Starting out in the industry?

Choosing to become a financial adviser is a great career decision and the industry offers many options around:

  • Specialisation: You could focus on any one area of advice, such as mortgages, insurance, investments, shares etc., or any combination.

  • Employment status: You may initially start in an administration role then move to being a para-planner and then finally to becoming a financial adviser. You could work as part of a team servicing clients or else you could be the sole adviser working with dedicated clients.

  • Type of employer: You could work in a small, medium or large business, work for an international corporate or a New Zealand based network, or work for yourself. Some employers also provide their own product solutions whilst others just offer advice and then recommend the most suitable product solution from what is available in the market.

What you will do

Financial advisers may do some or all of the following:

  • Help clients identify or clarify their short, medium and long-term financial goals.

  • Prepare suitable financial plans/statements of advice to help clients achieve their goals.

  • Review and (depending on specialisation) make recommendations on clients' taxation, retirement planning, sources of income, estate planning and insurance needs.

  • Monitor clients’ progress towards their goals, reporting to clients on a regular basis and encouraging them to keep to their plans.

Remuneration for financial advisers

Different employers offer different remuneration structures and different levels of remuneration. Larger firms tend to offer a salary structure and then after a few years, a bonus may be available. Some smaller firms only offer a commission based remuneration structure and others will offer a combination of salary/bonus or salary/commission.

According to the government’s Careers website (, financial advisers with one to three years’ experience may earn between $40,000 and $75,000 per year. Those with three to seven years’ experience may earn from $75,000 to $125,000 per year. Those who are successful and have been in the industry for many years can earn significantly more.

Skills and knowledge

Financial advisers need to have:

  • A desire to help clients to achieve their goals.

  • The ability to understand and interpret financial and investment markets.

  • The ability to learn about and keep current with a range of products in their chosen field of advice.

  • Knowledge of financial planning, taxation, investments, mortgages and insurance, with specialist knowledge in one or more areas.

  • The ability to research up-to-date market and financial information.

  • A high degree of ethical awareness and behaviour.

  • Excellent communication skills.

Note: There is currently no educational pre-requisite to enter the industry and start your training. This is likely to change in 2019.

Find out more about what qualifications you need to become a financial adviser and your possible career paths.