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Become An Investment Advisor

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Working As An Investment Advisor

  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $92,760

    Average Salary

What Does An Investment Advisor Do

Personal financial advisors provide advice on investments, insurance, mortgages, college savings, estate planning, taxes, and retirement to help individuals manage their finances.  

Duties

Personal financial advisors typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients in person to discuss their financial goals
  • Explain the types of financial services they provide to potential clients
  • Educate clients and answer questions about investment options and potential risks
  • Recommend investments to clients or select investments on their behalf
  • Help clients plan for specific circumstances, such as education expenses or retirement
  • Monitor clients’ accounts and determine if changes are needed to improve the performance or to accommodate life changes, such as getting married or having children
  • Research investment opportunities

Personal financial advisors assess the financial needs of individuals and help them with decisions on investments (such as stocks and bonds), tax laws, and insurance. Advisors help clients plan for short- and long-term goals, such as meeting education expenses and saving for retirement through investments. They invest clients’ money based on the clients’ decisions. Many advisors also provide tax advice or sell insurance.

Although most planners offer advice on a wide range of topics, some specialize in areas such as retirement or risk management (evaluating how willing the investor is to take chances and adjusting investments accordingly).

Many personal financial advisors spend a lot of time marketing their services, and they meet potential clients by giving seminars or through business and social networking. Networking is the process of meeting and exchanging information with people, or groups of people, who have similar interests.

After financial advisors have invested funds for a client, they and the client receive regular investment reports. Advisors monitor the client’s investments and usually meet with each client at least once a year to update the client on potential investments and to adjust the financial plan based on the client’s circumstances or because investment options may have changed.

Many personal financial advisors are licensed to directly buy and sell financial products, such as stocks, bonds, annuities, and insurance. Depending on the agreement they have with their clients, personal financial advisors may have the client’s permission to make decisions about buying and selling stocks and bonds.

Private bankers or wealth managers are personal financial advisors who work for people who have a lot of money to invest. These clients are similar to institutional investors (commonly, companies or organizations), and they approach investing differently than the general public does. Private bankers manage a collection of investments, called a portfolio, for these clients by using the resources of the bank, including teams of financial analysts, accountants, and other professionals.

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How To Become An Investment Advisor

Personal financial advisors typically need a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree and certification can improve one’s chances for advancement in the occupation.

Education

Personal financial advisors typically need a bachelor’s degree. Although employers usually do not require personal financial advisors to have completed a specific course of study, a degree in finance, economics, accounting, business, mathematics, or law is good preparation for this occupation. Courses in investments, taxes, estate planning, and risk management are also helpful. Programs in financial planning are becoming more available in colleges and universities.

Training

Once they are hired, personal financial advisors often enter an on-the-job training period. During this time, new advisors work under the supervision of senior advisors and learn how to perform their duties, including building a client network and developing investment portfolios. This training usually lasts for more than a year.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Personal financial advisors who directly buy or sell stocks, bonds, or insurance policies, or who provide specific investment advice, need a combination of licenses that varies with the products they sell. In addition to being required to have those licenses, advisors in smaller firms that manage clients’ investments must be registered with state regulators and those in larger firms must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Personal financial advisors who choose to sell insurance need licenses issued by state boards. Information on state licensing board requirements for registered investment advisors is available from the North American Securities Administrators Association.

Certifications can enhance a personal financial advisor’s reputation and can help bring in new clients. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards offers the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. For this certification, advisors must have a bachelor’s degree, complete at least 3 years of relevant work experience, pass an exam, and agree to adhere to a code of ethics. The exam covers the financial planning process, insurance and risk management, employee benefits planning, taxes and retirement planning, investment and real estate planning, debt management, planning liability, emergency fund reserves, and statistical modeling.

Advancement

A master’s degree in an area such as finance or business administration can improve a personal financial advisor’s chances of moving into a management position and attracting new clients.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. In determining an investment portfolio for a client, personal financial advisors must be able to take into account a range of information, including economic trends, regulatory changes, and the client’s comfort with risky decisions.

Interpersonal skills. A major part of a personal financial advisor’s job is making clients feel comfortable. Advisors must establish trust with clients and respond well to their questions and concerns.

Math skills. Personal financial advisors should be good at mathematics because they constantly work with numbers. They determine the amount invested, how that amount has grown or decreased over time, and how a portfolio is distributed among different investments.

Sales skills. To expand their base of clients, personal financial advisors must be convincing and persistent in selling their services.

Speaking skills. Personal financial advisors interact with clients every day. They must explain complex financial concepts in understandable language.

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Investment Advisor Jobs

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Investment Advisor Career Paths

Investment Advisor
Agency Director
8 Yearsyrs
General Manager Real Estate Agent Insurance Sales Agent
Agency Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Accountant Assistant Controller
Assistant Treasurer
5 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Business Manager Personal Banker
Bank Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Personal Banker Business Banker
Business Relationship Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President Finance Vice President Chief Finance Officer
Chief Finance And Operating Officer
14 Yearsyrs
Portfolio Manager Collections Manager Credit And Collection Manager
Credit Director
11 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant National Sales Manager International Sales Manager
Director Of International Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Finance Manager Personal Banker
Finance Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Investment Consultant Branch Manager Finance Manager
Finance Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Branch Manager Account Executive Assistant Vice President
Finance Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Co-Founder Trader
Fixed Income Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Analyst Investment Analyst
Investments Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Branch Manager Assistant Vice President
Manager, Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Realtor Escrow Assistant Closing Manager
Mutual Fund Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Branch Manager Relationship Manager
Senior Relationship Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Auditor Tax Accountant
Trust Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President Manager, Assistant Vice President
Vice President & Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Analyst Assistant Vice President
Vice President And Portfolio Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Investment Advisor Demographics

