OpinionAug 23 2017

Variety is the spice of life for a young adviser

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In April I completed my year-long study programme with the Financial Adviser School and this month formally took-up a full-time position as a financial planner with Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers. 

Turning theory into practice has been both exciting and challenging. 

One of the main reasons I was drawn to a career as a financial planner was the opportunity to help people with a wide range of different needs, circumstances and objectives. 

Many of my peers embarking on careers in other sectors have mistakenly pigeonholed my job as one which is limited to helping people invest their money.

In reality, that is only part of the role. The nature of supporting clients with a diverse range of goals means I might one day be helping a couple realise their ambition to enjoy a wholesome retirement.

The next day, I could be offering a family the reassurance of financial stability with a sensible protection plan. 

I’m pleased to be among the next generation of financial planners coming into the industry.

My first client meetings have ranged from a couple approaching retirement with healthy savings but little in the way of a long-term plan, to the 30-something son of an existing client who had a voracious appetite for investment advice but only modest savings.  

‘Variety is the spice of life’, the saying goes, and my first weeks in financial planning have delivered plenty of it.  

In addition to the mix of new clients I’m also being encouraged to supplement my skillset with a wider range of qualifications. 

Having obtained my financial planning diploma and mortgage qualification over the last year, I’ve already started reading-up on different areas with a view to taking supplementary exams such as the specialist pension transfer qualification. 

Being in an environment that promotes ambition and further professional development is exciting, and serves as a reminder of the importance of striving for excellence for our clients in an ever-changing financial environment.

Beginning a career as a financial planner really means putting new skills to the test immediately.

Like all my peers starting jobs in other sectors, as a new joiner there is plenty of support and guidance available from more senior colleagues.

Nonetheless, there is no hiding in a client meeting so there is no choice but to put our skills and qualifications into action straight away. 

That responsibility is both challenging and exciting. Comparing stories with other young professionals in other fields, I’m pleased that my own career choice has given me a platform where I’m supported but also trusted to get on with the job.