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Financial Planner

Financial planners develop personal financial plans for individuals and families. They analyze clients' net worth, financial resources, lifestyle preferences and goals, and suggest ways for clients to achieve their financial goals.

  • Avg. Salary $131,212.00
  • Avg. Wage $64.07
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 12,800
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Personal Financial Planner, Personal Financial Services Specialist

NOC & Interest Codes
The Financial Planner is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Financial Planners
NOC code: 1114.1
METHODICAL

Interest in obtaining information from clients such as bank account records, pension plan and other employee benefit-package information, tax records, insurance policies and related documentation; may also arrange for sale of financial products and investments depending on licence held, and monitor portfolios to ensure quality and profitability

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing clients' financial records to set goals and develop financial strategies

DIRECTIVE

Interest in consulting with clients concerning cash management, finances, insurance coverage, investments, retirement and estate planning and taxes and legal matters; and in helping to expand business and attract new clients

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 30, 2017

In general, financial planners:

  • help clients gather information from bank statements, income tax returns, life and disability insurance records, pension plan information and wills
  • help clients calculate their net worth
  • help clients identify personal and financial goals and objectives
  • explain and compare financial products
  • suggest ways for clients to achieve their financial goals
  • help clients put plans into effect or refer them to other financial services or professionals
  • build and maintain a client base by keeping current client plans up to date and recruiting new clients on an ongoing basis
  • meet with financial product representatives
  • maintain detailed client files.

Self-employed financial planners may charge fees for their services, earn commissions on the products they sell, or both:

  • Fee -or-service planners base their fees on the value of the client's assets or on an hourly rate. For example, they may suggest clients buy particular products. They may also refer them to other professionals (accountants, lawyers, investment representatives) or organizations such as lending institutions. Sometimes clients may put financial plans into effect themselves.
  • Commission planners receive commissions for selling specific financial products. They may suggest clients buy particular products or refer them to specific professionals or companies.

Some financial planners also conduct seminars and workshops about:

  • general financial planning
  • retirement planning
  • estate planning
  • severance packages.

Financial planners also may write columns for newspapers, or appear on television or radio shows to offer financial advice.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 30, 2017

Financial planners may work alone or with others, in fully equipped offices or from home. Many financial planners travel to meetings at clients' homes or businesses. They may work evenings and weekends as well as regular office hours.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 30, 2017

Financial planners need to possess:

  • respect for client confidentiality
  • confidence in their knowledge and suggestions
  • good listening and communication skills
  • entrepreneurial and business marketing skills
  • an ability to understand complex financial documents such as wills, insurance policies, pension plans, financial statements and tax regulations
  • an ability to balance their clients' interests with their range of services
  • a willingness to keep up to date and consider new approaches to problem-solving.

They should enjoy taking a methodical approach to gathering and analyzing information, finding innovative solutions to problems, consulting with people and directing other people's activities.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 30, 2017

To sell different types of financial products, successful completion of specified courses is required:

Candidates may further their education by attending classes at designated universities and colleges, or taking courses through distance education or via the Internet. There are no minimum admission requirements but experience in the financial industry is recommended.

Accountants, lawyers, insurance agents and other professionals may provide different aspects of financial planning guidance. For more information, see the appropriate occupational profiles (e.g. Accountant, Insurance Agent/Broker, Investment Advisor, Lawyer).

 


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Athabasca University

Mount Royal University

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 30, 2017

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

However, most financial planners pursue CFP certification (see below).

The Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) offers the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) credential to applicants who:

  • completed an FPSC-approved education program
  • passed the Professional Competence Examination 1 and 2
  • completed a Capstone Course
  • completed 3 years of related work experience
  • shown they can adhere to the FPSC's Code of Ethics.

The Canadian Securities Institute (CSI) also offers certifications for individuals in financial advisory roles. These include the Certificate in Financial Services Advice and the Personal Financial Planner (PFP) designation. For complete list of the available options, see the CIS website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 30, 2017

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Some financial planners are employed by small financial planning businesses or are self-employed. Others are employed on a full-time basis or contract their services to larger firms and organizations such as:

  • trust companies
  • banks and other lending institutions
  • stock brokerage firms
  • insurance agencies
  • legal firms
  • accounting firms
  • mutual fund companies
  • private financial planning companies.

Experienced financial planners may specialize in a particular aspect of financial planning (for example, retirement planning or wealth management) or move into supervisory or management positions in larger companies or professional associations.

Financial planners are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1114: Other financial officers. In Alberta, 87% of people employed in this classification work in the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook (PDF) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 11,200 Albertans are employed in the Other financial officers occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.1% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 123 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As financial planners form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for financial planners.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 30, 2017

Self-employed financial planners may earn most of their income by charging fees for their services. For example, they may prepare individual financial plans, speak at conferences, or lead seminars and workshops. They may earn commissions on financial products sold in addition to or instead of charging fees for their services.

Financial planners are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1114: Other financial officers.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Other financial officers occupational group earned on average a starting wage of $47.19 an hour. The overall average wage was $64.07 an hour. For more information, see the Other financial officers wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Enterprise and Innovation
    • Financial Management
    • Information Processing
    • Management and Marketing
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 30, 2017

ADVOCIS (Financial Advisors Association of Canada) website: www.advocis.ca

Canadian Securities Institute (CSI) website: www.csi.ca

Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) website: www.fpsc.ca

The Canadian Institute of Financial Planners website: www.cifps.ca

The Canadian Institute of Financial Planning (CIFP) website: www.cifp.ca

The Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) distance learning website: www.ifse.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 30, 2017. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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