Second Career as a Financial Advisor


Registered User
Hi All,

I'm currently in the process of being made redundant at the age of 40 and considering what I want to do next. While I have a strong set of skills and experience in my industry, they are probably best suited to roles within a large multinational and having worked in that environment for my entire career to date, it is something I am not sure I want to continue with.

My redundancy payment will be a reasonable sum, so that gives me the comfort of having time to make a decision plus time and money to re-train or upskill.

On reflection I am at my happiest and best when I feel what I am doing makes a material difference to peoples lives and I feel I have helped them in some way. In my career to date I have actively looked for opportunities to train colleagues in the technical aspects of our industry and this is something I have found very rewarding.

While looking at options one of the ideas that appeals to me is that of becoming a Certified Financial Advisor (and possibly a CFP in future). This will probably seem quite naïve and I suppose it is, in that I don't know a huge amount about how to go about this, how long it would take and the type of money I would be making. I'm quite academic, have a masters degree in Engineering and a decent grasp on personal finance so I am confident I'd be capable of learning what I need to from a technical point of view.

I know a number of contributors on here work in this area so I'd be interested to hear views on the best way to get started and particularly if you have transitioned from another career. If you feel I'd struggle to get established in the industry at my age and would be better off sticking to something more aligned with my experience feel free to tell me that too!


Steven Barrett

Registered User
To become a CFP, you have to be a Qualified Financial Advisor (QFA) and have a number of years experience. It is a qualification that I have certainly found very beneficial to what I do.

The biggest impediment to people changing profession is the drop in wages. You are going from someone with a lot of experience in your field, to someone with none. And you will be paid accordingly.

Unfortunately, there are so many versions of "financial advisors" out there with some working with clients over the long term for a fee and other out to make as much money out of their clients as they can. It can be difficult to know the difference between the two, and they won't disclose it to you. You are probably best off trying to get a job at one of the bigger firms to learn your trade, which still involves knowing financial products and getting a feel for what it's about. With a bit more experience, you can go into other areas.

Feel free to drop me an email on or give me a call on 086 020 6087 and I will help you in any way that I can.



Registered User
Very, very, good advice from Steven.
No doubt you'll need to learn the ropes, but more importantly than all of that you will need to have the "art" of dealing with the public, charisma, contacts and a bit of a track record. Working for yourself will involve an awful lot more than just learning about financial products, rules, law, etc. You'll also need premises, maybe staff, and all that entails. You might find yourself a very high achiever academically, but Joe Public will soon find out what you "don't" know :oops: