The role of a financial advisor is to counsel businesses on any matter relating to money. This can range from a sales role, offering pension or mortgage schemes, to a much more hands on approach advising companies on investments and new product lines. Financial advisors can be employed by one or more companies as either an in house specialist or on a freelance/consulting basis.
As the position covers a wide range of industries it is possible to specialise in certain areas, for example employee pension schemes, or have a more general portfolio where advice can be given on a wide range of investments. In either case it is the advisors job to tailor a certain scheme to the needs of the organisation. This role is very much results orientated and carries with it a lot of pressure, as companies place a lot trust into the advice of their financial advisors.
The most valuable skill is business acumen, and a clear understanding of current and potential future financial trends. Financial led investments may not be expected to produce a return for a while, so being able to predict and deal with future pitfalls is absolutely vital. Knowledge of the stock market and investments is absolutely essential, as is an understanding of economics and a strong head for numbers, especially financial statements and statistics.
As a large part of this job is about selling packages, good negotiation, communication and inter-personal skills are a must. Networking is also important tool, so a strong client and supplier base must be built up to provide the right options to the right companies. The financial sector is heavily regulated both in the UK and abroad, meaning a strong understanding of these laws is required, as is an eye for detail.