If you are someone with a natural ability to handle and manage money, pursuing a career as a financial planner or adviser might be the right choice for you!
It is a profession that requires a high degree of expertise and a passion for assisting businesses and individuals alike. A financial planner has a wide range of responsibilities. They help, educate, and provide financial advice, in addition to formulating financial plans.
All in all, it is a career where you go from analysing data to empathising with a client's plight in a matter of minutes.
Read the post below to know everything about how to become a certified financial planner in Australia and start a successful career.
1. What Does a Financial Planner Do?
A financial planner is a person who works for an investment firm or bank that advises customers on how to make the best use of their money by giving them recommendations. In some instances, the planner makes financial and investment decisions on their clients’ behalf.
As a financial institution expects its financial planners to retain and serve clients for a long time ahead, this profession demands an outgoing personality and excellent analytical abilities. The financial planner may even host investment seminars to educate clients and build new business relationships.
Financial planners pay attention to their clients and assist them in determining their needs. They help customers in developing a realistic framework for their financial investment objectives before recommending execution techniques.
A planner must stay updated on the latest advancements in the investment sector, including all the possibilities and risks, in order to provide the best information to clients. A financial planner should also possess the ability to lay out a logical investing framework for his clients, offering them options based on return on investment and risk.
Generally, financial planners operate in an office environment during regular business hours. However, a financial planner may work longer hours performing research, analysis, and ongoing education. This may happen due to the several investment services offered and the constant introduction of new products.
Financial planners usually go through a training program with the employing financial organisation, depending on an employee's previous experience. Remember, prior experience as an assistant or associate financial planner is required in many cases.
2. Major Tasks and Duties of a Financial Planner
Set financial goals, and devise and implement methods to achieve them.
Monitor investment performance and review and adjust investment strategies in response to market developments.
Organise the collection of accounting, financial, and investment data and prepare reports, budgets, statutory returns, and forecasts.
Interview prospective clients to determine their financial objectives and status, discuss financing options, and develop investment strategies and financial plans.
Provide advice on sources of funds, investment strategies, and distribution of earnings.
Arrange to sell and buy bonds and stocks for clients.
Help clients to meet their superannuation compliance requirements.
Arrange and recommend insurance cover for clients.
Manages the funds raised through unit trusts and personal superannuation saving policies.
Refer clients to other organisations to get services described in financial plans.
3. Steps to Become a Financial Planner in Australia
Here are some common steps you can follow to start a career as a financial planner in Australia successfully:
Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's or Diploma Degree
As per the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission), there are a variety of specific and general knowledge requirements to become a financial adviser in Australia. Completing a certificate, a bachelor's degree or an advanced diploma in a related subject is suggested as a starting point for your education.
Obtaining a degree or qualification in business, financial planning, or accounting with an emphasis on financial planning will provide you with the essential skills to develop your profession and receive additional training in specialised areas. These qualifications also meet the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) certification's minimum educational criteria.
Step 2: Figure out What Type of Planner You Want to Become
After completing your basic education, you should have a good notion of the types of services you would like to offer as a financial advisor. Hence, it would be best to decide whether you want to focus on insurance, superannuation, financial planning, or a combination of these services and others.
Furthermore, ASIC requires you to obtain additional training to demonstrate that you have gained specialist knowledge in the relevant fields outlined in the regulatory guide 146.
Step 3: Obtain Entry-Level Employment With A Licensee
Once you complete your education, you can begin applying for entry-level jobs with practising financial firms or advisors who possess an ASIC-issued Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL).
Always prepare to start at the bottom and work your way up because this is a highly experience-based profession. Most financial advisors begin their careers as paraplanners or administrators, then progress to associate advisors before taking on the financial advisor's responsibility.
Step 4: Gain Your Certification
While you do not require a certification to practise, having one can help you get employed faster. It can also help you stand out from your coworkers if you currently have a job. Not only that, but your clients will also be more confident in your ability to perform well in your profession.
You can obtain a certification with a recognised and reputable organisation, such as the FPA (Financial Planning Association of Australia). Additionally, CFP (Certified Financial Planner) is also a widely recognised and recommended certification.
