another option. You can find out online which of these options are available in your area.
To progress in this field and to make sure your knowledge is always fully up to date, it’s important to take advantage of ongoing development opportunities throughout your career. There are a variety of short courses available that can help you do this. For example, the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) provide professional development programmes that you may wish to consider. Once you have five years’ experience, you may also have the option of working towards Chartered Financial Planner status.
There’s no getting around the fact that thorough training is a must if you’re to make a success of your career as a financial advisor, but if you complete the relevant courses, you could be richly rewarded for your efforts.