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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

  • $63,484

    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
Assistant Vice President Human Resources Coordinator Specialist
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President Vice President Chief Finance Officer
Chief Finance And Operating Officer
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Senior Account Manager
Director Of Account Management
11 Yearsyrs
Branch Manager Account Executive Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Manager Controller
Finance Vice President
9 Yearsyrs
Analyst Operations Analyst Investment Analyst
Investments Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Business Developer Business Development Manager Director Of Sales
Managing Director
11 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Finance Manager Sales Manager
National Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Operations Manager Property Manager
Portfolio Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Business Developer Business Manager Regional Sales Manager
Regional Sales Director
10 Yearsyrs
Branch Manager General Manager Account Executive
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Manager General Manager
Regional Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager Director Of Sales
Sales Vice President
9 Yearsyrs
Investment Consultant Branch Manager Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Assistant Vice President
Senior Relationship Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager Account Executive
Senior Sales Executive
9 Yearsyrs
Specialist Operations Manager Assistant Vice President
Vice President & Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Assistant Vice President
Vice President And Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Specialist Analyst Assistant Vice President
Vice President And Portfolio Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Account Executive Business Developer
Vice President, Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
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Investment Advisor Demographics

Gender

Male

68.3%

Female

28.3%

Unknown

3.4%
Ethnicity

White

79.4%

Asian

9.2%

Hispanic or Latino

8.8%

Unknown

1.8%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.0%

French

13.6%

Mandarin

10.9%

Portuguese

6.5%

Chinese

6.5%

Russian

4.3%

Italian

2.7%

German

2.7%

Japanese

2.7%

Arabic

2.2%

Cantonese

1.6%

Hebrew

1.6%

Swedish

1.1%

Hindi

1.1%

Ukrainian

1.1%

Armenian

1.1%

Greek

1.1%

Polish

1.1%

Turkish

0.5%

Dutch

0.5%
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Investment Advisor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

10.7%

Boston University

7.5%

Arizona State University

7.0%

University of Florida

5.8%

Florida State University

5.5%

American College

5.5%

Northeastern University

5.2%

Michigan State University

4.6%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.6%

University of South Florida

4.3%

New York University

4.3%

University of Rhode Island

4.3%

University of Utah

4.1%

University of Southern California

3.8%

Harvard University

3.8%

DePaul University

3.8%

University of Iowa

3.8%

University of Georgia

3.8%

Liberty University

3.8%

Drexel University

3.8%
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Majors

Business

28.3%

Finance

24.2%

Accounting

7.5%

Economics

6.9%

Marketing

4.8%

Management

4.4%

Political Science

3.4%

Communication

3.2%

Psychology

3.0%

Education

2.4%

Law

2.2%

English

1.5%

History

1.5%

Real Estate

1.4%

Criminal Justice

1.1%

Business Economics

0.9%

Insurance

0.9%

International Business

0.9%

Public Administration

0.9%

Computer Science

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.1%

Masters

26.5%

Other

13.4%

Associate

3.5%

Doctorate

3.0%

Certificate

3.0%

License

0.4%

Diploma

0.1%
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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
Investment Advisor 3G Capital, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2013 $300,000
Investment Advisor Manager 3G Capital, Inc. New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $300,000
Investment Advisor Manager 3G Capital, Inc. New York, NY Sep 08, 2015 $300,000
Global Investment Specialist Jpmorgan Chase &Amp; Co. New York, NY Sep 16, 2013 $300,000
Global Investment Specialist Jpmorgan Chase & Co. New York, NY Sep 16, 2013 $300,000
Investment Advisor Manager 3G Capital, Inc. New York, NY Sep 16, 2015 $300,000
Investment Advisor 3G Capital, Inc. New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $300,000
Senior Investment Specialist (Investor) Jpmorgan Chase & Co. Los Angeles, CA Jul 02, 2016 $250,000
Senior Investment Advisor SSB Operations, LLC Los Angeles, CA May 04, 2012 $240,000
Investment Advisor NEZU Asia Capital Management LLC New York, NY Jan 03, 2014 $200,000
Equity Investment Advisor NEZU Asia Capital Management, LLC New York, NY Jan 28, 2016 $200,000
Investment Advisor Partners Group (USA) Inc. New York, NY Apr 14, 2013 $125,000
Investment Advisor Lloyd Crescendo Advisors LLC Miami, FL Jan 09, 2016 $125,000
Investment Advisor Partners Group (USA) Inc. New York, NY Oct 15, 2013 $122,000
Investment Quantitative Specialist MacKay Shields LLC New York, NY Feb 18, 2012 $120,000
Investment Advisor Drapac Investments, LLC Los Angeles, CA May 04, 2014 $120,000
International Investment Oversight Specialist BBVA Securities Inc. Houston, TX Dec 02, 2016 $119,829
Analytic Investment Strategy Advisor CVS Pharmacy, Inc. Woonsocket, RI Jan 07, 2016 $119,761
WM Investment Advisor U.S. Bank National Association San Francisco, CA Mar 28, 2011 $115,000
Eastern Europe Region Investment Advisor Noble International Investments, Inc. Boca Raton, FL Aug 20, 2016 $85,000
Medical & Biotechnology Investment Advisor Sasco Investments, LP Houston, TX Jan 15, 2011 $81,286 -
$105,165
Investment Specialist Procyon Ventures, LLC Cambridge, MA Apr 01, 2014 $80,000
Investment Advisor-Portfolio Manager Genesis Investment Advisors, LLC Coral Gables, FL Sep 16, 2014 $80,000
Investment Specialist National Securities Corporation New York, NY Jun 09, 2012 $75,000
Investment Specialist National Securities Corporation New York, NY Jun 09, 2015 $75,000
Investment Specialist National Securities Corporation New York, NY Jul 10, 2015 $75,000

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Top Skills for An Investment Advisor

FinancialGoalsAssetAllocationInvestmentProductsInvestmentPortfoliosIncomeEstatePlanningComplianceCustomerServiceRetirementPlanningPrivateEquityHighNETInvestmentStrategiesLifeInsuranceFinancialPlansClientRelationshipsBusinessDevelopmentClientBaseFinancialAdvisorsWealthManagementRealEstate

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Top Investment Advisor Skills

  1. Financial Goals
  2. Asset Allocation
  3. Investment Products
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Participated in financial seminars to educate prospective clients about various investment tools and strategies to achieve their financial goals.
  • Reviewed portfolios and asset allocation with clients and discussed current market outlook and economic conditions.
  • Counseled clients on various investment products.
  • Researched, implemented and managed investment portfolios for clients using strategic asset allocation strategies.
  • Created custom fixed income and equity client account reports.

Top Investment Advisor Employers

Investment Advisor Videos

Personal Financial Advisor Career Information : Personal Financial Advisor Salary

Financial Advisor - Career Conversation

A Day in the Life of a Financial Advisor

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