A Paraplanner is a popular role within Financial Services. Paraplanners assist Financial Advisors in Financial planning. They play a big role in making sure clients get excellent advice through their research. Paraplanners will often perform tasks such as analysing different financial data, prepping reports, product research, preparing clients’ files and much more.
Some people become Paraplanners as an entry way into being a Financial Advisor, as being a Paraplanner first will give you a wider depth of knowledge and experience which could benefit you if you continue into being an Advisor. However, some people look to become a Paraplanner without intent of becoming an Advisor as being a Paraplanner alone has lots of benefits and can be a very rewarding career in itself.
In this article we are going to cover the skills and qualifications that can ensure success in your desired role as a Paraplanner.
Excellent Analytical Skills:
A big part of a Paraplanners job is analysis. So of course, having strong analytical skills will be of massive benefit and could help you to excel at your career. Paraplanners have to analyse data that can often be complex to determine clients finances. A strong analytical mind will also be handy when it comes to watching market trends and determining investment opportunities.
Attention to Detail:
If a Paraplanner makes a mistake, it could tarnish an Advisor’s advice which could have a devastating impact on a client’s finances. This is why having a strong attention to detail is a key skill to ensure success in a Paraplanner role. Paraplanners have a very technical job and a big part of your career will be organisation and analysis, attention to detail is crucial to this.
Strong Communication skills:
Paraplanners work closely with Financial Advisors so building a great relationship is important. Lots of Paraplanners will also work with IFA admins who they may liaise with. The information Paraplanners share and discern from their analysis, is often very important for the advice that an Advisors clients will receive. Therefore, it is important it is communicated accurately to avoid any confusions or mistakes.
IT and technical skills:
A successful Paraplanner will have proficient skills in different software programmes. This is important across a Paraplanners whole job role from filing client records to financial modelling. Paraplanners will also commonly use programs like word and excel to keep information logs and notes. Some of the common softwares that are used by Paraplanners include: Intelligent Office, Xplan, COIN, AdviserLogic, AdviserNetGain, Midwinter, FE Analytics, Cashcalc, Synaptics and many more. Often your firm will offer training on whichever softwares they use as there is variation.
Professional Qualifications for Paraplanners :
There are a number of professionally acclaimed qualifications that Paraplanners can receive. Whilst these will not be a requirement at every firm, gaining a Paraplanning qualification could help to level up your career. It shows dedication and skill to achieve one of these qualifications therefore it could open the doors to new opportunity. The 3 most common Paraplanning qualifications are:
- The Diploma in Paraplanning- This is a qualification from the LIBF and is a mixture of exams and coursework. On average, it takes 9 months to complete and is comprised of 2 units.
- The Certificate in Paraplanning (CII)- The certificate in Paraplanning is a qualification awarded by the Chartered insurance institute. It is recommended from mid-senior level Paraplanners and is mainly based on multiple choice question exams. The CII recommends 270 hours of study to be able to complete this qualification.
- The Certificate in Paraplanning (CISI)- this qualification is awarded by the Chartered institute for securities and investments. Despite their similar names this is not the same qualification as the previous. It is composed of 2 units (investment risk & taxation + Financial planning and advice) which have to be passed to be awarded the certificate. The CISI recommends 263 hours of study time to be able to complete this qualification.
- It is also common for Paraplanners to undertake the same qualifications as Financial Advisors. Most commonly, DipFA and DipPFS. Often, Paraplanners will progress into Financial Advisors so it is common for individuals to get these qualifications in their prior Paraplanner role. Getting these also has benefit though, even if you don’t have any desire to become an Advisor. Paraplanners need to be aware and knowledgeable of financial planning and having similar qualifications to the Advisors they are working with will help them perform even better at their paraplanning role.
An important part of being a brilliant Paraplanner is industry experience. Industry experience allows you to have more depth and understanding when it comes to your job role. Commonly, Paraplanners will start as IFA admins and then progress either straight into a Paraplanning role or to a junior/ trainee Parapanner. Even if an individual has Paraplanning qualifications, without the enrichment of prior industry experience, they may not be as successful in their role.
In conclusion, an individual that encompasses these skills and qualifications should have an excellent Paraplanning career. Paraplanning can be an excellent career option with options of progression and development that could leave you feeling fulfilled.
If you are interested in pursuing a Paraplanning role, we have a range of options here at Premier Jobs UK. We also have numerous IFA admin opportunities that could help you eventually progress into a Paraplanning role.
For more information or advice call us now on 0208 0044 154 for a free, no pressure chat with one of our experts.