Becoming A Financial Advisor


“Start a successful career helping people achieve their financial dreams.  You can make a difference.”


Financial Advisor Overview

The financial services industry has a long history of attracting energetic and ambitious people who are looking for the best career opportunities.  Here are a few of the industry’s most significant selling points for prospective employees.


How meaningful is it to be a Financial Advisor?

“A 2012  study by the Montreal-based Centre Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations found that investors who work with financial advisors build 2.7 times more wealth and save for retirement at twice the rate of those who don’t have advisors.”


What is Financial Planning?

Financial planning involves working with clients to understand their short-term and long-term goals, overall lifestyle and level of risk tolerance, in order to provide tailored advice and develop effective financial plans to meet their financial objectives.

Financial Advisors serve a key role in helping people make the most of their financial assets by helping them understand their investment and savings options and creating realistic and appropriate financial strategies.

Being a Financial Advisor involves working with clients to understand their short- and long-term goals, overall lifestyle and level of risk tolerance, in order to provide tailored advice and develop effective financial plans to meet their financial objectives.

How our Financial Advisors use financial planning to help our clients:




Certifications, Designations & Licenses

CWF Group offers a complimentary course reimbursement program for employees or candidates.

Licensing requirement (we require candidates to possess) at the minimum one of the following:

  • Life Licensing Qualification Program (LLQP) – pre contract licensing requirement – Insurance
  • Canadian Securities Course (CSC) – pre contract licensing requirement – Investment

Licence requirement (for investments)

  • Registered Representative (RR) Mutual Funds Only Licence
  • Registered Representative (RR) Licence – Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds

Additional training will be provided to obtain certifications and designations below:

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Certified Investment Manager (CIM)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
  • Financial Management Advisor (FMA)
  • Personal Financial Planner (PFP)



The industry is noted for compensation structures that are, overall, much more generous than in other sectors of the economy.  However, there can be great year-to-year variability, since annual bonuses linked to performance tend to be a significant part of total compensation.  Most job positions at CWF Group will have a combination of some or all of the below types of compensation and can vary greatly based on experience levels.

Monthly Tiered Income

For bonus-eligible positions, regular monthly tiered income often is called level pay or a stipend.  The frequency of pay tends to be monthly rather than biweekly at higher levels of experience and performance.  Regular adjustments are typical.


Policies on annual bonuses vary from employer to employer, but some general observations can be made.  At successful firms, bonuses are a more significant part of total pay for more employees than at banks and industrial companies, which represent the other end of the spectrum.  As you move up the management ladder anywhere in the industry, more of your pay will come in the form of the bonus.  The bonus pool for your division or department will be driven by a combination its profits and those of the company.  Bonus pools rarely are purely formulaic; instead, executives exercise great discretion in setting them.  Note that changes in the number of employees who will participate in a given pool (as the headcount fluctuates in a division or department) typically will not have an impact on the size of that pool.  Finally, the eventual distribution of a pool to the employees participating therein tends to be highly discretionary process.


Unlike bonuses, commissions are indeed formulaic.  Revenues generated by their clients (notably Financial Advisors), as well as other key metrics (such as the value of their clients’ accounts), drive the compensation formulas.  Pay typically is on a monthly basis for commissions.



Advancement/Career Paths

Compared to other industries, the financial industry tends to place less weight on seniority in judging the readiness of employees for advancement.  High performers can move ahead regardless of age.  As a result, working in financial services can be particularly attractive for ambitious young people in a hurry.

Being a Financial Advisor or Planner can open up other possible career paths and options for advancement.  For those interested in moving onto a management track, the initial steps typically are Business Manager, Branch Manager, Regional or National Management positions.

For a Financial Advisor or Planner who have developed expertise in a specific area, becoming a specialist within the company is possible.

A Financial Advisor or Planner who develops strong investing skills may be a suitable candidate for a transition into becoming a money manager.

Financial planners have the fifth best careers as reported from the Wall Street Journal.  According to the experts, financial planners have less stress, a better working environment and fewer physical demands than most other jobs.




Many of the leading firms tend to be relatively thinly-staffed.  There are comparatively few layers of management.  Decision-making tends to be rather quick.  Your opportunities for getting face time in front of senior management also tend to be excellent.  That is, these firms do not normally operate in a highly formalized, chain of command fashion which is more typical of slower-footed traditional industrial companies.  You also are more likely to juggle multiple responsibilities within a given job category, compared to the norm in other companies.

As a general rule, the banking sectors of financial services tend to be rather more bureaucratic, more deeply staffed and less remunerative at all levels than firms whose principal lines of business are in (for example) financial planning, securities trading, investment management, securities research and/or investment banking.



A premium is placed on quick thinking, quick acting, and constant production of results.  This can be trying for some people, exhilarating for others.  The thin staffing and comparative lack of bureaucracy requires exceptionally hard work, focus and commitment to stay afloat, let alone to succeed.  For those who do, however, the rewards are commensurately great.


Employment Outlook

Demand for Financial Advisors continues to increase:

  • New development of complex investment products has created demand for wealth management advice on a global basis.
  • Clients continue to prefer holistic financial advice and more fulsome face-to-face interaction when making investment decisions.

Today, the demand for financial advice is increasing.  As investment products become more complex and financial organizations more competitive in creating products adding the variety of options already available, clients’ reliance on the expertise of Financial Advisors to help make informed investment decisions is expected to increase.  Moreover, as population demographics change with Baby Boomers retiring and Gen Ys entering the workforce, both the nature and demand for financial advice is shifting.

Profiles: For an idea of how a career in financial services can be either a destination in life, or a launching pad for high achievement in other fields, read about these people:

Michael-Bloomberg_AMike Bloomberg

Wall Street systems guru to media mogul to mayor

Wayne-Rogers_A Wayne Rogers

From actor to money manager

Jim-Cramer_A Jim Cramer

From money manager to financial TV star

Leslie-Greis_A Leslie Greis

Competing with the men, in sports and in finance

Mark-Mccormack_A Mark McCormack

From college golfer to lawyer to trailblazing sports agent to family office founder

Jim-Spanarkel_A Jim Spanarkel

From pro basketball player to financial advisor (with an announcing sideline)

Martha-Stewart_A Martha Stewart

From financial advisor to “domestic diva” to media mogul


 Financial Advisor JOB POSTING