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Considering Moving Abroad as an IFA? – Top 3 Countries to Consider

As a qualified IFA, the great news is that these skills and qualifications are all transferable to other global destinations, so if you’re looking to spread your wings and begin practising as an independent financial advisor abroad, it’s entirely possible. However, there are some countries that provide a better infrastructure and landscape for finance jobs abroad and we’re going to take a look at the top 3 countries to consider. In order to provide you with a helpful insight, we’ve factored in the growth, income, and wealth levels in these countries, to ensure there is not only a demand for independent finance jobs abroad, but the scope to expand and really make an impact on the market.

The United States of America

As one of the wealthiest and largest countries in the world, there is a huge market for independent financial advisor jobs in the US, whether you aim for large companies or venture out on your own. With major cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Dallas boasting significant growth with high wealth levels, relatively low unemployment and a relatively low average of advisors per household, there is an abundance of opportunities to tap into the IFA market.

The United Arab Emirates

There is no escaping the fact that the growth occurring in this Middle Eastern country is phenomenal, with Dubai currently positioned as one of the fastest growing cities in the world. This huge growth and abundance of wealth in this country, means there are plenty of opportunities for international finance advisor positions, with many of the world’s large finance companies rushing to open offices in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. This also means there are plenty of opportunities for financial advisor recruitment, even for non-Arabic speakers.


If you’re looking to go big with your IFA aspirations, then consider a move to China, where there is a growing economy, high wealth levels and a huge market to corner. With cities like Hong Kong, tipped as one of the top cities for finance jobs in Asia, you’ll have a gateway into the Chinese finance sector and a growing market for wealth investment jobs, brokering and more. But it’s worth bearing in mind that, whilst English is widely spoken here, some knowledge of Chinese would be helpful to achieve progression in the IFA recruitment market.   Whilst these three countries offer some of the best opportunities, there are plenty of others in the running and with the constant change of the global finance marketing and a continuing demand for IFA’s, becoming an international finance advisor shouldn’t prove that difficult.

What Do You Need for a Home Office Abroad?

If you’re a qualified Independent Finance Advisor, there are numerous possibilities for developing your career and creating new challenges, and one of these can be finance jobs abroad. Whilst many wanting to work abroad may seek out another company to provide them with suitable work, as an independent finance advisor you need surprisingly little to set up your own home office abroad. Here we’re taking a look at the essential tools and infrastructure you’ll need to get yourself up and running anywhere in the world.


As a qualified independent finance advisor, it’s important to find an appropriate workspace in your home. Whilst much of the job can be split between home visits to your clients, having a suitable place to work will help you keep a good work-life balance and help you stay organised.

Good Internet Access

In the modern world, the internet is an essential tool in business, especially in the finance world where IFA’s need to keep continuously up to date with the latest news and to be able to communicate with their clients effectively. Investing in a decent internet provider will help you in so many ways as an international finance advisor, as your clients may be dotted around the world.

Computer or Laptop

Whether you decide on a desktop computer with more hardware and storage or a laptop that allows you to work on the go wherever you have connectivity is up to you, but investing in a quality piece of technology is vital to building your home office abroad.


Another essential tool for working as an IFA, is a phone, which will allow you to keep in touch with your clients, and provide a contact number for new ones. Getting a smartphone is most likely the best option, as you only pay one monthly charge, plus with apps like Skype you can subscribe for a local landline office number, as well as have your mobile number separately. They also allow you to keep up to date with emails and calendars on the go, making time management very effective for independent finance advisor jobs.

Filing system

Inevitably with finance advisor jobs, comes paperwork and you’ll need a system in place to be able to process this paperwork effectively and keep everything organised. Having a physical hardcopy in store, as well as a cloud-based system should mean you can cover every eventuality and easily locate documents as and when you need them.

What Do You Need to be an IFA Abroad?

As a qualified IFA in the UK, there are endless possibilities of applying your experience and expertise in another country as an Independent Finance Advisor abroad. Whether you’ve landed an overseas job in a finance company or you’re going it alone, there are a few things you should prepare for before you relocate, so we’re looking at what you need to be an IFA abroad.


The qualifications you’ve earned as a UK independent financial advisor are completely transferable and will be more than substantial to work in most other global finance markets, but before you go make sure you all your qualifications up to date and readily available to potential employers and customers. Wherever you are in the world, the people who will be using your services will want to know that they are in safe hands with an international finance advisor who can prove they’re qualified and reputable.


It’s also a good idea to get several good references from previous employers or clients that will also help to support your qualifications, and demonstrate that you have the relevant experience in financial advisor jobs should any one request them.

