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Financial Adviser

Kaiwhakatakoto Kaupapa Pūtea

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Financial advisers give advice about financial planning, investing, insurance and other financial services.

Pay

Financial advisers with one to three years' experience usually earn

$70K-$120K per year

Financial advisers with three to seven years' experience usually earn

$100K-$250K per year

Source: careers.govt.nz research, 2018.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a financial adviser are good due to demand for their services.

Pay

Pay for financial advisers varies depending on qualifications, experience, the number of clients they have, and the type of work they do.

  • Authorised financial advisers with one to three years' experience usually earn between $70,000 and $120,000 a year.
  • Authorised financial advisers with three to seven years' experience, and an established client base usually earn between $100,000 and $250,000.

Financial advisers usually earn commission on top of their salary. For self-employed financial advisers, income may be entirely made up of commission.

Source: careers.govt.nz research, 2018.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Financial advisers may do some or all of the following:

  • identify clients' short, medium and long-term financial goals
  • prepare suitable financial or investment plans
  • encourage clients to keep to their plans
  • review clients' taxation, retirement planning and sources of income
  • review clients' estate planning and insurance needs
  • report on clients' investments every three to six months.

Skills and knowledge

Financial advisers need to have:

  • the ability to understand and interpret financial and investment markets
  • knowledge of financial planning, taxation, investments, mortgages and insurance
  • the ability to research market and financial information.

Working conditions

Financial advisers:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may work weekends or evenings to meet deadlines
  • work in offices, but may travel to visit clients.

What's the job really like?

Nicole Hoy

Nicole Hoy

Financial Adviser

Building a business from scratch is tough but rewarding

"Starting a business from scratch is harder than being an employee, but I decided that developing my own client base would be better for me in the long run. My clients benefit too because they know they have an adviser who is committed to the business and to them for the long term," says Nicole Hoy.

"In the first few years I wasn't earning what I'm earning now, because I didn't have the clients. So I understand that someone may want to work for an employer. That way they'll get a steady income and job stability.

"It was challenging at the beginning. Building a client base takes a lot of hard work. It's like any new business. Those first years I was working 50-plus hours a week."

Family-friendly job

Nicole now sees the rewards of that early work, with a comfortable and sustainable income. And there are other benefits.

"I can work around my family needs. I couldn't enjoy that flexibility unless I got my client base up to a good level, or if I was simply an employee. I love the work that we do here. We really enjoy working with our clients and making their money work for them."

Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements to become a financial adviser. However, many financial advisers have a degree in a relevant subject such as:

  • accounting
  • finance
  • business.

Becoming a registered financial adviser

To become a registered financial adviser (RFA), it's useful to have:

  • a New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services (Level 5)
  • an interest in financial markets
  • customer service experience.

Registered financial advisers must:

  • register with a Dispute Resolution Scheme
  • be listed on the Financial Service Providers Register.

Becoming an authorised financial adviser

Authorised financial advisers can offer more complex, personal financial planning and investment advice than registered financial advisers.

To become an authorised financial adviser (AFA), you need to:

  • gain a New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services – Financial Advice (Level 5)
  • get authorisation to practise from the Financial Markets Authority
  • register with a Dispute Resolution Scheme
  • be listed on the Financial Service Providers Register.

Financial advisers must complete at least 20 hours of professional development each year to remain authorised.

Secondary education

NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include English, business studies, maths with statistics, economics or accounting.

Additional requirements for specialist roles:

NZX Adviser

To become an adviser in a company that participates in the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX), you need to:

  • be employed by an NZX participant firm
  • sit an in-house online test
  • pass Kaplan Professional papers 508N and either 405N or FIN329, which are part of the NZX Diploma, or have other relevant qualifications
  • have two years of relevant financial markets experience over the last five years
  • have no convictions for fraud or dishonest activities, and never have been bankrupt or responsible for the liquidation of a company.

You can complete the Kaplan Professional papers while training on the job as an assistant adviser.

Personal requirements

Financial advisers need to be:

  • honest and trustworthy
  • able to keep information confidential
  • able to use good judgement
  • good at communicating and listening
  • skilled at planning
  • good at sales
  • strong problem solvers.

A big part of the job is having empathy and understanding, and listening – just an innate sense of wanting to help.

Photo: Nicole Hoy

Nicole Hoy

Financial Adviser

Useful experience

Useful experience for financial advisers includes:

  • banking or customer service
  • accounting or auditing
  • management.

Registration

To practise as an authorised financial adviser or a registered financial adviser you must be listed on the Financial Service Providers Register.

Find out more about training

Financial Advice New Zealand
0800 432 101 - info@financialadvice.co.nz - financialadvice.nz
The Skills Organisation
0508 754 557 - support@skills.org.nz - www.skills.org.nz
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Range of factors contribute to strong demand for financial advisers

Demand for financial advisers is expected to continue rising as:

  • highly skilled advisers are in shortage, particularly in Christchurch and Wellington
  • an increasing number of workers close to retirement are seeking investment advice
  • a large number of financial advisers are likely to retire in the next 10 to 15 years.

In 2018 in New Zealand:

  • fewer than 1,900 people worked as authorised financial advisers
  • about 6,500 people worked as registered financial advisers
  • about 21,000 people worked as qualified financial entity advisers (who are not registered but work for businesses that are).

Demand best for skilled financial advisers

Chances of getting work as a financial adviser are best for those who have:

  • customer service skills
  • market analysis skills
  • knowledge of legal compliance and risk management
  • accounting skills.

Most financial advisers self-employed

Financial advisers may work for:

  • banks
  • mortgage firms
  • insurance companies
  • financial investment firms.

Many financial advisers are self-employed.

Sources

  • Beale, J, general manager wealth, ASB, careers.govt.nz interview, July 2018.
  • Financial Markets Authority, 'QFE Insurance Providers' Replacement Business Practices', July 2018, (fma.govt.nz).
  • Good Returns, 'Compliance Skills in Demand', 2 February 2016, (www.goodreturns.co.nz).
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Occupational Outlook – Financial Advisers', August 2018, (www.mbie.govt.nz).
  • Pomfrett, O, head of people and performance, Craigs Investment Partners, careers.govt.nz interview, July 2018.
  • Stock, R, 'Financial Advisers Cluster Around Wealth, Financial Markets Authority Census Shows,' 27 March 2017, (www.stuff.co.nz).

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Financial advisers may progress to set up their own financial planning businesses, or move into management roles.

Financial advisers may specialise in:

  • insurance
  • investments
  • risk management
  • sharebroking
  • underwriting
  • mortgages.

They may also specialise as an:

NZX Adviser
NZX advisers provide advice to clients on transactions relating to New Zealand Stock Exchange products.
Brian Klee talks to a client on the phone

Financial advisers give advice to clients on money-handling and investments

Last updated 22 March 2019