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People look to financial advice for career change

People look to financial advice for career change

There is growing interest in a career in financial advice among second jobbers, although this interest appears to be higher among men than women.

In a nationwide survey of 1,100 adults aged over 18 in March this year, commissioned by Openwork, one in four employees said they were considering opportunities in financial advice.

The survey also found that one in 10 of respondents were definitely considering retraining as financial advisers, while 15 per cent said they would consider a switch into the profession.

However, when the numbers were broken down by gender they revealed that men were still more likely to consider a career in the advice sector than women.

Gender diversity has been a stubborn problem in the financial advice sector.

In March 2019, the Financial Conduct Authority published industry data into the number of women and men who have advice permissions.

While the FCA was not able to provide a precise breakdown of female adviser numbers, out of about 35,000 people with CF30 advice permissions, the regulator estimated that just 10,555 were female.

Overall, 17 per cent of male respondents told Openwork they would definitely consider becoming advisers and 18 per cent said they would possibly consider it.

Conversely, just 6 per cent of women said they were definitely interested in a career as a financial adviser, and 13 per cent said they would consider it.

People aged 25 to 45 were most likely to consider a career change, and one in six in this cohort said they would look into becoming a financial adviser.

Claire Limon, director of learning and acquisition at Openwork, said: "The growing interest in careers in financial advice is interesting and particularly at a time when demand for advice is increasing.

"It is particularly interesting that it’s people aged 25 to 45 who are most likely to consider changing career to the advice sector.

"A career in financial advice offers a wide range of opportunities to help people and earn a good living."

The research was carried out as Openwork expanded its training academy, which helps people change careers into financial advice.

Dennis Hall, chief executive and chartered financial planner at Yellowtail Financial Planning, said: "I’m surprised that Openwork are surprised about people between the ages of 25 to 45 looking at financial services as a second career.

"When I started in financial services 35 years ago, the bulk of new entrants was in the same age bracket, second or third careers. This isn’t news in my opinion." 

He added: "[I'm] more interested to hear that there is a meaningful number of people interested in financial services as a change of career choice, and the number of women who are considering the financial services advice sector as a career choice has probably risen, but remains too low."

Scott Gallacher, chartered financial planner at Rowley Turton, said the gender split could be because financial advice might still be seen as a sales role, and sales roles historically have attracted more men than women.