Qualifying to be a financial adviser

The qualifications you need to become a financial adviser will depend on the type of advice you want to provide, and who you want to provide it to. Note the advice on this page is generic in nature and for personalised advice on training, i.e. specific to your situation, please contact us.

To provide advice to clients on insurance and mortgage products

This includes products such as life, medical or contents insurance, and loans for property purchases. To advise on these products you could be an authorised financial adviser (AFA), a registered financial adviser (RFA) or a QFE adviser who works for a large corporate. Only AFAs have a minimum education requirement. 

However, Strategi Institute strongly recommends that all registered advisers and QFE advisers, as an absolute minimum, complete the specialist strand of the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services Level 5 relevant to the product(s) they advise on. All advisers must be able to demonstrate their knowledge, competence and skill and passing relevant courses can help do that.

To provide advice to clients on investment products

These products include products such as managed funds shares and derivatives. As an adviser you would use these products (and others) to prepare suitable financial plans to help clients achieve their financial goals. If providing personalised advice, you need to become an AFA and so will need to have a minimum of the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services Level 5.

This Certificate is made up of unit standard credit-based courses covering a range of subjects relevant to the work of a financial adviser. Note that currently, to become an AFA it is not necessary to have passed all of the unit standards in this Certificate if you have a qualification or designation (for example a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics) that is recognised as equivalent.

Strategi Institute offers training in all the courses that make up this Certificate.

After completing Level 5

All financial advisers have Continuing Professional Development (CPD) obligations and there are a number of education options for financial advisers looking to advance their knowledge. These options include:

University study: for example Massey University offers undergraduate and post-graduate degrees and diplomas specialising in areas relevant to financial services and the provision of advice

CFA Institute: Offers the Chartered Financial Analyst programme for investment specialists. Contact the CFA Society of New Zealand for further information

Professional development: Strategi Institute offers a number of training and development options that meet both the CPD requirements for AFAs, and offer RFAs and QFE advisers a way to up-skill and help maintain their professional competence. Advisers can earn structured CPD hours across a wide range of study areas including legislation, investment, insurance, foreign exchange, mortgage advising, personal and business development.