How to survive as an IFA: what every newly qualified adviser needs to know

By Jo Gilbey
Find me on: LinkedIn 25-Jan-2016 13:08:00


Being an IFA is perhaps one of the more challenging professions to enter, what with the shifting sands of some of the toughest regulations in the world and a reluctance for some clients to pay the costs involved in providing them with the advice they need.

Little wonder then that a shortage of advisers is being flagged up as a cause for concern. As older advisers look to exit the industry there is a major opportunity for those looking to make financial advice their career. But what are the secrets to becoming a successful IFA? We thought it would be interesting to ask some senior advisers for their top tips from which we’ve compiled the top ten golden rules.

Top of the list is ‘take heed of the regulator’, with ‘have integrity’ at number two and ‘listening’ coming in third. Unsurprisingly ‘technology’ came in within the top five, with the group all agreeing that web-based tools are essential to facilitating a successful business.

The full list makes interesting reading but what impressed us were some of the comments the senior advisers made about how rewarding they find the job. Richard Croxford, a Chartered Financial Planner at Manor Partners sums up the sentiment expressed by the group. He says, “I love doing what I do because it changes people’s lives. It’s not for the paperwork, the 10-page suitability reports or the FCA returns. Each client is an individual, has individual goals and the ‘fun’ is creating a unique and bespoke plan for them.”

For anyone newly qualified, or following the path to becoming a financial adviser, we’d like to wish them all the best. After all, if the stats about diminishing numbers of advisers are correct, it’s clear your country needs you.