Learn the language and culture

Inevitably moving to another country, even if it’s one that speaks English as the first language, there will be differences in the language and the culture. This applies both on a personal level as well as the financial sector, so do your research before you go and find out the local customs in the workplace and learn some key phrases and vocabulary that will stand you in good stead. Of course, the best way to learn a language and culture is by living in it, so on arrival in your new destination take the time to explore, meet new people and join classes and groups that will help you expand your network of friends and professional contacts.

Get on Social Media

In the modern world, you can’t underestimate the power of social media. Not only is it a great way of keeping in touch with friends and family far away, but it can also be a fantastic place for you to network in your new country. Joining local Facebook groups relating to IFA recruitment, building networks and connections through LinkedIn and participating in online groups affiliated with financial advisor jobs and recruitment can give you a great basis for making the valuable connections with people who require your services as an international finance advisor. With all this under your belt, as an international finance advisor you should be well prepared to take on the challenges and fantastic opportunities that moving abroad has to offer.

Seven Signs You Need a Fresh Start

Consider life as a series of doors that open and close with opportunities and choices. We all know the expression ‘as one door closes, another one opens’, but knowing which doors to open and close and when, can be part of the challenge. Here we look at seven signs that may indicate you need a fresh start that may help you recognise the opportunities and your personal goals.

Low Job Satisfaction

According to IIP, in 2014/15 60% of UK workers were not happy in their jobs. This low job satisfaction could be an indication that a fresh start is required. Maybe it’s time to start a new career, stepping outside of your comfort zone – this could be looking at independent finance advisor jobs in your area or even finance jobs abroad.

Feeling Uninspired

If you’re constantly feeling uninspired by everything around you, why not make some significant changes to your environment. This could be a fresh start in a new city or country, or just making an effort to seek out the things or people that do inspire you.

Life changes

If you’ve recently gone through a life-changing moment, be it quitting or losing your job, getting married, divorced, moving house or having a child, these are all defining moments that will change your life no matter what you do. Which is why as scary as it may sound, it can also be a good time to embrace change into other areas of your life too.

Living in the Past

If you’ve spent months, years, even decades living in the past, there has to come a time when you start living in the present and planning a future. A sure sign you’re ready for a fresh start is when realise that you want a future, whether it’s a career change as an IFA abroad or enrolling on a course.

Feeling Trapped

This isn’t an uncommon feeling, many people feel trapped or stuck in a rut, which is why change and making a fresh start is the way forward. In reality, you’re the only one who can change these feelings, so acting upon your instincts and taking a new job as an international finance advisor or moving abroad could be just what you need.

Cutting Ties

Another sign you need a change could be that you have cut all ties with the previous chapter in your life. Maybe your friends have all moved away or you’ve quit your job and feel like you have nothing left connecting you to your old life – this is definitely a sign to start afresh and open a new door on your life.

The Need for Change

It’s easy to become complacent and routine, but if you feel you’re living your life or career on a treadmill with the same mundane routine day after day, this is definitely a sign that you need a change in the right direction – make bold decisions and start something new.

Why Robo Advisors don’t mean the end of the IFA

  It is said that robots are going to take over the world and that within 30 years 15 million jobs will be taken away from humans to be done by robots. In some areas it seems some progress has already been made as evident in the rise of the robo financial advisor. However this doesn’t mean that independent financial advisors should be worried. Technology is of course here to stay and is developing at a massive speed. And it is technology which appeals to the young in particular. For the young independent financial advisor just starting out in their career discovering the wonders of the robo advisor with its low cost and ease of use may be the right way to go. Similarly, for the young investor just starting out they may automatically go for what they think they understand – which is technology.

Relationships are key for IFAs

However the fact is that financial planning and advice relies on the advisor and the investor having a good relationship. Trust between the two is an important factor. And although online advisory platforms – to give them their proper name – can work for a few they are not for everyone. An online platform lacks the capacity to form relationships, personalise a client’s portfolio or make complex personal and planning decisions. A financial advisor is uniquely placed to become a powerful ally for their clients. By understanding what a client’s needs, aspirations and risk tolerance are an independent financial advisor can make recommendations and provide assurance for nervous clients. A robo advisor can do such thing.

Algorithms cannot read customers like you can

In some ways robo advisors are barely more complex than the questionnaire style scripts that prevail in call centres and as such they cannot determine a client’s true thoughts or compile a full and accurate picture of the client’s situation. As an independent financial advisor you can read between the lines of a client’s complex needs and bring some human discretion to a situation when required. Although online advisory investment platforms are probably here to stay we see little reason to worry. The fact is, most investors expect personalised attention and assurance before investing their hard-earned money and they can only get that from a human. We believe that even younger tech-savvy investors will soon tire of the mass-marketing style approach and will want to return to speaking with a real person who understands their worries and their needs. There’s no reason to believe there will be any significant impact on financial advisor recruitment.

