If you’re interested in stepping into the financial planning and advisory fields, there’s a good chance you’ll need to start off your career as a junior paraplanner.
In roles such as these, you’ll be getting your foot in the door and beginning to work alongside financial planners and advisors as somewhat of an assistant or a right-hand man so to speak.
To add, you’ll need the required education in finance to become a junior paraplanner, and whether that’s a paraplanning course starting in 2021 or a degree in finance, you’ll be on your way to success with one of these certifications.
You’ll help out financial planners and advisers in your firm with a range of different workflows, document prep and more — and we’ll take a deeper look into what a junior paraplanner does below.
What is a Paraplanner
Before we start our article, we’ll take a brief look at what a paraplanner is and what the field entails.
As you might already know, the word ‘para’ in paraplanner simply means ‘beside’ or ‘adjacent to,’ which essentially means you’re going to be the team member that works alongside your financial planner and advisory seniors.
That said, you can expect to be dealing with a lot of relevant workflows and tasks that gain you the insight and the dexterity to succeed in the financial planning industry. You’ll not be dealing with mundane and irrelevant tasks as a junior paraplanner, and that’s great news when it comes to getting your foot in the door and on your way up the ladder.
What You’ll Do as a Junior Paraplanner
It is commonplace for junior paraplanners to find employment in larger firms in the financial services industry which require a lot of hands-on and direct support for their more senior staff.
If you find yourself working for a large financial firm, you’ll be working to assist your financial advisory coworkers with their documentation drafting, finalising and filing along with a few other tasks.
In some cases, you’ll also be required to assist with things such as financial research, client communications and even progress reports.
As this role is an entry-level position, you won’t be falling too far into the thick of it right off the bat, though you will find yourself working with a lot of fiscally-important documentation and workflows.
Throughout your day, as a junior paraplanner you’ll also be reporting back to either your financial planner peers or other senior paraplanners.
Information Gathering as a Junior Paraplanner
As we mentioned above, one of the key tasks you’ll undertake as a junior in paraplanning are research and information gathering.
It’s common for more senior staff to be held up and busy with higher profile workflows, which means prior to meetings and client gatherings, it will be you who does a vast majority of the research for the financial advisors.
From here, you’ll often be asked to print out relevant documentation and information on financial products for clients and hand these off.
Meeting Prep and Minor Tasks
On top of all the research tasks and documentation prep we outlined above, there are also some rather mundane and simple workplace related essential tasks you’ll be asked to undertake.
For example, as a junior paraplanner you may often be required to prepare meeting rooms with relevant stationary and reports, along with making sure there are pens and supplies ready in these spaces.
You might also be asked to deal with certain printing and document filing procedures and client calls, due to the fact the more senior staff aren’t able to pause or stop their workflows for these lesser priority tasks.
Before we get into our final list of all the things junior paraplanners do, we will take a look at some of the education requirements of a paraplanner.
You’ll typically be required to hold either a high school diploma and a relevant certificate degree in financial services or paraplanning from a reputable educator.
You could also move forward with a degree in paraplanning to further develop your skills and fast track your movements up the career ladder.
To add, beyond educational requirements you’ll also need to possess excellent organisational skills and be willing to work typical office hours and some infrequent overtime given that the tasks in a work week may run over.
Junior Paraplanner Tasks
A few of the most common junior paraplanner tasks include:
- Undertaking research into financial databases
- Taking a peek into financial products that support client requirements
- Offering support to financial advisors to assist in helping clients
- Preparing meeting rooms for client gatherings
- Undertaking research on investments
- Offering preliminary information on financial planning
- Supporting staff in organising marketing workflows
- Preparing documentation and visual aids for staff and clients to make use of during meetings
With those point out of the way, it’s clear that the junior paraplanners undertake a range of workflows that are integral to the efficiency of a financial.