How to Become a Financial Advisor

Written by Daniel Tannenbaum on March 31, 2021

Updated July 13, 2023

A Financial Advisor advises both individuals and organisations in their decisions with financial matters: including savings, mortgages, insurance products and pensions.

The main role of a Financial Advisor is to provide financial guidance that is tailored to their client. This guidance can extend to a range of different situations, their advice able to span a large spectrum of different issues, including the following:

  • Investment choices.
  • Investment management.
  • Insurance.
  • Loans.
  • Mortgages.
  • Tax.
  • Retirement planning.

Through this guide, we’ll be taking a look at the key things you’ll have to consider when wanting to become a Financial Advisor, including key responsibilities, the skills and qualifications needed, as well as how much to expect with starting salaries.


Responsibilities of a Financial Advisor 

As with the range of topics in which a Financial Advisor will cover with clients, the responsibilities you can typically expect to see in this type of profession can also be fairly broad.

As a Financial Advisor, you’ll be expected to hold client meetings in which to discuss their finances, what they’re wanting to achieve and how to best work towards this. Another responsibility could be to explain the features of potential options with clients, as well as their benefits, to help them make the most informed decision regarding their financial situation.

Other responsibilities can include market analysis, putting together financial reports and updating clients regularly regarding their investments.


Skills Required to Become a Financial Advisor

The role of a Financial Advisor can be considerably rewarding, however, it can also demand a lot from a professional. Before embarking on this type of career path, it’s important to have a realistic idea of what will be expected from you in this role, and to see if you have what it takes.


financial advice

A financial advisor should have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, whilst having a good knowledge of finance, accounting and potential opportunities for their clients.


To break into the industry, you’ll need a comprehensive set of skills optimised to the role of a Financial Advisor – this can include the following:

  • Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills for both listening to clients and communicating advice in a clear, concise, understandable way.
  • An in-depth knowledge of economics and accounting.
  • A thorough understanding of both financial markets and the products offered within them.
  • Mathematic skills sufficient enough to create financial plans.
  • Have good attention to detail to help you be thorough in all of your client work.

You’ll also have to pass certain background checks, including a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. You can find out more about these checks on GOV.UK’s page here.


Qualifications Needed to Become a Financial Advisor 

While Financial Advisors don’t necessarily need to have a degree, it is required for all professionals operating in this role to hold an FCA-recognised qualification, such as a DiPFA Course (Diploma for Financial Advisors).

Although a university degree isn’t necessarily required, it is a recognised route into becoming a Financial Advisor. After completing a degree in the relevant field (e.g. financial services, accountancy), you could then become a trainee advisor at a bank or other type of financial services organisation.

Those aspiring for this profession could also take a higher apprenticeship as a financial advisor, entry requirements for this usually including 4 or 5 GCSEs graded 9 – 4 as well as A levels (or an equivalent).


Starting Salaries for a Financial Advisor 

According to the Government’s National Careers Service, the average starter salary for a Financial Advisor is £23,500, with typical hours ranging from 35 to 40 a week. Experienced Financial Advisors could earn substantially more than this, at an average of £90,000 a year.

In this profession, you might also be expected to work evenings and weekends.



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