What is Financial Planning?
Financial planning is the art of developing, implementing and managing a wide range of strategies to grow and protect the wealth of your clients. This requires a thorough understanding of all aspects relating to the world of finance, ranging from superannuation, retirement, insurance, taxation and estate planning.
Daily tasks of a financial planner can include meeting with clients to discuss the current state of their finances and developing plans for making the most of it, along with evaluating the performance of existing investments and revising plans when necessary.
Financial planners also spend their time monitoring markets and seeking out investment opportunities for their clients, while staying up to date on the latest laws and regulations in the industry.
The majority of a financial planner’s time is spent working in an office environment in front of a computer, although thanks to the benefits of cloud computing many financial planners are now choosing to work from home on a freelance basis.
Financial Planning in Australia
There are currently over 50,000 financial planners working throughout Australia, 39.2% operating in New South Wales, 24.8% in Victoria and 16.8% in Queensland. Most of Australia’s financial planners are between 35 and 54 with the average working week being 42.8 hours long and the average salary (excluding super) is $91,156.
Australia’s finance professionals are also highly educated, particularly those working in managerial roles; for example, 82.2% of Finance Managers have completed qualifications equivalent to an Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning or higher.
Financial Planning Courses
To be a successful financial planner, you need the backing of the right skills, after all, your day-to-day decisions can have a profound impact on the financial health of your clients. TAFE courses make getting the skills, knowledge and training you need easy by connecting you with quality financial courses that are taught by industry professionals and offer credentials that are recognised across the country.
The best way to step into entry-level roles, such as client service officer or junior financial advisor, is by taking a diploma level course. A Diploma in Financial Planning, for example, will cover everything from establishing client relationships and identifying their objectives through to developing a range of financial strategies and solutions. Many diploma level programs are also RG146 course compliant, which is a legal, regulatory guideline for financial practices to follow. RG146 is now legally required for many financial planning roles in Australia.
To become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) in Australia you will need to complete a bachelor course, and from January 1st, 2019, you’ll also need to pass a government entry exam. Bachelor courses teach all there is to know about financial planning, from navigating the markets and providing competent advice through to developing an understanding of all the legal and regulatory factors impacting financial planning in Australia. A Bachelor of Business (Financial Planning), for example, can take up to 4 years full-time to complete and is compliant with the latest industry standards. A bachelor degree in finance and can lead to chartered financial planning roles as well as management level positions.
The Future of Financial Planning
Sophisticated financial data and analysis tools are becoming increasingly accessible, making it easier than ever to stay up to date on the latest shifts in global markets; however, these innovations haven’t replaced the need for quality advice. In fact, a recent study found that 84% of Australians believe that they’d benefit from professional financial advice and there’s expected to be up to 22% more financial planners employed by 2020, compared to 2015.
The biggest impact to Australia’s financial planning industry recently has been the push to increase the level of training required by Australia’s financial planners. Asa result, those willing to invest in quality credentials and continued education can expect to benefit the most.
Is Financial Planning Right for You?
Successful financial planning requires far more than just being up to date on the latest financial data and understanding it’s meaning, as you also need to have a knack for clearly and simply explaining how it impacts your clients. This is a job that comes with an enormous amount of pressure as well; after all, you may be advising clients on how to grow and protect their life’s savings and thus need to be comfortable handling these responsibilities.
There’s so much on offer when it comes to increasing your knowledge in financial planning, after all, the biggest investment you can make in life is on yourself. If you can see yourself in this challenging, but often successful career, browse the range of financial planning courses on offer, and take that first crucial step towards career success!