Financial Planner Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a financial planner. Feel free to use our financial planner job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a financial planner.
Who is a Financial Planner?
A Financial Planner plans and advises an individual, a group, or a firm on how to manage their finances. As a financial planner, you can choose to work for a firm or work as your employer, making you self-employed. You have the chance to serve as a liaison for clients and legal and tax advisors in the financial field.
Financial planners update themselves on the latest news and development on financial products, tax law, and personal financial management strategies, particularly those involving retirement plans and estates.
A financial planner assists clients in developing personal budgets, controlling expenditures, setting realistic savings targets, and investments, implementing wealth-building strategies, and helping them plan their retirement. Some countries do not have the legal arrangements to designate people as professional financial planners, making the role unregulated. In these countries, anyone with little or no idea about finances may identify as a financial planner, making those who do not have customers’ interests at heart take up such a position, leading to financial losses.
Being a financial planner can be quite tasking, so planners sometimes choose where to specialize. These are a few;
Fiduciary Financial Planner: A fiduciary financial planner prioritizes a client’s financial interests. These planners are obligated to provide their clients with the best feasible solutions at the lowest possible price, regardless of the fees or commissions earned from the client or other sources.
Robo-Advisor: A Robo-Advisor uses a software algorithm to provide automated investment management. It examines your goals, checks for risk level, and places you on an investment portfolio with a template, managed from time to time. This automation is sometimes seen as fiduciaries since an increasing number of them supplement their automated offerings with more comprehensive financial planning provided by humans in the industry. The platform is a good alternative for investment newbies who might need the service of a financial planner.
Wealth Manager: A wealth manager specializes in planning the finances for the wealthy, such as estate planning, legal planning, and asset preservation risk management. Wealth managers are fiduciaries, though not all of them.
Financial Planner Job Description
Below are the financial planner job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a financial planner job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
- Acts as an intermediary between the client and other financial professionals
- Assists clients with tax returns, estate management, and other financial duties
- Analyzes the client’s financial documents, income, expenses, and liabilities
- Creates and maintains cordial relationships with clients by observing their finances and ensuring keeping them up-to-date on progress
- Develops financial and business analysis reports for clients
- Drafts strategies to help plan and budget a customer’s finances.
- Serves as an advisor in terms of finances, and also plans the insurance and investment of a client
- Ensures to update and maintain the records of clients
- Guides clients in analyzing their finances to help them set their financial goals
- Introduces and advertises financial products and services
- Observes client’s needs and make adjustments to their financial plans where necessary
- Seeks potential clients and grows mutual trust to ensure long-lasting relationships
- Updates him or herself on the latest information on financial products and existing laws related to finances.
- Acquire a BSC degree in business management, mathematics banking, economics, finance, accounting, or other courses in the field. However, your discipline is not a criterion for securing a role in some firms.
- Take and earn a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certificate to be more knowledgeable and to give you a more professional outlook. It is required in some countries to possess a CFP.
- Go for your Master in Business Administration (MBA). It will give you an edge in getting a financial planning job in some firms, while others require it for a financial planning role.
The requirements to be a financial planner in different countries vary. To qualify as a financial planner in the United Kingdom, you need to:
- Get a degree, preferably in economics, business management, or a related field.
- Take a Retail Distribution Review (RDR) compliant course.
- Have 1-3 years of experience in a financial planning role
- Acquire certification in CFP by finishing the CISI Level 7 Diploma in Advanced Financial Planning.
- Gain CISI membership at MCSI Level or above
Every occupation has skills needed to stand out in the role, so a financial planner has to possess these skills below:
- Ability to Handle Stress: A Financial Planner manages clients’ financial portfolios and assists them in making long-term money plans. This process requires a Financial Planner to perform at an extremely high level, and it is also the most stressful. In the long run, the stress is worth it because you were able to help a client avoid some financial losses and probably, gain ground.
- Analytical thinking: Financial planners can use analytical thinking to adapt to changing circumstances and solve problems. They can also assess a client’s financial situation and make recommendations that will result in a positive outcome while wasting no money. As new products enter the market, planners use analytical thinking to determine which products to buy for the clients that would be advantageous in the long run.
- Detail-Oriented: Financial planners can stay organized by paying close attention to detail while performing their job duties. They listen to the client’s requests to gain insight into the investments that the client is likely to make. Advisors detail their explanations of investment strategies to ensure clients understand what actions to take. Advisors must also maintain a high level of detail when recording figures on financial reports.
- Empathy: As a financial planner, you need to know how to empathize with your clients. Clients may be concerned about their finances, and planners have access to their personal information, therefore you should possess a high emotional intelligence to enable you to offer emotional support to your clients.
