In today’s Financial Services market, the Qualified Financial Advisor Qualification (QFA) is becoming more and more significant for those wishing to pursue or build their careers in Banking and Financial Services. It has grown even more important as the levels of regulations in the global industry continue to increase year over year.
I completed the QFA exams in 2010 which gave me a strong foundation in banking and finance in Ireland. As a result of completing the QFA exams (in addition to a related Financial Services Degree) and working within the Financial Services industry, this encouraged me to further my knowledge and experience and undertake a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning which was a gateway to completing the Certified Financial Planner™ Exam. The CFP® certification is the world’s most widely respected financial planning certification. There is no doubt the QFA has been a positive influencing factor in my career progression to date.
The following are 10 reasons why you should complete the QFA exams:
- It will give you a strong understanding of the financial products in the Irish market.
- The requirement for 15 hours of Continuous Professional Development (CPD), on an annual basis, will keep you up to date with current regulation and trends in financial services.
- You will be better equipped and confident when providing advice to consumers regarding financial products and the implications related to acquiring such products.
- The QFA qualification will make your skillset highly desirable to potential employers, providing you with a tangible advantage over candidates who do not hold the QFA.
- It will add real value in shaping how you conduct your daily business activities.
- The QFA is the ideal qualification for a person working in banking, life assurance, credit unions, mortgage lending, pensions and/or investments.
- If you are interested in building your career within the area of Financial Services, the QFA will open many doors, such as the Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning and onwards to obtaining the Certified Financial Planner™designation should you so desire.
- The QFA enables you to work in any type of advisory capacity with customers.
- You will be able to use analytical skills to make relevant recommendations to clients regarding their overall financial planning needs.
- You will be able to provide comprehensive advice to customers regarding their life assurance, pension, savings & investment and retirement needs.
Because this sector is an attractive one and there is currently lots of competition for candidates in the market, one piece of advice is to be strategic about picking the modules to complete, look at the area of banking you wish to work in and complete the relevant modules first. In doing this you will immediately expand your skill-set and have the edge in the job market over your search competitors.