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Financial Planner

Financial planning is a key service provided through many sectors of the financial services industry. While the job titles differ, Investment Advisors, Financial Advisors, Personal Banking Representatives, Mutual Fund Sales Representatives and Insurance Sales Agents all provide some element of financial planning advice and services to clients. There are Independent Financial Planners who may also be licensed to sell insurance, mutual funds or other securities, while others work on a fee-only basis. Big investment dealers and banks also employ Financial Planners to provide financial planning advice and aid the work of their Investment Advisors and Representatives who deal directly with clients.

Success requires strong technical competence in all areas of financial planning, as well as a good working knowledge of estate planning, tax and family law. Most importantly, a Financial Planner must be able to communicate effectively, particularly when dealing with the complex needs of high-net-worth individuals and businesses. This type of service is often referred to as wealth management.

On the job with a Financial Planner

I have the CIM, FCSI, STI, CFP, and CMC designations. Achieving these has definitely had a good impact on my career. They have helped to create opportunities and to build credibility. Learn more ...

Financial Planner, FCSI, CIM, CFP, MBA, Credit Union
  • Assess clients' financial needs for retirement, tax and estate planning.
  • Formulate financial plans and solutions to fulfill client objectives.
  • Implement financial plans that are monitored and reviewed regularly.
  • Stay informed on current investment products and changes in the markets and tax laws.
  • Provide comprehensive wealth management advice, including guidance on investment and portfolio management issues, to high net worth clients.
  • Refer to, or consult with, tax, legal and estate planning specialists as needed.
  • Prospect for new clients and build an established business.

Financial Planners usually start out with a university or college degree. To receive professional accreditation, they are expected to first complete financial planning courses such as those leading to CSI's Financial Management Advisor Designation, which are the Canadian Securities Course (CSC), the Professional Financial Planning Course (PFPC) and the Wealth Management Techniques (WMT) course.

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.

Compensation varies widely and depends on factors like the size of the employer's business, the state of the economy and markets, and whether a planner holds a license to sell mutual funds, securities or insurance. Jobs can be salary-based, commission-based or a combination. See earnings descriptions for Investment Advisor, Personal Banking Representative, Financial Advisor, Mutual Fund Sales Representative and Life Insurance Sales Agent to find out more about financial planning-related salary ranges.