How to become a Financial Planner in 2021 (Career Advice from a Chartered Financial Planner) financial consultant

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If you want to become a Financial Planner in 2021, this video is especially for you.

I get this question on a regular basis, with lots of emails each month from blog readers, podcast listeners and YouTube viewers, who are all keen to start their career in Financial Planning. In this video, I’ve pulled together the three main things you need to think about if this is something you’re interested in doing.

CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning:

NextGen Planners training contract:

Subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Martin Bamford is a Chartered Financial Planner, Fellow of the Personal Finance Society and Director of Client Education at Informed Choice.

He’s author of three bestselling personal finance books:

The Money Tree:

Brilliant Investing:

How to Retire 10 Years Early:

Martin is a co-author of Harriman’s New Book of Investing Rules:

Martin is responsible for investment management research at Informed Choice and is our media spokesman. He is the host of the popular Informed Choice Radio podcast:

Listen on Apple Podcasts:

We help people just like you find answers to the big financial questions, making sure you can live a meaningful life as a result.

As an award-winning firm of Chartered Financial Planners working in Cranleigh and Petersfield, we know a thing or two about Independent Financial Planning.

Our team of Financial Planners use their knowledge and experience to deliver impartial and unbiased independent financial advice which will remove stress, bring your goals closer and deliver real financial security.


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Informed Choice Ltd. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The guidance contained within this video is subject to the UK regulatory regime and is therefore targeted at consumers based in the UK.

The value of your investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and is not guaranteed at any time. You may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a guide to future performance, nor a reliable indicator of future results or performance.

Here’s the kit we use to create our videos (affiliate links):

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Martin Bamford 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Do you have any questions about becoming a financial planner?

Ads 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Hi Martin, what's the difference between CII's level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning and their level 4 Diploma in Financial Planning? Do both qualifications hold a similar weighting, especially when considering to progress into level 6?

Layonnaise 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Hi, thanks for the video. I currently have 1.5 years experience within an Accountancy firm in compliance but very interested in Financial planning and applying for Ifa admin positions. Would you suggest getting some exams under my belt first? And any suggestions on how to demonstrate interest?

Will Mills 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Great video Martin, it is exactly what I have been looking for to gain some insights into the barriers of entry to become a financial planner. I am looking to switch career from retail mid management to the industry and I am going to look to complete the diploma over the next 12-18 months so I am at least qualified before looking to transition into a role. Would you have any good book recommendations that would compliment my training and ambition to become a planner? Thanks

Rahool Mukherjee 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Hi Martin, I am a level 4 Diploma qualified and was wondering if I could send a personalised message to you as I am seeking your valuable advice for me to become a Wealth Adviser please. How can I reach out you please?

Narrow Path Man with Luke McCann 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Martin, can you start your own financial advisory business with the level 4 qualification? Rather than having to work as an employee. Many thanks. Luke

Marc Badman 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Thanks for this video Martin, I've just got my first job as a Trainee Financial Advisor! Please carry on with your YouTube channel and podcasts, they've really helped me.

Dillon Blake 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Hi Martin, I appreciate this isn’t a brand new video & I hope you find the time to reply. I am considering the best entry point for myself. I am currently a fully qualified mortgage advisor (employed currently doing this job with over 5 years experience) with cemap 1,2&3 – I am tempted to complete a dipfa with the London institute however I greatly appreciate your professional experience of CII being more desirable, would this remain your view given my background?Thank you.

odiri overo 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

I want to be a IFA, but I feel becoming a paraplanner is the best place for me to start from. Who knows, I just may love being one. Being a business rates advisor for years, I can not wait for this career change. Thank you for this video.

Michael Opoku 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

This video deserves way more views!

Louis Theodorou 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Hi Martin, great video. I'm a 2nd year chemical engineering student, and I want to break into the financial planner career. What route do you recommend I take to become a financial planner, and do you think my non-finance background will work against me? Thanks!

West Ham Jordan 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

I’m currently working at a fantastic IFA firm and I am about to enrol on my LIB F diploma is this the best route Martin?

Zafer 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Hi Martin, really enjoyed the video. I'm really interested in the next gen planners contract but do I need to already be employed in a finance job or do I just need to register my interest on the website. Thanks.

Derek Trotter 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Hi Martin, thanks for this great video. Would changing career at 40 into financial planning be too late? Suppose one starts at 40, chartered status 43 if all goes well without delays or hiccups, peak earning 10-15 years later, how realistic would this be? Or is 40 actually too late? Many thanks in advance. Kind regards, Dom.

Gastrorecetario 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Hi martin, great video, really informative! coming from a completely different background (dentistry), would it be really hard to find a job if I got the level 4 dip but no experience in the sector or would you recommend starting with an administrative job and then qualifying? Thanks for the video!

emad309 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Great video. I finish my agree im Economics and Finance this summer and I'm looking what options there are for me. Through university we get discounted exam rates (30% discount) for the 6 CII exams to get the diploma. In year 2 and 3 we did tax and corporate finance and in year 3 we did financial planning so I feel like I have prior knowledge so how long do you think it will take? And compared to university material, how hard is it? Final question, I'm 30 years old and have spent all my working career in food progressing to managing a chain on a national level. Would employers look favourably on this experience? Would me being older count against me?

Shah Alam 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Would Financial Planner require regular sales calls like Financial Advisors?

Econ Caleb 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Thank you for this video! I'm a first year Industrial Economics student at the University of Nottingham and I think my heart is set on financial planning, I really want to help people. I'm glad I found this channel 🙂

shmeekhh 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Hi Martin,
I've just come across your channel…I'm so excited to slowly work my way through your videos…I'm planning on becoming a financial advisor (currently working as a pharmacist). I'm thinking of undertaking the CII course you highlighted, with plans to find a job in the sector at a later date.

Zagros 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

What are the prospects for an independent route for investment consulting if one has a bachlor level with more or less 8 years of experience in equities & options(derivatives)? Or do you have to take a masters and then work for a period to be seen as 'seasoned' or 'safe'?
Thanks for the great content by the way!

Rob Nicolson 28/09/2021 - 3:41 Chiều

Brilliant video Martin. Just started at an IFA firm two weeks ago as a trainee Paraplanner, got R01-R04 under my belt before I joined and came from a Business Development role. Excited for the journey ahead and your points suggest I’m on the right track!


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