Gender

Male

68.3%

Female

28.4%

Unknown

3.3%
Ethnicity

White

62.6%

Hispanic or Latino

13.5%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

9.2%

Unknown

3.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.7%

French

12.6%

Mandarin

10.1%

Portuguese

7.0%

Chinese

6.5%

Russian

4.5%

Arabic

3.0%

Italian

2.5%

Hebrew

2.0%

German

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Cantonese

1.5%

Swedish

1.0%

Hindi

1.0%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Armenian

1.0%

Polish

1.0%

Turkish

0.5%

Dutch

0.5%

Korean

0.5%
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Investment Advisor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

10.4%

Arizona State University

7.4%

Boston University

6.8%

American College

5.9%

University of Florida

5.6%

Florida State University

5.0%

New York University

4.7%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.7%

Northeastern University

4.7%

University of South Florida

4.4%

Michigan State University

4.4%

University of Rhode Island

4.4%

Florida International University

4.4%

University of Southern California

4.1%

University of Utah

4.1%

University of Iowa

4.1%

University of Denver

3.8%

University of Maryland - University College

3.6%

University of Pennsylvania

3.6%

University of Georgia

3.6%
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Majors

Business

27.9%

Finance

24.1%

Accounting

7.5%

Economics

6.8%

Marketing

4.7%

Management

4.5%

Political Science

3.5%

Psychology

3.3%

Communication

3.0%

Law

2.4%

Education

2.2%

English

1.4%

Real Estate

1.4%

History

1.4%

Criminal Justice

1.0%

International Business

1.0%

Business Economics

0.9%

Human Resources Management

0.9%

Insurance

0.9%

Computer Science

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.2%

Masters

26.7%

Other

13.8%

Associate

3.7%

Doctorate

3.2%

Certificate

2.9%

License

0.5%

Diploma

0.2%
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Real Investment Advisor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Global Investment Specialist Jpmorgan Chase and Co. New York, NY Sep 30, 2011 $330,000
Global Investment Specialist Jpmorgan Chase & Co. New York, NY Sep 16, 2013 $300,000
Senior Investment Specialist (Investor) Jpmorgan Chase & Co. Los Angeles, CA Jul 02, 2016 $250,000
Investment Specialist Brevan Howard Us Investment Management LP New York, NY Aug 19, 2013 $195,000
Investment Adviser Beta Capital Management LLC Austin, TX Jul 15, 2011 $180,000
Investment Adviser Beta Capital Management LLC Austin, TX Jul 01, 2011 $180,000
Investment Adviser Beta Capital Management LLC Austin, TX Jun 15, 2011 $180,000
Investment Adviser Beta Capitalm Anagement LLC Miami, FL Jul 01, 2011 $180,000
Partner, Senior Investment Specialist Navigation Capital Partners, Inc. Atlanta, GA Feb 01, 2010 $175,000
Global Investment Specialist Jpmorgan Chase & Co. New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $175,000
Investment Specialist BNP Paribas Investment Partners USA Holdings Inc. New York, NY Dec 26, 2016 $160,000
Investment Specialist Interbolsa Securities, LLC Miami, FL Nov 15, 2010 $160,000
Investment Quantitative Specialist MacKay Shields LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $120,000
Investment Quantitative Specialist MacKay Shields LLC New York, NY Feb 18, 2012 $120,000
International Investment Oversight Specialist BBVA Securities Inc. Houston, TX Dec 02, 2016 $119,829
Investment Initiatives Specialist, Women Investing In Women Initiative (Win-Win) Calvert Foundation Bethesda, MD Sep 20, 2016 $108,000
Client Relationship Specialist-Investment Adviser Lobscouser Capital, LLC Saint Louis, MO Jan 13, 2016 $100,322
Investor Relations Specialist China Green Agriculture, Inc. Scottsdale, AZ Oct 24, 2011 $100,000
Global Investment Specialist Jpmorgan Chase & Co. New York, NY Sep 09, 2014 $100,000 -
$125,000
Treasury Infrastructure Investment Specialist State of Michigan, Department of Treasury East Lansing, MI Jul 09, 2012 $95,213
Actuary, Investment Specialist Institutional Life Services LLC New York, NY Aug 25, 2014 $72,500
Investor Relations Specialist Tic Management LLC Los Angeles, CA Sep 28, 2016 $69,493
Corporate Investment Specialist Miteno USA, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Feb 09, 2016 $68,432
Investor Relations Specialist Tic Management LLC Los Angeles, CA Sep 25, 2015 $68,000
Marketing and Investor Relations Specialist PX Global Advisors LLC New York, NY Jun 01, 2015 $59,480
Investment/Portfolio Specialist Raymond James & Associates, Inc. Beverly Hills, CA Sep 02, 2015 $58,989 -
$59,000
Investment Specialist Clear Vision Financial Group Inc. McMurray, PA Oct 02, 2016 $58,573
Investor Relation Specialist Bauer Asset Corporation New York, NY Aug 12, 2015 $56,349 -
$73,045

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Top Skills for An Investment Advisor

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  1. Investment Strategies
  2. Financial Goals
  3. Asset Allocation
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Presented personalized investment portfolios to clients, including analysis of investment strategies and allocation of funds in clients' equity/bond portfolios.
  • Delivered personalized investment solutions to help clients work toward their long-term financial goals
  • Conduct meetings with potential and current clients discussing asset allocation goals and strategies; develop recommendations based on detailed proposals.
  • Implement strategies to gaining access to new clients by establishing relationships with department managers, administrators and other influential individuals.
  • Presented market positioning analyses and offering memorandums to real estate investors.

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