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All You Need to Know to Pursue a Career as a Financial Planner

Career as a Financial Planner

Can you help people overcome their financial problems and accomplish their short-term and long-term financial goals? If so, you should aspire to become a certified Financial Planner!

As a Financial Planner, your job will be to understand the financial situation of people and guide them accordingly so that they can achieve their financial objectives. Financial objectives could be the purchase of a house, purchase of land and other properties, children’s education, marriage, medical expenses, etc. You will advise people about where to invest money, which insurance policies to buy, which pension plans to invest in, and so on.

Why Become a Financial Planner?

As a Financial Planner, you will be working directly with individual clients or small businesses. Your primary job responsibility will be to advise clients on how to accomplish their financial goals (both short-term and long-term).

You will be required to help your clients understand their financial position by gathering relevant financial information from them such as their annual income, monthly expenses, debt obligations, current investment holdings, insurance plans, savings account balances, and tax liabilities. Once you get a hold of this information, you will have to carefully analyze these factors and develop and present before your clients practical, and meaningful financial strategy/strategies that will help them increase their wealth and investments. In other words, you have to advise them as to where they should invest; whether they should invest in a specific life insurance plan or mutual funds, or buy a particular set of stocks/shares, or invest in a pension fund, and so on.

What does a Financial Planner do?

Your duties as a Financial Planner will be as follows:

  • To contact clients and set up meetings with them either in an office environment or in their homes.
  • To interview clients and conduct in-depth reviews of their financial circumstances, existing provisions and future objectives.
  • To analyze the information provided by clients and prepare such plans that are best suited to their financial requirements.
  • To conduct market research for risk analysis and to seek out both new and existing financial products/services that can benefit your clients.
  • To stay updated on market trends and financial regulations/laws.
  • To review and respond to the changing needs and financial situations of clients.
  • To connect with clients and inform them about new financial products or any changes in the legislation that may impact their savings and investments.
  • To promote and sell financial products to meet sales targets.
  • To build and maintain strong relationships with clients.
  • To ensure that all the regulatory aspects of financial planning are met.

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How to Become a Financial Planner – Eligibility Criteria

After your senior secondary / higher secondary examination, you can do the CFP program (Certified Financial Planner) or do a Bachelor’s degree in any subject you like. Post your Bachelor’s degree, you can do an MBA or an equivalent degree or diploma in Management with specialization in Finance/ Financial Services/ Banking and Financial services or in a similar course.

UGC has recently recognized the CA/CS/ICWA Qualifications as equivalent to Postgraduate Degree.

Job Opportunities

  • Mostly, banks, financial services companies, and insurance companies will recruit you as a Financial Advisor or Relationship Manager after your post-graduation or after your CFP qualification.
  • After gaining the CFP qualification, you may also work independently as a Certified Financial Planner.

Places, where you can work as a Financial Planner, are:

  • Banks
  • Insurance companies
  • Investment firms
  • Financial planning firms

Work environment

Financial Planners who work independently usually work in small offices or private workshops. However, Financial Planners who work for Financial Institutions or Insurance Companies, work in large office settings. They have to meet with clients regularly, be it in the office or their homes. So, frequent traveling is part of the job. Usually, Financial Planners have normal office working hours, that is, 9-10 hours of work from Monday to Friday. But they may often have to work extra hours or during weekends to accommodate client demands and requests.

Salary of a Financial Planner

As a fresher, you can earn around Rs. 16,000 – 35,000 per month.

When you move on to senior-level roles like Unit Manager or Sales Manager, your monthly salary will increase to a great extent. It will range anywhere between Rs. 30,000 – 100,000. Apart from salaries, you will get performance-linked bonuses and incentives.

For mid-level positions like that of a Branch Manager or Regional Manager or Associate Vice President, salaries could range from Rs. 85,000 – 3,00,000 or even more depending on your position, the size of the company you are working with, and your work performance.

For top-level positions, like that of Vice President / Senior Vice President, the average monthly earning is between Rs. 4,00,000 – 8,00,000 or even more.

Career Progression in Financial Planner Profession

In the field of Financial Planning, you will begin your career as a Financial Advisor or a Relationship Executive/Assistant Relationship Manager. After gaining around 4-5 years of experience, you can be promoted to the position of a Certified Financial Planner, provided you have obtained the CFP Certification.

If you don’t have the CFP qualification, as you gain more experience, you can be promoted to the level of Unit Manager, and then to the position of Sales Manager. Following this, after you’ve gained about 8-10 years of experience, you can become a Branch Manager or Regional Sales Manager.  Depending upon your performance, you may further progress to the position of Associate Vice President, and then become the Vice President.

India’s Banking, Finance Services, and Insurance sector is expanding rapidly, thanks to the growth in the working population as well as the rise in disposable incomes. According to the latest IBEF (India Brand Equity Foundation), the total Assets Under Management (AUM). of the mutual fund industry reached US$ 321 billion (as of February 2019) whereas the total first-year premium of life insurance companies stood at US$ 22.04 billion (as of Jan 2019). With rising incomes, the demand for quality financial services is also increasing. Also, the millennial population is becoming more aware of the importance of savings and investments, and hence, there is a great demand for Certified Financial Planners. As a result, employment opportunities for Financial Planners look promising in the near future.

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