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Finance Qualifications
k mc d
Posted: 07 May 2018 22:13:54(UTC)

Joined: 18/12/2014(UTC)
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Hi folks.
Just a quick query for some of the financially qualified.
I'm due to start an MSc in Global Investment Management next year - at 40. My undergrad degree was in Social Policy and Criminology. I eventually want to work towards an IFA; but plan to work towards a paraplanner in the first instance to gain experience and the skills required.
My main query is whether I should do the actual MSc which will have a work placement with 1 of the investment/ accountancy firms/ banks in Belfast at a cost of £6100. Or should I study independently towards Certificate in Paraplanning with CII which works out about £1200, or even the DipFA with LIBF at £800?
I don't want to fork out £6100 if I can independently study at a lower cost but do realise that it could be hard to gain employment without the work experience the placement would give me.
Alan Selwood
Posted: 07 May 2018 22:29:49(UTC)

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One thread will do - you don't need to post the same thing twice!

I don't know whether anyone on this website will be able to answer your questions, bar perhaps one.
Posted: 08 May 2018 11:34:49(UTC)

Joined: 15/06/2017(UTC)
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Self-study qualifications do the job, especially if you're going to gain experience at administrator/paraplanner level before becoming an IFA.

Would recommend looking at CISI or CFA websites if going into financial planning or wealth management. CII also a good equivalent so go for it if it's your preferred one, I would not for myself as the organisation has a general focus on insurance industry but does offer appropriate qualifications for your needs.

Recommend a read of the below:

A masters in Global Investment Management is an excellent opportunity, especially with a work placement. It will give you a broader understanding of the investment environment and make further studying much easier (suspect you may need to undertake formal qualifications to become an IFA after the degree, although I'm not sure what exemptions it may offer). Obviously this will look excellent on your CV and put you ahead of other candidates. Do you need it to become an IFA? No. Should you do it? Hell yes, if you've got the time and money - I'd rather enter a sector highly educated than not.

Just my opinion and hope it helps. Reignites the question of degrees' value for money. Whereas it's expected you'd have be degree-educated if becoming a fund manager, the main requirement for IFAs are really the formal retail advice qualifications.
2 users thanked AJW for this post.
k mc d on 08/05/2018(UTC), Tim D on 09/05/2018(UTC)
Big boy
Posted: 08 May 2018 12:21:48(UTC)

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Being an IFA you will need to communicate so I would alway go for the work experience. This way you will understand what you are learning and be valued when you have completed you Qualifiaction. I would not want to employ someone who has just studied the books. At you age you also have the benifit of your life experiences.

1 user thanked Big boy for this post.
k mc d on 08/05/2018(UTC)
k mc d
Posted: 09 May 2018 14:37:26(UTC)

Joined: 18/12/2014(UTC)
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Cheers for the posts folks, much appreciated.
I guess going for the MSc is the safest option - although more expensive - as I can get the experience on the work placement and hopefully a job offer at the end of it.

Finding work without experience would be difficult here as there isn't an abundance of financial jobs.
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