Financial Advisor Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Financial Advisor, or Independent Financial Advisor helps people or businesses organise their finances. Their duties include discussing finances and financial goals with clients, developing financial strategies for clients and reporting on financial progress.


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Financial Advisor duties and responsibilities

Financial Advisors perform several tasks to serve their clients better. Their responsibilities vary depending on their speciality, but often include:

  • Meeting clients and discussing their finances and financial goals
  • Researching financial products for clients and explaining their key features and benefits
  • Negotiating better financial deals with providers on a client’s behalf
  • Researching financial law changes and economic trends
  • Reporting their clients’ financial results and investment progress
  • Supporting investment professionals to cultivate client relationships 


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What does a Financial Advisor do?

Financial Advisors help individual and business clients manage their finances better. They help their clients choose investments and financial products, including home loans and insurance. They also help them build their savings and reduce their debts. Financial Advisors typically specialise in working with either individuals or business clients. It’s also common for Financial Advisors to work with clients with specific needs, such as high-income earners or people nearing retirement. Good Financial Advisors help financial firms build credibility and customer loyalty. Successful Financial Advisors often generate positive word-of-mouth referrals which help these firms grow.


Financial Advisor skills and qualifications

Financial Advisors use a combination of industry-specific and people skills to help their clients. A successful Financial Advisor candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include: 

  • Good customer service for pleasant and productive client interactions
  • Verbal and written communication, including active listening, for determining client needs and reporting financial progress
  • Negotiation skills for securing the best deals for clients
  • Understanding of economics, accounting and other financial concepts
  • Mathematics for developing sound financial strategies
  • Computer literacy, including confidence using office and accounting programs


Financial Advisor experience requirements

Financial firms typically employ Financial Advisors who have worked as Financial Services Administrators or Customer Service Advisors in banks. These positions help improve their customer service skills and industry knowledge.


Financial Advisor education and training requirements

Financial Advisors usually need a degree in financial services, accountancy or business management. Students need two or three A levels, or equivalent, to enter these degree programs. Some financial firms accept candidates who have completed financial advisor higher apprenticeships or financial services professional degree apprenticeships. These apprenticeships provide practical experience delivering financial advice.

Financial Advisors also need a Level 4 qualification in financial advice recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority. Relevant Level 4 qualifications include a Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning from the Chartered Insurance Institute, a Diploma for Financial Advisers from The London Institute of Banking & Finance and an Investment Advice Diploma from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.


Financial Advisor salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Financial Advisor in the UK is £39,494 per year. Salaries vary according to experience, location and area of speciality.


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Financial Advisor job description FAQs


Which qualities do successful Financial Advisors have?

Financial Advisors should be personable, as they spend a lot of time talking with clients. Their positive personalities help them connect with clients and develop trust. Good Financial Advisors should also be passionate about the finance sector. This interest motivates Financial Advisors to deliver results for their clients and stay up-to-date with industry news. They should also be honest and trustworthy, as they deal with confidential client information.


How can I feel confident my new Financial Advisors are of good character?

Every Financial Advisor must register as an ‘approved person’ with the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered people must meet the authority’s ‘fit and proper’ test requirements and follow conduct rules. Most financial firms also run a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to check on all new Financial Advisors. It’s a good idea to state that employment is subject to these requirements on your job description.


What is the difference between a Financial Advisor and a Wealth Manager?

A Wealth Manager is a type of Financial Advisor. Like other Financial Advisors, Wealth Managers give advice about financial matters. However, they only work with clients with a high net worth. In contrast, most Financial Advisors see middle-income people who want their finances to go further. They help their clients reduce their debts, plan for retirement and achieve other goals that Wealth Managers are less focused on.


Who does a Financial Advisor report to?

Financial Advisors report to Managing Directors or Supervisors. Managing Directors act as mentors, helping Financial Advisors develop financial strategies and customer service skills. If Financial Advisors are ever unsure how to help their clients, they can approach their Managing Directors for guidance.

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