Kaiwhakatakoto Kaupapa Pūtea
Financial advisers give advice about financial planning, investing, insurance and other financial services.
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.
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.
- 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?
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."
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."
To become a financial adviser you need to have a Financial Advice Provider (FAP) licence or be engaged to operate under a Financial Advice Provider's licence as a financial adviser or a nominated representative.
First, you hold a transitional licence for two years. After two years you need to apply for a full licence.
NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include English, business studies, maths with statistics, economics or accounting.
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.
Useful experience for financial advisers includes:
- banking or customer service
- accounting or auditing
All financial advisers must be registered on the on the Financial Service Providers Register.
Find out more about training
- Financial Advice New Zealand
- 0800 432 101 - email@example.com - financialadvice.nz
- The Skills Organisation
- 0508 754 557 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.skills.org.nz
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:
- mortgage firms
- insurance companies
- financial investment firms.
Many financial advisers are self-employed.
- 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:
- risk management
Last updated 10 May 2021