A career as a financial advisor is among the top-earning jobs in London. With an entry-level annual salary of around £30,000 – £40,000 financial advisors in London are one of the most sought after positions in the capital, and it takes more than just a bachelor´s degree in economics, accounting or other finance related study to land one.
Working as a financial advisor in London is a rewarding job, but you should also be aware of the hard work involved. Long hours, late nights, pressure situations and an excellent grasp of mathematics and technology are all demands that make successful financial advisors. It also helps if you are a good people person with an aptitude for persuasive deal breakers.
Qualifications and aptitude
The minimum requirement for Financial Advisors in London is a Bachelor´s Degree (BA), and although this can be in any number of subjects, you stand a better chance if you read Finance, Accounting, Mathematics, Economics or Computer Science at University. You may also want to consider the professional CFP or CFA certifications which entitle you to apply for a professional license.
Although qualifications are important, employers in London´s financial sector are more concerned about your motivation, application and willingness to adjust to the financial program and meet deadlines. If you are not prepared to put in the time, you can´t expect to reap the rewards.
Work experience and training programs
Entering into a training program that exposes you to accounting or investment will set you on the right path to a job as a financial advisor as well as preparing you for licensing exams. There is no better experience of understanding what a job entails than actually working in it regardless of what opportunities may arise. Even an internship in a bank or investment broker will be valuable experience and education. Whenever an opportunity does present itself, be prepared to put in the effort and show how passionate you are about becoming a financial advisor. Even if you do not plan to stay with the firms you get a job with, a reference that shows you have a good work ethic and willingness to learn will stand you in good stead to progress your career.
A professional license demonstrates your knowledge and capacity to be a reliable and trustworthy Financial Advisor, not only to prospective employers, but more importantly to potential clients. It also gives you special privileges and protection from the governing body of finance who provide you with a code of ethics and additional insight to your career.
The type of license you choose to pursue depends on the direction you wish to take your career. If you want to be a certified financial planner (CFP) you need a four-year degree at an accredited University albeit in any subject. Before you are able to apply for your certificate you must have three years work experience and complete a preparation course. You will then sit a ten-hour exam that is taken over the course of two days.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
A popular choice is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) also requires a minimum four year University degree and completion of a CFA prep course though this is based entirely on a self study. You will then sit three six-hour exams.
As you can appreciate, the road to becoming a financial advisor in London is long and arduous, but the trials are required to identify successful candidates. To look through a wide range of Financial Advisors jobs at various levels, visit Idex Recruitment’s website for further information. Once you have achieved your qualifications competition is high, but given that London is one of the leading financial capitals in the world there are plenty of opportunities for financial advisors to have long and fruitful careers.
Image Credits: Marvin Kuo and Ben Sutherland.