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Financial Advisor

The position of Financial Advisor is most often found within banks, although the title may vary. In credit unions, for instance, the position is often known as Investment Specialist.

A bank's Financial Advisors are similar in role to the Investment Advisors in a securities firm, except they generally try to generate new business from their bank's existing clientele. If a Financial Advisor is licensed to sell investment products, it is typically to deal only in mutual funds - not the stocks, bonds, futures or options sold by their IA counterparts.

For the most part, Financial Advisors manage the financial situations of clients who have greater-than-average assets, counseling them on strategies to achieve their objectives. Financial Advisors help on both sides of a clients' balance sheet, consulting on credit needs along with savings and investments. They usually offer a broad range of in-house and third-party financial products.

On the job with a Financial Advisor

I think my designations differentiate me. I make myself more knowledgeable for my clients. I care about what they want. Integrity is very, very important for me. Learn more ...

Financial Advisor, FCSI, CMA, FMA, CIM, CFP, Berkshire Securities
  • Maintain a strong business relationship with clients and understand each client's current financial requirements and future goals.
  • Provide impartial and competent financial advice regarding financial solutions that help clients meet investment and credit needs.
  • Educate clients to understand the performance of their investments within the context of the current market.
  • Help clients make informed decisions on how to allocate their assets.
  • Banks require their Financial Advisors to be actively involved in the community and to network with existing and prospective clients.

Several courses qualify individuals to apply to register to sell mutual funds, including the Canadian Securities Course (CSC). Most banks also require Financial Advisors to complete a financial planning course like the Professional Financial Planning Course (PFPC). From there, many Financial Advisors opt to go on to obtain the Financial Management Advisor Professional designation.

Another sought-after designation is The Certified Financial Planner (CFP™), granted by the Financial Planners Standards Council. While CSI does not award this designation, completion of our Canadian Securities Course (CSC) or Investment Funds in Canada (IFC), Financial Planning I (FP I) and Financial Planning II (FP II) qualifies candidates to take the CFP exam.

Financial Advisors generally start with salaries in the range of $35,000 to $50,000. Bonuses, based on the profitability of an advisor's business, are also common.