How To Become A Certified Financial Planner In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become certified financial planners in Australia.


Do you like handling and managing money? If yes, pursuing a career as a financial planner or adviser might be your right choice!


The profession requires a high degree of expertise and a passion for assisting businesses and individuals. A financial planner has a wide range of responsibilities. They help, educate, and provide financial advice and formulate financial plans.


It is a career where you go from analysing data to empathising with a client's difficulty in minutes.


Read the post below to learn how to become a certified financial planner in Australia, the degree requirements, the salary they earn, and what financial planning is to 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. Sometimes, the planner makes financial and investment decisions on their client's behalf.


As a financial institution expects its financial planners to retain and serve clients for a long time, this profession demands an outgoing personality and excellent analytical abilities. The financial planner may 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 develop 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, to provide the best information to clients. A financial planner should also be able 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.


Furthermore, a financial planner must complete a bachelor's degree in business or a similar discipline. Some employers may require you to possess a postgraduate degree.


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. You must complete a certificate, a bachelor's degree or an advanced diploma in a related subject.


Obtaining a qualification in business, financial planning, or accounting with an emphasis on financial planning will provide you with the essential skills to develop your profession. These qualifications 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 primary education, you should understand the services you would like to offer as a financial advisor. Hence, deciding whether you want to focus on insurance, superannuation, financial planning, or a combination of these services and others would be best.


Furthermore, ASIC requires additional training to demonstrate that you have gained specialist knowledge in the relevant fields outlined in regulatory guide 146.



Step 3: Obtain Entry-Level Employment With A Licensee


After 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 profession is highly experience-based. 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). CFP (Certified Financial Planner) is also a widely recognised and recommended certification. 


You don't need this certification 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 remember 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.


The ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) states that many of these degrees cover specific and general requirements. Some universities in Australia also offer a Bachelor's Degree in Financial Planning, which meets the minimal educational requirements.


Generally, a Master's Degree is not required because many organisations that recruit financial planners have training programs that build on the foundation laid by the Bachelor's degree.


You can also undertake short courses online to make yourself more desirable to potential employers. These include a Double Diploma in Business and Leadership or a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Leadership. Suppose you wish to pursue something other than 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, most of the courses offered take almost one year to finish. You can contact the university any time if you want additional information about the course you want to opt for.


As soon as you complete your education, you can look at firms that provide entry-level jobs. Ensure 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 significantly impact 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


To become a certified financial planner in Australia, you must complete a bachelor's degree course and pass a government entrance exam. 


Bachelor's 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. It 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.



Diploma Courses


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 various financial plans and solutions.


Most diploma-level programs in Australia are compliant with RG146, which is a legal and regulatory standard for financial activities. RG146 is now a legal requirement in Australia for several financial planning positions.



6. What Skills Required To Become A Financial Planner in Australia?


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 client's 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
  • Analytical abilities

  • Planning expertise

  • Financial reporting

  • Attention to detail

  • Working knowledge of markets and financial products

  • Commercial acumen – knowledge of technologies and trends shaping the markets

  • Problem-solving and mathematical skills

  • Excellent ability to listen

  • An outgoing personality

  • Relationship building and networking skills

  • Ability to work under pressure

  • Ability to understand client’s unique needs and empathise with them

  • Persistence and passion for the job

  • Effective verbal communication and written 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 of 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 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 boost your career and embark on a journey of success.


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