A Career as a Financial Advisor: How to become fit and proper

financial advisor is a professional who gives advice to clients about investment options and financial decisions regarding their lifestyle and their future. It is a highly responsible but also lucrative career for those who focus on becoming fully qualified and experienced, and who can back this with sound business acumen, excellent interpersonal skills, and a good overall knowledge of the economy and its complexities.

Make sure your financial advisor is fit and proper


Having a bachelor’s degree is beneficial but financial advisors can also establish their credibility by achieving certification through qualifications such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Certified Financial Advisor (CFA).  It is also highly recommended to achieve a CFP post graduate diploma, something that CFBS can help you to achieve.

Financial advisors and planners are tested on their ability and aptitude to have a comprehensive and knowledgeable approach to financial planning. Certification implies a strict code of ethics and top-class professional responsibility standards that inform clients of their trustworthiness and integrity.

  • Financial advisors and planners are also required to pass other legislation, including the Financial Services Board (FSB) regulatory exams – following which an operating licence will be issued. Thereafter, advisors and planners must ensure they remain compliant at all times with the Financial Advisory and Intermediary (FAIS) Act.
  • Other important capabilities include: good communication skills, a self-disciplined approach, the ability to work independently, and an aptitude for research. An interest in subjects such as Maths, Accounting, Business Studies, and Economics, would be key advantages.
  • A financial advisor may also be licensed to sell life insurance, health insurance including long-term care, and various annuities.

World wise acumen and business savvy

Experience: Financial advisors also need to have real world experience, preferably in a business or sales capacity. The job requires marketing products, attracting clients, and building excellent interpersonal relationships.

An entrepreneurial spirit: Once an advisor establishes a book of business, a truly entrepreneurial spirit is often the factor that differentiates the successful from the mediocre. Running a financial advisory practice and maintaining clients is similar to running a business. A proactive but systematic approach to client service, marketing and investing builds stability, trust and expertise.

Protecting clients: Financial advisors act on behalf of individuals or corporate clients to assist them to manage their investment portfolios to best advantage. Their key focus therefore, is to protect their clients’ investments, assets, and financial security against potential harm or loss.

Building lifelong relationships: A financial advisor would need to thoroughly investigate and understand the needs of their client; devise a plan to provide the most appropriate advice for investment; arrange any pertinent insurance cover that will match their client’s specific circumstances and budget. A truly successful FA would look to establishing lifelong relationships with their clients with, as always, the best interests of the client as the main goal.

Broad ranging career choices: There are various types of financial advisers – from those who advise on short-term insurance such as home and motor policies, to healthcare consultants and qualified financial planners who provide advice on retirement planning, guiding portfolio choices to ensure the best long-term returns for their clients. A qualified FA or FP can join a bank, a specialised brokerage, a large insurance organisation, or choose to start their own business.

Global reach: Not only are the employment options considerable, but this is a career that can take you anywhere. A financial advisor is not bound to operate in a certain country – after all, everyone everywhere and anywhere needs financial and investment information, insurance options, retirement advice, and healthcare.

Building a career, reaping the rewards: Working in the financial services industry is not only personally rewarding as you build meaningful relationships with people and add value to their lives, but can certainly be financially rewarding. Earnings are largely commission-based and can be determined by the individual FA. But ambition has to be supported by an astute eye, hard work, high integrity, and determination to do the best for your client first. Keep it on track and on trust for your clients, and you will have every opportunity to make a real success of this everchanging, exciting and highly satisfying career.

Find the top-class professionals who can meet your expectations

Complete Financial & Business Solutions
 (CFBS) comprises a group of top-class professional financial advisors and business analysts committed to sound financial and business solutions based on a highly personalised approach.

Passionate about ensuring peace of mind through the in-depth analysis of individual financial and business circumstances of our clients, we are able to create unique solutions, and regularly review these solutions to consistently meet service expectations and lifestyle goals.

Find us at: www.cfbs.co.za

A Career as a Financial Advisor: How to become fit and proper