what is a financial planner?

As a financial planner, you help individuals and businesses chart a course for their financial goals. Your job is to assist clients in defining their financial goals and create a road map for achieving them. A financial planner helps with budgeting and finding creative ways to save money. You also explore ways to minimise tax burdens and improve returns on investments.

Financial planning goals include investing for retirement, buying a new home and determining the best insurance products. As a financial planner, you use your expertise to analyse clients' financial needs and develop a plan. This involves helping them optimise their budgets and expenses and providing strategies for paying off debt. A financial planner also advises on the financial products or investments that help clients accomplish their dreams.

Unlike financial advisors who offer general information on managing investments and arranging insurance coverage, financial planners provide a specialised service. A financial planner ensures the client is satisfied with the financial plan. In contrast, a financial advisor is focused on the investments and often acts as a stockbroker.

financial planner jobs

average financial planner salary

A financial planner receives a mean remuneration package of $69,000 per year. Entry-level financial planners with minimal experience take home a lower salary of $50,000 annually, while senior workers earn a salary of $105,000 yearly. The salary range depends on the qualifications, industry experience and size of the company you work for. Financial planners may also receive commissions from insurance or financial service companies. Some companies offer bonuses at the end of the year instead of commissions.

what factors affect the salary of a financial planner?

Most companies pay workers based on their experience and qualifications. Entry-level financial planners earn less than experienced ones. Your qualifications also impact your salary prospects. For instance, certified financial planners command higher salaries than those without certifications.

The company size also influences your salary. For instance, if you work for a small investment or insurance company, they don't have the resources to pay high salaries. However, working for established financial service companies increases your earnings since they have greater resources.

female and male having a conversation at the office
female and male having a conversation at the office

types of financial planners

Some types of financial planners include:

  • certified financial planner: you provide financial advice to individuals or businesses. You act in the client's best interests, following the stipulated code of ethics. Unlike other financial planners, you receive remuneration on a fee-only basis. You don't advertise a company's financial products to clients to earn a commission.
  • investment adviser: you provide advice on buying or selling securities. Sometimes, you buy or sell securities on behalf of your client through a brokerage service. Since you adhere to fiduciary standards, your advice should be in the client's best interests.
  • wealth manager: you deal with clients with a high net worth as a wealth manager. That means you specialise in financial planning aspects for the wealthy like risk management to preserve assets, estate planning and legal planning.

working as a financial planner

Financial planners are investment professionals with expertise in planning and forecasting market trends to assist in investment choices. If this is your career, read on for insights on financial planners' daily tasks and work environments.


education and skills

Some of the qualifications for becoming a financial planner include:

  • bachelor's degree: to work as a financial planner in New Zealand you need specific expertise and knowledge. Completing an accredited certificate in financial services is required by the Code of Professional Conduct for Financial Advice Services in New Zealand.
  • professional experience: when you finish the degree course, look for an entry-level job to gain experience. Your employer should possess a New Zealand Financial Advice Provider Licence, which is required by law. 

financial planner skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of financial planners include:

  • customer-first mentality: a good financial planner should prioritise clients' needs. While you market and sell financial and investment products to clients, your priority is to ensure their best interests come first.
  • financial aptitude: financial acumen is vital in selling financial or investment products. Understanding the financial markets and the impact of market changes helps you provide the best advice.
  • presentation skills: as a financial planner, presentation skills are essential since you spend most of your career presenting plans to clients or selling financial products. Good communication skills also help you share information in simple terms that clients understand.

FAQs about working as a financial planner

Here are the most asked questions about working as a financial planner:

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