What is a Financial Advisor?

Most of us have heard of financial advisors, but when it comes to answering the question “what is a financial advisor?” most of us would struggle to come up with a proper answer.

Financial advisors can be found working for banks, insurance companies and even building societies.

They can also be found working for independent companies and sometimes running their own companies. But in essence they all provide much the same service. This is to advise their customers about the various financial products available on the market today, so they can select the best ones for their own needs.

Do financial advisors specialise in certain areas of the market?

Many advisors specialise in one way or another. This means it is essential for customers to find the right advisor for their needs. It also means that if you are considering becoming a financial advisor you should give serious consideration to which area of the market you would like to work in. For example some advisors will only provide advice on products created by the financial institution they work for.

So if they work for XYZ Bank for example, they will only provide advice on financial opportunities and products that XYZ Bank provides. Even if ABC Banking has a product that is arguably better for the customer, the advisor in this situation will not provide information on it.

Other financial advisors specialise in terms of the product areas they focus on. For instance one advisor might focus on mortgages and other products associated with house purchase. Another advisor might provide advice on a range of investment and savings vehicles. Still more might focus on insurance of various kinds.

Does a financial advisor have to be good with people?

Yes they do.

While you must have certain qualifications to become a financial advisor, you must also be good at talking with people because you are in an important position to be able to assist them. For example you must know what questions to ask so that you can find out what your client wants from a financial product.

Needless to say you can expect to be meeting with all kinds of people on a regular basis. You must be able to discuss their needs and requirements with them and to be polite and engaging at all times. While knowledge underpins the job that a financial advisor does, the personable nature of the advisor is another important part of the puzzle. It also makes sense to have a real interest in a wide range of financial products.

You will learn more about them as you go through your training and go into the job itself. But your success as a financial advisor will be largely dependent on your passion and knowledge base. So now, if anyone ever asks you what is a financial advisor, you will know exactly how to answer the question.