This certification is not required for a job as a financial advisor. Still, it is encouraged since it shows customers that you are knowledgeable and dedicated towards ethical standards and professional development. Keep in mind that employers tend to favour certified professionals, thus raising your earning potential and improving your job prospects.
Note: The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) regulates the standards for becoming a financial advisor in Australia, and these requirements are subject to change. So do not forget to check Regulatory Guide 146 for the most up-to-date information.
4. What Are The Educational Requirements To Become Financial Planner in Australia?
The educational requirements to become a financial planner are pretty straightforward to meet. It often incorporates a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as accounting, finance, mathematics, economics, or business.
According to the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission), many of these degrees cover a list of specific and general requirements. Some universities in Australia also offer a Bachelor's Degree in Financial Planning, which meets the minimal educational requirements.
In general, a Master's Degree is not required because many organisations that recruit financial planners have their own training programs that build on the foundation laid by the Bachelor's degree.
To make yourself more desirable to potential employers, you can also choose to undertake short courses online, such as a Double Diploma of Business and Leadership or a Graduate Diploma of Strategic Leadership. If you do not wish to pursue a full-time Bachelor's degree, in that case - you can go for online financial planning courses, such as a Diploma in Financial Planning or a Certificate IV in Financial Services.
As some courses consider previous education, the length of the course is determined by whether you are beginning from scratch or polishing your skills. However, the majority of the courses offered take almost around one year to finish. You can contact the university at any time if you want additional information about the course you want to opt for.
As soon as you complete your education, you can start looking at the firms that provide entry-level jobs. Make sure these firms possess an ASIC-issued Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL).
5. Financial Planning Courses in Australia
You must have the necessary skills to be an excellent financial planner; after all, your daily decisions may have a significant impact on your customers' economic well-being.
You can go for TAFE courses that make it simple to obtain the skills, training, and knowledge you need to become a successful financial planner. Such courses offer nationally recognised credentials and connect you with high-quality financial planning courses taught by industry professionals.
Bachelor Degree Courses
You need to complete a bachelor's degree course and pass a government entrance exam to become a certified financial planner in Australia.
Bachelor degree courses incorporate everything you need to know about financial planning, from offering professional advice and navigating the markets to having a thorough grasp of all the regulatory and legal aspects that significantly impact financial planning in Australia.
A Bachelor of Business (Financial Planning) program remains updated with the latest industry requirements and can take up to four years of full-time study. A bachelor's degree in finance may lead to management level positions and chartered financial planning jobs.
Undertaking a diploma-level financial advisor course is the best way to get into entry-level positions, such as a junior financial advisor or a client service officer.
A Diploma in Financial Planning incorporates everything, including building strong relationships with clients, determining their goals, and providing them with a range of financial plans and solutions.
Most diploma-level programs in Australia are compliant with RG146, which is a legal and regulatory standard for financial activities. In Australia, RG146 is now a legal requirement for several financial planning positions.
6. What Are The Skills Required To Become A Financial Planner in Australia?
In order to deliver the best client care service, financial planners must combine soft skills such as empathy and communication with technical abilities such as mathematics and analytics.
Remember, the success of your clients has a direct impact on your industry reputation. As a result, your job is to involve yourself in your clients' unique situations by empathising, comprehending, and listening to them.
Here are some soft and technical skills you must possess as a financial planner:
|Technical Skills||Soft Skills|
7. How Much Does a Financial Planner Earn in Australia?
According to Payscale, the entry-level financial advisor salary for individuals with less than one year experience is around AU$57,500, based on 24 salaries. This includes bonuses, tips, and overtime pay.
Based on 174 salaries, an early career financial planner with one to four years of experience makes an average total pay of around AU$71,500. And a mid-career financial planner with five to nine years of experience earns an average total income of around AU$87,500, based on 133 salaries.
On the other hand, the certified financial planner salary in Australia for experienced professionals with ten to nineteen years of experience is around AU$98,000, based on 135 salaries. Employees with a long career (20 years or more) receive an average total remuneration of around AU$100,500.
Now that you know everything about how to be a financial planner in Australia, you are ready to give your career a boost and embark on a journey of success.
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