Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Financial Advisors – Job Description and Educational Prerequisites

Financial planning is one of the fastest-growing professions, not only in Canada but throughout the world. There is a huge demand for young professionals who can sell, promote and market financial products and services and offer consultancy to clients, helping them choose a plan that best fits their needs.

The Role of Financial Planners

Every individual wants to save money and make investments to fulfill their future liabilities, such as children’s education, house construction, medical emergencies, retirements or other contingencies and commitments. Although financial products and services have been around for decades now, but still people need professional financial planners who can assist them in determining the right product for them. Moreover, they also want to know about the latest financial plans and instruments that offer them more flexibility.

This is where financial advisors or planners play a crucial role. They render expert advice and consultancy to clients, helping them utilize their hard earned money in the best possible manner. They begin with identifying both short and long term personal and financial goals of their clients and assessing their financial strength. Then, they educate their clients about available investment options and the respective lock-in periods, along with discussing the pros and cons of each option. They assess the risk and return of various plans and assist clients in making the right decision.

Where Do Financial Advisors Work?

A majority of financial advisors work with insurance companies and financial institutions, such as banks, financial investment firms, securities firms and brokers. Some work with small investment advisory firms while others are self-employed.

The overall employment rate in this field is expected to increase in Canada. This is because the country’s baby boom generation is ready for retirement. They will be making more investments in financial products, especially mutual funds.

Apart from them, Canada’s wealthier population and employed professionals also needs to make investments for tax-saving and future planning. So, currently the finance industry shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, it’s an exciting time to get into it and build a rewarding career.

How to Become a Financial Advisor in Canada?

Aspiring financial advisors need to be qualified and licensed, in order to sell mutual funds. For this, they may consider enrolling in a one-year post-secondary financial services fundamentals program. It equips them with the qualifications and skills sought by employers in the industry.

Centennial’s Financial Service Training program
is specifically designed for individuals who wish to pursue a career in ever-expanding financial services industry. It runs through two semesters and covers a wide selection of subjects, including Canadian Financial Services, Financial Accounting, Mathematics of Finance, Principles of Marketing, Corporate Finance, and Professional Selling.

The program also includes a course, Canadian Investment Funds Course that leads to a license to sell mutual funds in Canada. The program graduates can pursue their careers with banks, insurance companies, investment firms or credit unions or choose to apply their credits towards a two-year program in financial services to enhance their employability.

In order to apply to this course, students must send their applications to the college, along with a copy of secondary school diploma certificate, and scores in English Grade 12 C or University or equivalent, and Math Grade 11 M or 12 C or University or equivalent.

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