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A Day in the Life of a Financial Planner

Ben Slater, Chartered Financial Planner

You may be wondering what a day in the life of a Financial Planner is like? Well, here’s my journey…

I’ve been in the industry for around 10 years and in that time, I’ve moved through the ranks, from Apprentice Administrator, Administrator, Trainee Paraplanner, Paraplanner, Trainee Adviser and then Chartered Financial Planner.

My career progression was all done with one company, and the most recent change has seen me set up my own business, providing independent financial advice and planning for individuals.

A Day in the Life of a Financial Planner

First a bit about being a financial planner…

It’s a career that’s been around for a long time and it’s really changed for the better in recent years with more of a focus on clients, wellbeing and helping to manage clients’ emotions around money. You can choose to work for a company or like myself, you could set up your own business. Some advisers work as alone, and others choose to build a team around them.

Being a good communicator and having the ability to build and develop relationships is a key skill, along with being well organised.

A Day in the Life of a Financial Planner
A Day in the Life of a Financial Planner
A Day in the Life of a Financial Planner

A day in the life of a financial planner…

Days can be very different, I’m now predominantly home based, and tend to see clients on video call or at their home. We are looking into office space, and even when I was with a firm rarely was I in the office 5 days a week.

Some days can just involve writing reports and researching for recommendation letters, but that wouldn’t be the most exciting ‘day in the life of’!

Typically, my morning would start with me checking any emails I’ve had, and either responding, or scheduling time to action the task. I also look at my diary each morning so I’m clear what’s on the horizon.  If  I’m seeing a client for one of their Annual reviews my day may go like this:

The majority of the prep work will have been done previously, usually the week before so I’ll spend some time running through the Fact Find (a document which houses all the important info about a client) and making sure I’m up to speed with their position. I’ll also check the other documents prepared one final time and then get ready to leave for my meeting at the home.

This might involve an hour or so of travelling, and once I’m there and I’ve gratefully received a coffee I’ll spend 1-2 hours with the client. This will be where I explain the performance of investments over the past year, look forward for future years and ensure they’re still comfortable with the investment portfolio and plan.

I’ll be sure to listen a lot and answer any questions or queries they may have about their investments, the performance or their plan as a whole.

We will spend a lot of the meeting discussing their objectives relevant to the plan and ensuring they’re on track. This might be something like ‘spending £30,000 per year and living a comfortable lifestyle’. Or it could be ‘passing money to the family in an IHT efficient way’. Whatever the objective there will be an update each year as things change in life.

We will project their position forward to age 100 based on all of the planning we’ve done and I’ll hopefully reassure them that they’re in a great position!

Once I’m home, I’ll make some tweaks to the review report and share this with them on the secure portal.

For the rest of the day, I could then switch to new client work. This might involve analysing a client’s existing arrangements or creating a recommendation for a new product or perhaps a pension transfer. Much like a paraplanner who can also do this task, you will conduct many different types of research and calculations and there are a wide a variety of skills and tools that can be used to enable this in depth research.

As the day goes on, you may need to re-juggle your to-do list to take account of work that may become more of a priority, a deadline that needs to be met or a case you cannot continue with as you need ‘further info’ from the provider, so it’s always a good idea to keep a well organised task list and notes on each case so you can easily ‘put down’ and ‘pick up’ a case as necessary.

The ‘extra’ bits of my job

Along with client work and meeting people, there are other activities that Advisers will typically slot into their career journeys. This will definitely involve CPD and studying for exams, attending webinars, getting to grips with the latest piece of technology, attending industry related events or integrating themselves within the wider financial planning community such as on LinkedIn.

Having a good network is also important, such as Solicitors, Accountants etc. as this is where referrals for new clients can come from. Therefore, coffees and catch ups are usually in the diary.

My advice – Go for it!

If you are interested in a career in financial planning, then now is absolutely the time.

For me, the role is very rewarding as you help people every day. In addition, there is a lack of younger talent in the industry and more people are after professional advice.

For your best chance of success in the industry, start by getting yourself in a good business and learning from the bottom up. In my view this journey will really help once you get to an adviser level.


Read our Financial Planner Role Profile for information on salary expectations, entry requirements, exams, and where to look for vacancies.

Read another insightful article on ‘A Day in the Life of a Financial Planner’ to find out more about information about the Financial Planner role.   

Read the inspiring article ‘From Sports Person to Financial Planner’ to find out more about information, tips and advise about Financial Planning and changing careers.

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