- Interpersonal communication: Interpersonal Communication is an underrated skill in financial planning. It enables you as a financial planner to have one-on-one conversations with your clients and adjust your communication style based on your conversation partner or the occasion. Your speech must be assertive for the listener to take you seriously, its effectiveness depends on communication. You can also talk about the deals you have successfully closed with your past clients to sell yourself and convince the potential ones. Ensure to be simple in your communication style.
- Risk assessment: Before advising your clients, it is wise to do proper research, identify the risks and manage them. An unstable market can affect a client’s investment and lead to losses. Lack of job security can cause financial stress and reduce the chances of increasing a client’s income.
- Research: A financial planner researches the Financial history of a client seeking financial aid, to know what could have led to the recent financial losses of the client. Planners search and identify ways to help clients achieve their financial goals, such as making strategic investments in stocks or real estate or investing in products like life insurance policies or retirement accounts. Research also assists advisors in staying up to date on new products that hit the market.
- Wealth Management: Financial Planners understand how to create and nurture wealth, which they use to advise clients on how to grow their finances. Wealth management is an aspect of the industry that helps planners understand investments that can generate higher income and market availability. Those with the knowledge identify investments that align with clients existing funds to enable these clients to reach their financial goals.
- Listening; You must be patient with what the client says, even if most of it is irrelevant, because the conversation may contain relevant information. As a planner, you must interpret the client’s expressions and determine his needs and goals, even if he does not express them explicitly. The effectiveness of your financial plan depends on material, Personal and Financial factors, so you must listen carefully rather than simply hearing what he says.
- Mathematical Skills: Advanced mathematical formulas evaluate investment tools. They assess risks and predict potential profit. A Financial Planner can compare different investment opportunities and determine the best option based on customers’ risks and tolerance.
Mathematics goes a long way in making critical investment decisions. In addition to the training a planner has undergone, possessing good maths knowledge and the ability to comprehend extensive financial data can assist clients in conserving and gathering wealth.
- Technical: As the world evolves, one needs to have the growing technical knowledge to succeed in certain roles. To excel as a financial planner, you need to be proficient in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, financial planning software, and accounting software; you will most likely need these skills to compile information and data and generate reports for clients.
- Sales: Being a strong salesperson will help you sell your skill and get clients faster than one who has little idea about sales. Salespersons create tactics to persuade and convince people to patronize the service that they offer. A financial planner, who doubles as a salesperson that has received extensive sales training and experience will be familiar with the phrasing and psychological triggers that can encourage sales.
How to Become a Financial Planner
There is no doubt that some countries do not have procedures to follow to be a financial planner. These are steps to be taken to be a financial planner in some countries:
The first step on the ladder to becoming a financial planner is to meet the educational requirements. Go to the university and get a BSC degree. It would be an advantage to have a degree in a business-related field.
The second step is to start a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program and finish with a degree. Since an MBA is a degree where one learns the theoretical and practical aspects of business, some firms make it a requirement to hold a crucial role like a financial planner. However, some organizations do not require it.
The next step, which is the third, is to find an organization to intern at or/and later go through an apprenticeship to gather some experience in financial planning. The internship spans approximately one year, while the apprenticeship route might take up to three years.
The fourth step is to get certified by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc for some countries to recognize you as a Financial Planner. You should obtain the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) certification to boost your reputation and saleability as a financial planner.
The fifth step is to ensure you adhere to the high ethical and practice standards outlined in the CFP Boards’ Standards of Professional Conduct.
How to become a financial planner in the UK:
Obtain a diploma or BSC degree in economics, math, business management, finance, or other related business courses to work as a financial planner.
Get an RDR-compliant qualification to be recognized by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom (FCA). A Retail Distribution Review (RDR) is an initiative by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) created to educate people in finances about various services available in the sector. It also aims to increase clarity about the associated costs relating to financial services.
Work for 1-3 years or more. The experience can be an internship or an apprenticeship.
Go ahead to take a CISI level 7 diploma in Advance Financial Planning to earn your CFP. You can do this before your internship/apprenticeship or after.
Obtain CISI membership at the MCSI Level or higher, which shows your dedication to ethics and the financial planning Code of Conduct.
Where to work as a Financial Planner
- Investment Firms
- Insurance companies
- Personal investment company (as self-employed)
- Wealth management firms
- Brokerage firms
Financial Planner Salary Scale
In the United States, a less than one-year entry-level Financial Planner may earn an average annual total compensation of $51,256.
An early career Financial Planner with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $62,913.
A mid-career Financial Planner with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $72,500.
10+ years experienced Financial Planner earns an average annual total compensation of $85,390.
In the United Kingdom, a financial planner at the entry-level starting salary may be £54,300. A financial planner may earn £65,000 per year. Those with many years of experience may earn £80,000 and above yearly.