Free vs Paid Financial Planning Courses: The Difference Explained
A financial planner is a professional who helps individuals and corporations met their long term needs. Financial planners consult with clients to analyse their financial goals, risk tolerance and budget to identify suitable investment products for them.
Out of all the different careers in finance, financial planning is by far one of the most lucrative and influential.
They deal with various financial products and financial topics such as:
This article will highlight the pros and cons of free financial planning courses vs. paid financial planning courses.
Free Financial Planning Courses
A free course can provide you with the knowledge foundation of what is involved in working as a financial advisor, the client-advisor relationship, the financial planning process, wealth management and the principles of investment management including investment risk.
A free course is great for deciding if the industry is right for you and learning the basic knowledge and understanding of what financial planners do. There are a variety of free financial planning courses available online to learn at your own pace.
The main drawback for free financial planning courses is that after the completion of the course, you do not receive a formal qualification or certificate. In the financial planning industry, relevant qualifications and regulations need to be met before you start providing financial advice.
In Australia, the relevant qualification is RG-146 accreditation. Without meeting the criteria and regulations for the financial planning industry, you will not be able to provide financial advice; therefore, the free courses offered are purely for educational purposes only.
Paid Financial Planning Courses
The benefits of undertaking paid financial planning courses, are that you obtain an industry-recognised qualification that meets professional standards, and that is compliant with corporate regulators such as ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commission).
After completion, you are likely to obtain certified financial planner (cfp) status and be able to work as a financial advisor and join membership groups such as the national association of personal financial advisors. Unlike free financial planning courses, paid financial planning courses offer a more structured way of learning that is easier to follow.
With a paid financial planning course, you are also more likely to receive personal feedback and be guided through the course by a personal mentor or financial planner with previous experience working in the field. Furthermore, a paid financial planning course will likely provide deeper learning with quality resources and proven assessments to help your understanding.
As industry experts deliver paid financial courses with structured course materials and ongoing advice, they cost more money to make. Therefore, the students are paying for the quality of the course and the teachings that they receive. Fee structures and entry requirements can vary as some financial planning courses are subject to prior learning or knowledge.
If you are going to invest in your future, paid courses will usually offer recognised qualifications and more profound learning opportunities compared to free financial planning courses.
If you are looking to start your kickstart your career or upskill within a related area such as financial services, then paid courses offer you more significant learning opportunities and future career development.
The financial planning association is the largest professional body representing financial planners in Australia and as a financial institution have a vested interest in developing and training financial planners. Keeping up to date with this association will guide you in understanding what lies ahead for the future of financial advice.