Let’s face it, the Financial Industry is a very confusing maze to go to. There are lots of jargons that are really overwhelming – the ticker tapes, bears and bulls, life insurance, stock market, corporate bonds, treasury bills, and really, a whole bunch of them.
The bigger challenge is that we really need to learn about these financial products in order for us to effectively use them in planning and preparing our own personal finances – for our present, and for our future.
One of the few professionals who are actively trying to bridge the gap – from not knowing about financial instruments, to making use of them in enriching an individual’s financial life, are Financial Advisors.
What is a Financial Advisor?
The word “Financial Advisor” is a very broad term – encompassing many professions like bankers, stockbrokers, insurance advisors, and many others that provides “advisory services” to promote the financial products that they are affiliated to.
In this guide, when I refer to Financial Advisors, I’m talking about life insurance agents – and how fascinating, exciting, and fulfilling this profession can be.
Roles of Financial Advisors in the Society
The role of life insurance agents, insurance advisors, financial consultants, or financial advisors, whatever the professionals are called, is to provide solution to a certain need – whether a person/client is conscious about that need or not.
It’s true that many people don’t think that they need life insurance, or don’t think there’s a need to invest. In those situation, the role of a Financial Advisor becomes an educator, a teacher – giving light to an aspect in life that is most of the time neglected until it’s too late to act.
Truth is, Financial Advisors change lives, one client at a time – greatly contributing to a grand advocacy of financial literacy for the Filipino people.
No wonder many doctors, accountants, business people, and other professionals dropped what they do to take on the role of a Financial Advisor full time because of the rewards and fulfilment it bring to one’s life (to themselves and to other people).
What do Financial Advisors Really Do?
Full time Financial Advisors are self-employed professionals. This means that they are not really tied up to an 8 to 5 work week. This also means that financial advisors tend to have different activities individually, but can still be summarised as follows:
1. Reaching and Connecting to people needing the service
2. Meet future clients and conduct Financial Needs Analysis to further diagnose the need and be able to provide the most appropriate solution
3. Assist the implementation of the Financial Plan of the client
4. Monitor the progress of the implementation of the Financial Plan and make adjustments, if necessary.
Reasons Why Some People are Attracted to be a Financial Advisor
Here are some of the reasons why many professionals and business people decide to be a full-time Financial Advisor.
1. The opportunity to meet new people everyday
2. The opportunity to learn different things from other people
3. The freedom to take control of one’s time and be flexible in spending it in enriching the business
4. Endless opportunities in increasing income
It is true that it’s possible to be a part-time financial advisor. But it is really more enjoyable and worthwhile to do it, full time.
Requirements to be a Financial Advisor in the Philippines
Financial Advisors are regulated by the Insurance Commission (IC). To operate as a Financial Advisor here in the Philippines, you’ll need to get a license issued by the IC.
There are two kinds of life insurance license that are issued by the insurance commission.
One is the license to sell Traditional Life Insurance. These are the more “classic” type of life insurance that offers either just life insurance (term insurance) or life insurance with savings (whole life and endowment).
The second license obtained by Life Insurance Advisors is the license to sell Variable Unit Link Insurance, popularly known as VUL. This is the newest type of life insurance that have a built in investment component on it.
Now the question is, what are the requirements to obtain those license and be a Financial Advisor?
Truth is, you’ll just need to be sponsored by a life insurance company and be at least a College Graduate to take the licensing exam.
With that, let’s talk about the whole process on how you can be a Financial Advisor here in the Philippines.
Process to be a Financial Advisor
There are four parties involved in this process. They are:
– The Life Insurance Company that you are applying in
– Your recruiting manager
– The Insurance Commission
In general, the process would flow in this order.
1. You submit your application to a recruiting manager. If you don’t know someone, you may submit your application in this link and we’ll connect you with them.
2. The recruiting manager will review your qualifications and subject you to some personality exams and interviews. Nothing much to note here but to just be yourself.
Each recruiting manager has his/her own standards of people to include in their team. If, by any chance, you were rejected by a specific recruiting manager, you may always try to explore with other recruiting managers.
Most of the time, rejections are due to personality mismatch between applicant and the recruiting manager.
3. Once you have completed the exams and interviews, you will then undergo a training program to prepare you for the licensing exam with the Insurance Commission.
4. Then, you’ll take the actual exam.
In most cases, the reviewers provided by the life insurance company usually corresponds nearly to the content of the exam provided by the Insurance Commission.
That does not guarantee anything though. It’s best to study and prepare yourself well for the exam.
5. After passing the exam, the next part of the process is the contract signing. Generally, this is the stage where compensation package and other monetary benefits are discussed.
Each life insurance company’s benefits will greatly differ though.
6. After contract signing, and once you have met your branch’s minimum requirements, you’ll then be “coded”. Coding is a technical term used to mean that an advisor has been officially entered in the life insurance company’s system.
Once you are coded, you become officially part of the Financial Advisory profession.
However, you should always prove that you deserve that title. You can do that by accumulating as much knowledge as possible and by becoming a credible professional that provides advice that makes sense.