Financial advisor jobs: Here’s what it takes to get one

5 min read
Richard Sklar

As more Canadians realize the importance of sound financial advice, the financial planning industry has been growing steadily. Canadians want help navigating a tricky economy. So they are turning to financial advisors to help them save for their first house, invest for the future, plan their retirements or fund their children’s educations. If you’re looking for financial advisor jobs, you’ve come to the right place.

What does a financial advisor do?

Before we explain how to become a financial advisor, let’s describe what the job entails.

Financial advisors help their clients plan for their future and make decisions about the money and debts they have now.

Financial advisors can provide tax advice, sell insurance and invest their clients’ money.

A financial advisor learns what their clients’ goals are and when they want to achieve them. They then advise the client on the best possible way to reach those goals.

In a financial advisor job, you will help people make decisions about their:

  • Investments.
  • Taxes.
  • Savings.
  • Insurance.
  • Debt.

You will have to answer clients’ questions about investment options, explain the potential risks of various options, monitor your clients’ progress, recommend changes to help them meet their financial goals and research potential new opportunities.

Related: How to become a real estate agent in Canada

Financial advisors and debt management

Financial Advisor Jobs Woman at Desk
In addition to helping clients save money, financial advisors can lead them out of debt.

Financial advisors not only help their clients grow their savings, they also help them shrink their debt.

Financial planning is a diverse industry with many specialized qualifications and niches.

Advisors counsel their clients about managing their expenses, repaying their debt, or beginning an insolvency process such as a consumer proposal. They must stay up-to-date with the best financial advice available to help their clients manage their debt.

Financial advisors also need to know when their clients need another type of professional. An individual who can no longer afford to make debt repayments might qualify as insolvent. They will need to talk to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, another type of financial professional. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee is the only type of financial advisor who can file a bankruptcy or a consumer proposal.

Related: The benefits of using a branded email address for business

How much can you earn as a financial advisor?

As of this writing, the annual salary for the average financial advisor job in Canada is around $59,000, though this varies region by region.

Financial advisors in Ontario earn $65,000, while in Nova Scotia they might make $48,000.

Entry-level salaries could be as low as $24,600, while more experienced financial advisors can earn over $100,000 a year.

How to become a financial advisor

Financial Advisor Jobs Dappled College Sidewalk
To become a financial advisor, you’ll need a university degree.

The first step toward a career in financial advising is your post-secondary education. Common degrees held by financial advisors include:

  • Economics.
  • Accounting.
  • Finance.
  • Business administration.

There are courses that can help you prepare for further qualifications, such as securities examinations. You might also want to study Canadian securities and regulations, asset allocation, portfolio management, taxation and financial planning.

To become an investment advisor, you will have to take the Canadian Securities Course (CSC) from CSI Global Education, part of the Canadian Securities Institute. Some financial advisor jobs include this training, or you could take it before you begin your job search.

One year of on-the-job training

Once you have a strong educational background and basic professional qualifications, the next step is to gain 12 months of securities advising experience before applying for securities registration.

You can get this experience by working for an investment fund manager or registered adviser. Or you could work in portfolio management, investment advisory services, investment banking or several other options.

Followed by a final exam

Finally, you must pass your CSC exam.

There are further professional designations you might want to pursue as part of your career as well. These include:

  • Certified Financial Planner.
  • Mutual Fund Dealers Compliance Exam.
  • CFA Charter.
  • The CIF (Canadian Investment Funds) Exam.

Editor’s note: Like all professionals, financial advisors promote their services online with business websites. Read this post for start-to-finish help setting yours up.

Can a financial advisor work from home?

Financial Advisor Jobs Business Man Holding Cell Phone
Thanks to technology, financial advising can be done from anywhere.

As an independent financial advisor, you definitely could work part-time or from your home office.

One of the biggest benefits to working from home is reducing your overhead expenses and cutting down your commuting time. Instead of spending hours getting to and from work, you could spend that time focusing on your clients or with your family.

Before you set up your home office, keep in mind issues like parking and accessibility.

Financial advisor jobs in summary

Financial advisors lead busy and rewarding careers. In a financial advisor job, you help your clients plan their financial futures, manage their debt and make important investment decisions.

To practice as a financial advisor, you’ll need a business-related educational background and further professional certifications. In return you can earn a great salary. You can even work independently or from home.

Explore your options for financial advisor jobs today.

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