Some questions from someone interested in transitioning to a Paraplanner

Hi. I'm about to turn forty and am disillusioned with my current career. Twenty years ago I entertained becoming a Financial Advisor (when the exams were FPCs). I chose an alternative path of I.T. Although I've been in the industry for many years, I've never settled with it.

Eight years ago, I entertained retraining as a Financial Advisor. I researched the field again. I was even fortunate to have a lengthy chat with a recently retired IFA. From this chat I was informed the industry had been given a shake-up in 2012ish and those without the formal qualifications, that would now need them, decided to leave the industry, leaving those that had formal qualifications. It was hoped this would restore some trust in the industry that had been eroding away of, then, recent years. I was informed being a Financial Advisor was still predominately a sales role with targets to meet. This correlated with what I had read on various forums. This sales aspect stopped me from pursuing this path any further. I have an interest in personal finance. I find satisfaction in helping others. However, I don't want to be coerced into selling products unsuitable to customers so I meet my targets.

I'm looking to the world of financial advising again. The term of 'Paraplanner' showed itself to me this time around. Having read into the role, it sounds just right. You're on a salary and not commission based. I understand Paraplanners are reaching around £45k with the qualifications and experience - which is a comfortable salary. You need to understand financial matters and get to help people.

I have many questions. However, a lot of these questions have been answered through reviewing the threads created over the many pages on this forum. It does leave me with some basic questions for now.

1) Why do you feel the role of a Paraplanner wasn't put forward to me eight years ago when I spoke with the retired (in 2011) IFA?
I appreciate you can only speculate. It's not like Paraplanning has only been going for a few years. I just find it strange the chap never raised it with me as my only sticking point to entering the industry was the sales aspect. Has Paraplanning only hit the mainstream in the last eight years to where people see it as a stable, permanent career?

2) I understand this is a role you can age with. I read somewhere the average age of a Paraplanner was 39 and the average age of a IFA was 56. If I were to make the switch and work another twenty years, do you foresee the role being needed for that duration? I ask as there is so much accessibility to financial options available on the net, I wonder if a corner will be turned that leads to less need for Paraplanners.

3) I've worked from home these last few years. Remote working provides an option to relocate to where you want to be without the worry of seeking work in that area. Is the role of a Paraplanner remote or is the trend to be office based in the role?

4) Depending on the area of I.T. one works in, you may have to locate yourself in an area where that specific work/industry is found. If one cannot be remote based as a Paraplanner (which is Q3) then is there a general rule on finding work. For example, would living in a major city or home county generate more Paraplanning positions due to the dense population, or would relocating to an area of retirees (anticipation of them withdrawing their wealth), or being in a wealthy area where people have the funds to seek financial advice? Hope that question makes sense.

What I intended to be a short post has turned into a book. It would be great if you could answer my questions or provide any general feedback.


  • Hello Newbie,
    I entered the Paraplanning profession 12 years ago, in a similar position to you, as a career changer, I was 35 at the time with no background or knowledge of financial planning. It was the skill set of a Paraplanner that attracted me, I love to write, analyse and research things, so paraplanning was right up my street! I gained the technical knowledge you need through learning on the job and exams. Started out as a financial administrator supporting an IFA, and quickly moved into a trainee Paraplanner role writing reports.
    The role has been around a couple of decades or do, but has only really gained traction and recognition as a career in the last decade. You might find the article I wrote about it here useful

    In terms of salary, you tend to start on c£25k-£28k as a trainee, but quickly increase through experience and qualifications. With a few years and the diploma in regulated Financial Planning under your belt, you’re looking at c£35k-£45k. At Chartered status salaries go up to £55k, more in London.

    It’s a role that lends itself to remote working, a lot of paraplanners work this way. There are 2 types of Paraplanner:
    In-house - work for an IFA firm. These can be office based, hybrid or remote.
    Outsourced - work self employed, freelance, or for a Paraplanning consultancy that serves multiple IFAs as clients. These tend to be remote.

    You can be based anywhere really, doesn’t have to be the big cities. Wherever there are IFA firms!

    More than happy to have a chat if you want to connect with me on LinkedIn - Pippa Oldfield at Mazars.

    All the best 👍🏼
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