How to become a Financial Planner

Financial planners develop and implement financial plans for individuals covering all areas of finance, including taxation, retirement, superannuation, insurance and estate planning.

Personal requirements of a Financial Planner

  • Good communication skills
  • Able to work under pressure
  • Aptitude for research
  • Good with numbers
  • Analytical and planning skills
  • Interested in the financial market

Education & Training for a Financial Planner

To become a financial planner you usually have to complete a VET qualification in financial planning or financial services. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a financial planner by completing a degree in finance, financial planning or financial services at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics are normally required. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Duties & Tasks of a Financial Planner

Financial planners may perform the following tasks:

  • interview clients to determine their financial status and objectives, discussing financial options and developing financial plans and investment strategies
  • monitor investment performance, and review and revise investment plans based on changes in the market
  • arrange to buy and sell stocks and bonds for clients
  • advise on investment strategies, sources of funds and distribution of earnings
  • set financial objectives, and develop and implement strategies to achieve them
  • assist clients in meeting superannuation compliance requirements
  • direct the collection of financial, accounting and investment information and the preparation of budgets, reports, forecasts and statutory returns.

Employment Opportunities for a Financial Planner

Entry to this career is competitive. Firms usually recruit applicants who can demonstrate a strong academic background. It takes some time to gain the experience required for advancement, and many firms demand specialised qualifications or relevant experience. Financial planners work in financial planning organisations, banks, building societies and other organisations within the finance and investment sector. People in this occupation have a legal obligation to provide sound advice, which means that the job has considerable responsibility attached to it.

Specialisations:


Stockbroker

A stockbroker buys and sells stocks and bonds on behalf of clients.

Additional Information
Depending on the specific role, you may need to be licensed or registered in order to work in this field. Any person who provides advice about financial products to retail clients must satisfy the requirements contained in the Regulatory Guide 146 (RG 146) administered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Details can be found on the ASIC website at www.asic.gov.au. Before enrolling into a financial planning course, you should contact the institution to ensure it complies with ASIC’s training regulations.
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