A Day in the life of a trainee adviser with Helena Bourner

Welcome to “A Day in the Life of a Trainee Adviser,” a captivating new series that invites you into the dynamic world of Financial Services. Join us as we follow the journey of budding advisers, which includes delving into the daily experiences, triumphs, and obstacles faced by trainee advisers as they navigate the complexities of financial advice. Whether it’s financial, career, or personal advice, these trainees are on a quest to hone their skills and make a meaningful impact.

Can you provide a brief overview of your educational background and how you got into financial services?

I completed my A-Levels and decided to take a gap year before going to University. During this time I took a temporary job covering maternity leave in a Building Society. I quickly realised that I enjoyed earning my own money and loved interacting with customers and being able to help them make decisions with opening savings accounts and insurance services.

What inspired you to pursue a career in financial services and advising?

I was offered the job position on a full-time basis and I haven’t looked back. I decided not to attend University and instead studied for my CeMAP qualification and became a Mortgage Adviser. I loved being in meetings with customers and finding ways to help them achieve their goals. I later took a Financial Administrator job with Sterling Trust (who were later acquired by Kingswood) and started studying towards my Level 4 Diploma in Financial Planning. Since achieving this, I have spent a couple of years in Paraplanning writing reports and gaining more experience. I am now furthering my studies and aiming for Fellowship status with the CII. I am excited to have been given the opportunity to progress with my career within Kingswood as a Trainee Wealth Planner.

Walk me through a typical day in your life as a graduate financial adviser.

My typical day ranges from booking in annual review meetings for clients, building client relationships via telephone calls and meetings and keeping up to date with current markets and products by attending CPD events on a regular basis.

How do you prioritise and organize your daily tasks?

I use various tools at my disposal such as Xplan, Outlook and Microsoft Excel to keep me organised and prioritise my workload, but it may be that I need to ask for some tips from more experienced Wealth Planners as well.

How do you build and maintain relationships with your clients?

I have dealt with clients throughout my career, more as a point of contact whilst being with Kingswood. I have always managed to maintain good client relationships by establishing the client’s needs and being open and honest about what they can expect.

How do you stay updated on the latest industry trends and changes in the financial markets?

I attend CPD events held by different providers that offer an oversight to the latest industry trends and read email updates from providers and news articles.

Are there any emerging trends in financial advising that you find particularly interesting?

I am quite interested in green energy, ESG investing and where this will take us in the future.

How do you continue to develop your skills and knowledge in the financial advising field?

I will need to continue attending events, speaking to colleagues and other Wealth Planners and Investment Managers with more insight. There is a wealth of experience across the industry that I can take advantage of to develop my knowledge and skills.

Are there any certifications or additional qualifications you’re working towards?

I am still studying with the CII to get to Chartered Status, followed by Fellowship status. This industry is constantly changing so I think it’s a good idea to keep going with studies, especially as I am going to be new to the role. There’s always something new to be learned.

What advice do you have for recent graduates aspiring to become financial advisers?

I would encourage people starting out to take an interest in what’s going on in the world, listen to the news, read the email updates we receive from providers and attend CPD events no matter how irrelevant you think they may be to your current job role. There’s a lot of information available and a lot of ways to receive help and guidance if you look for it and the more help you get from the start, the easier it will be. It’s not just about achieving a qualification, you need to be comfortable chatting to clients, building trust and establishing a relationship, which includes discussing what’s going on in the world.