The benefits of building IFA presence on Facebook

Social Media is fast becoming a great way of advertising your business at snippet of the cost of print, radio or television advertising. Independent Financial Advisors should use this medium to their advantage but with only 18% of advisors currently utilising it, it is not something that has been taken up in the world of finance.

Facebook has form for helping businesses

The benefits of Facebook can be seen from a recent social media survey undertaken by Putnam Investments - they discovered IFAs on this social media platform outperformed other advisors who push their efforts onto one of the other social media networks. Facebook has netted businesses new assets worth around $565 million compared to Twitter at $170 million and Google+ at $393 million. It was also discovered that the Facebook advisors gained 83% of their new clients from the medium compared to LinkedIn advisors only converting 56% so you could also argue that the quality of lead from Facebook is greater. Whether you’re looking for new international financial advisor jobs, or using the platform for gaining new clients, Facebook is a great place to be.

Another avenue to explore

Facebook is the fastest growing social media, which also helps with SEO. Google and others now list Facebook pages in their searches meaning you can get another hit besides your website for new customers. The analytics on your Facebook insights page offers easy to read metrics allowing you the tools to see what is working which you can go on to develop.

Getting friendly

Facebook is designed to allow you to build a rapport with new and existing clients in a more relaxed (yet professional) environment. If you are seen as approachable, with a lot of advice to give then people are more likely to use you. IFA’s rely on customer’s word of mouth and repeat business and engaging clients via Facebook is a great way to keep in touch. There are a few things you need to do on the page to keep yourselves relevant. Post on a regular basis; this keeps you fresh in the audience’s minds but make the posts relevant to your business and your customers. Offer newsletters to download, showing your depth of knowledge. Do not give away a high level of advice – you are still a business. Reply to messages to show your efficiency.   However, user beware - remember you are a business and as such you should still act like one on social media; keeping your appearance professional yet approachable. If you do not have the time to put into the upkeep, take on board a company to maintain the page for you. Facebook has many benefits from the range of clients you could source to the type. Use it well and you could see your business presence increase dramatically.

Adding Value as an Independent Financial Advisor

  Independent financial advisors today face many more challenges than their predecessors. Since the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) banned commissions, and advisors have had to charge explicit fees for services, it has been an uphill struggle to convince clients of their value. The economic crisis and a loss of trust in banking and financial services generally have added to the difficulty of charging for services that were formerly seen as being ‘free’, especially where consumers are better informed and can understand many of the simplified products via the internet.   Given these challenges, how does the Independent Financial Advisor demonstrate value to a client and how is this communicated?  

Gaining a loyal client base

Customer Loyalty is the strategic competitive advantage of any business and any IFA, whether you’re looking for finance jobs abroad or in the UK. Given the higher value of an existing customer, every advisor should make this their primary objective. This is achieved by developing a trusting relationship based on the clients’ needs. Trust – perhaps the most important factor in all relationships - results from consistency and reliability, openness and honesty, and good communication. It is achieved by patient relationship building that focuses on the client.  

Coach your clients carefully

  Providing financial advice can be a little like mentoring and coaching in its early stages. Those looking for IFA jobs abroad that want to cultivate success need to listen carefully to clients’ needs and to help them to define clear goals where previous thinking may have been vague. It is about patient explanation of the basic principles of investment, and understanding clients’ responses to issues such as risk and return.  

Keep your knowledge bank full

  Fundamentally, clients want to maximise the values of investments as tax-efficiently as possible. There are many products they can use to achieve these objectives and an advisor can invariably add value through an in-depth knowledge of the investment landscape and its application to clients’ specific needs. Any international financial advisor worth their salt should avoid simply comparing different offers as a sales technique – many clients will have already used the internet to do this and there is little perceived value in it.   Perhaps the biggest difficulty advisors have is that they’re unable to promise investment outcomes, and attempts to do this invariably destroy credibility. However, excellence in service delivery is something that can be promised – and delivered – and is another way in which value can be communicated. Regular contact with clients, for example to discuss a quarterly review in the context of their life goals, has added value. Volunteering new information regularly and advising action closes any gaps between expectation and delivery and helps to forge stronger long-term relationships.

How useful is content marketing for independent financial advisors?

Publish a regular blog dealing with general topics such as risk and return or with a specific issue, for example a change in legislation

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