If you’re curious about switching to or starting a career as a financial coach, this article will guide you through how to become a financial coach in the UK.
You’ll learn what qualifications, certifications, tools and resources you need as well as what kinds of protection and employment structures are available. You’ll even gain top tips from three of our Financial Coaches, Abby, Mike, and Sarah, on how to excel in the profession.
Let’s dive in.
What is the job of a financial coach?
Fundamentally, the financial coaching profession lies at the confluence of two streams of expertise: financial expertise and coaching expertise.
As covered in What is a financial coach? Complete guide to getting help, a financial coach is an expert who:
- partners with people to help build their financial plans and meet their goals
- helps people define their financial goals, gives them relevant, tailored educational material based on their circumstances, and explains their options clearly
- informs and empowers people to make smart financial decisions
Different from a financial adviser, a financial coach guides and empowers people to make decisions for themselves. And, different from a life coach, a financial coach specialises in helping people only with aspects of their financial situation and wellbeing.
As a financial coach, you’ll be able to talk to people about their personal finances and relationship with money, offering them a service that enables them to build their confidence.
“You’ll create a safe, non-judgemental space for people to explore their financial goals, their relationship with money, and available financial options – to help them feel more confident about managing their own money and feel empowered to take steps toward achieving their goals.”
— Sarah Brill, Financial Coach at Claro Money
You could already be working as a financial adviser, or working in banking, finance, or any professional field. If so, you might have many of the skills and knowledge that would give you a headstart on being an effective financial coach.
Here are a few things to consider when deciding if the profession is right for you:
1. Do you like all things finance?
2. Do you enjoy helping others?
3. Are you a good listener?
4. Are you willing to help people achieve their goals, improve their money management and financial habits?
If so, keep reading. You’re now going to learn each step you need to take in order to become a financial coach.
“We believe everyone should have equal opportunity to access financial support and education. Individuals who previously had limited access to financial education or advice can now speak about their circumstances with a financial coach.”
— Mike Barrow, Financial Coach at Claro Money
How to become an effective financial coach
1. Start with research
If you’re just learning about financial coaching and trying to figure out if it’s right for you, then the best place to start is with research.
Our comprehensive What is a financial coach? Complete guide to getting started article is a great place to start.
2. Figure out how you want to work
There are three different types of employment you can consider as a financial coach. You should choose one based on the working lifestyle you want to have.
a.) Be employed at a company
Being employed as a financial coach lets you enjoy the peace of mind of having employment rights, a steady and reliable income, and being part of a team. Some companies will offer training in your role and ongoing support and career development. For example, at Claro Money, all our Financial Coaches are trained to the same professional standards with our financial coach certification and nurtured as part of a team.
b.) Work as a contractor
Contracting might be for you if you want the flexibility of working on your own schedule. Often, contracted coaches work on a freelance basis, and may receive higher fees for their services, but may not have access to employee benefits.
c.) Start your own business
Starting any business can be both rewarding and challenging. This is true of starting your own financial coaching business. The route offers full control over your work schedule, pricing structure, and with whom you choose to work. Remember, when starting a business, you’re responsible for managing your own accounts. For this reason, you could choose to set up as a sole trader or limited company.
3. Get qualified
There are no mandatory qualifications for becoming a financial coach. But, because financial coaching is currently an unregulated industry in the UK, building trust with prospective employers and/or clients is incredibly important. And getting qualifications is a good way to do this.
There are a number of ways to boost your credentials. You can complete financial coach courses that are accredited by recognised industry bodies. For example, Claro Money’s Financial Coach training programme is accredited by The London Institute of Banking & Finance.
4. Get trained
Training helps you take the knowledge you’ve learnt and apply it to real-life coaching situations.
There are several training programmes currently available that give you relevant knowledge and experience to start working as a financial coach.
Some companies offer training programmes as part of onboarding you as a new coach.
Claro Money’s Financial Coach certification programme is both a qualification (that is, you complete a course by passing a final assessment) and a training programme (that is, you are taught to apply the essential skills of the profession in a working environment).
5. Get insured
Many people underestimate the value of insurance. It could end up saving you thousands of pounds.
Whether or not you choose an insurance product is up to you and what you feel comfortable with – it’s not a legal necessity, but highly recommended for the peace of mind it gives you. Also, bear in mind that often, unless you hold a form of professional insurance, businesses won’t work with you.
Several types of insurance are available for financial coaches. It’s generally recommended that you have liability insurance to be protected in the event of a lawsuit. Professional indemnity insurance is the main type – in case you are accused of having given someone advice. It’s also worth considering cyber and data insurance (for online coaching) and property insurance and public liability insurance (for on-site coaching).
6. Start marketing yourself
If you start your own business as a financial coach, you’ll need to devote a portion of your week to marketing activities, such as making updates to your website, posting content on social media, sending promotional emails to your customers and taking part in podcasts.
Typically, if you work as an employee, you will have a marketing team to work with.
How long does it take to become a financial coach?
It takes 100 hours to complete Claro Money’s Financial Coach training programme. With five hours of daily study, you could complete the course in as few as four weeks.
How do you train to become a financial coach?
To train to become a financial coach, you should split your learning time between:
- Gaining financial expertise
- Gaining coaching expertise
The two are distinctly separate. Having financial expertise requires you to have an in-depth understanding of the kinds of financial products and services in today’s market, while having coaching expertise requires you to know how to inspire and empower an individual to take action and start achieving their goals.
Can anyone be a financial coach?
Anyone from any professional background can try to become a financial coach. Naturally, some professionals will have more relevant knowledge and experience than others. Training can be for anyone who wants to specialise as a financial coach or add to their existing skill set.
How do financial coaches get clients?
There are several ways financial coaches get clients. Here are the most common:
- Word of mouth referrals
- Digital marketing and advertising
- Online reviews
- By joining a company that already has a large customer base
Is becoming a financial coach worth it?
Yes. Absolutely. Hear it from one of our coaches.
“Having been a financial adviser for over 13 years, I felt that I wasn’t able to help people in the way I wanted to. There is a distinct lack of reliable information for day-to-day finances and nowhere for people to find out,” says our Financial Coach, Abby Birch.
“I was always being asked by my friends – how can I buy a house, what is an ISA and questions along these lines. I wasn’t able to help people with these questions using traditional financial advice and I saw the role of a financial coach as a way to help people change their lives and help them with the practicalities of money in a way that was meaningful to them.”
— Abby Birch, Financial Coach at Claro Money
We’re always on the lookout for new Financial Coaches. If you are interested in a role at Claro Money, get in touch with us.