New entry to the world of finance and paraplanning

Hello Everyone

I was after some advice on the best way to start my career in the financial world.

A little back story; over the last 10 years or so, I've gained a strong working background in data analysing, sales and numbers in the company I currently work for (not in finance). I feel it's time to move on, and that finance would be a good place to move into given my interests and skills.

My wife and I have recently had our second child, so the drive for self improvement has never been higher. However, I can't afford to move to an entry level role within finance to gain experience that way.

My current solution is to revise and pass my R0 exams across 2019, and look for a higher level role once I've passed R01 - R06.

My question would be, do you have any advice on my plan to enter the market? And any tips on revising for R0 exams for an outsider?



  • Appears nobody has replied, so will add my two cents.

    Exams will certainly help in both on the job knowledge and obtaining higher income, however you will struggle to find 'higher level' roles if you have just exams under your belt and no experience.

    I would definitely get the exams done as this will accelerate your progress once you have obtained a role within financial services, however you will likely have to start in an admin type role just because there is a large amount of on the job knowledge you cannot gain from exams alone.

  • Hi @Benjango

    Welcome to The Big Tent!

    There have been a couple of similar questions to this in the New to Paraplanning sectiion, hopefully the answers to those will give you a bit of a steer:

    And the Big Tent is always available for support, you just need to ask! :smile:

  • Hi there,

    @Benjango how is your job search going so far? I am in a situation which is a bit different, although resulting in comparable difficulties finding a job in the Financial Advisory sector.

    I am French and have just moved to England from France, joining my partner in Sheffield after a 2 year career break. I have a Master's degree in Management/Finance and cumulated 3 years of experience in the Financial industry (financial markets, privant banking, investment). So when I arrived in the Midlands I thought, ok it is not going to be a bed of roses but it won't be hell either to land a first job in the UK.

    What is happening now is rather close to hell haha. First, although Sheffield is quite a dynamic city, the Financial services sector seems to be mainly about Financial Advice businesses (not so many investment firms/investment banks/hedge funds…) which limits the supply of job offers. Second, I rapidly came to the conclusion that without a relevant experience in the UK or with no national qualification such as the DipPfs, basically it is a cul-de-sac… Not to mention that being a non native speaker can somehow be off-putting.

    Another concern is that, like @Benjango, when you are an experienced professional already, I suspect that people recruiting for entry level roles like Administrators won't be likely to hire someone who might get bored rapidly with more basic tasks - although essential for learning the ropes - and thus will be eager to move on shortly. On the other hand, you cannot be a paraplanner straight away cause you have no experience or enough knowledge...

    To remedy some of those shortcomings, I have started looking into learning material for the level 4 diploma. But Rome was not built in a day, and it might take a while before taking all the modules.

    @Caro thank you so much for all the ressources you posted on the different discussions, they are really helpful. Do you or anyone have any suggestions on how to have a first foot in the door? I looked into alternative solutions like apprenticeships or internships, but it is a all new system so I do not apprehend exactly what is for who.

    In the meantime I am going to keep sending speculative applications to IFAs, which is probably the best option.

    Thanks a lot for any advice/idea/recommendation!

  • Hi

    I sat R01-3 last year. My advice would be to set yourself reasonable deadlines to take each exam and do them 1 at a time or it gets confusing. We had a deadline of 1 year to sit the 3 exams as part of a paraplanning apprenticeship, but spent far too long on R01, which meant the other 2 were rushed towards the end of the year.

    The books are very long, so look at what the key topics are and where you can score the most marks, then focus on those sections. Also consider getting the CII's extra study aids, I found the audio was particularly useful as you can be revising subconsciously while doing other jobs. Lots of the provider websites offer study guides and extra practice papers.We were provided with some really good practice tests from a company called Brand, by an external trainer, but im not sure where he got them from!

    Be aware that while the tax year runs April to April, the syllabus updates in September, so there is a period of time where the figures in the book aren't the same as what you find online when you are doing external research! I found this particularly confusing during the R03 tax exam -always go with the figures from the book!

    Hope some of that is helpful :)

  • @heidisparkes1992 thank you very much for your insight into the exam :)

    Regarding the apprenticeship, is that something I could apply for somehow?

  • Elaine2685Elaine2685 Member
    edited April 12

    I am new to this forum and am looking to move into a paraplanning role however I have found it difficult to get my foot in the door with an administrator role as I don't have any experience and was wondering if anyone has any advice?

    I had a look at the apprenticeships however there doesn't appear to be any in Scotland where I am based.

    I've had a look at the getting started guide and was wondering if anyone has any tips of getting a start in paraplanning?

    Thanks in advance for your comments!
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