An investment advisor is any person or group that makes investment recommendations or conducts securities analysis in return for a fee, whether through direct management of the client's assets or by way of written publications. They often have discretionary authority over their client's assets and are required to uphold fiduciary responsibility standards.
You should possess essential skills to qualify for the position, including excellent communication and listening, as well as strong financial, analytical, organizational, and time management skills. As an investment advisor, your responsibilities will include educating clients on various ways of accomplishing their financial goals. You'll also determine the risk tolerance of your clients and analyze various investment options. Some of your day-to-day will include choosing investment options that suit your client best, providing investment recommendations, and record keeping.
Brokerage firms prefer investment advisors to be qualified and have at least a bachelor's degree with a major in finance, marketing, or business. Certain licenses are also available to cement your qualifications further. The average yearly salary for the position is $87,000; however, you can make more depending upon commissions and other bonuses. The average hourly salary for a traditional workweek is $41.85.
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:
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.
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.
Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.
As you move along in your career, you may start taking on more responsibilities or notice that you've taken on a leadership role. Using our career map, an investment advisor can determine their career goals through the career progression. For example, they could start out with a role such as account executive, progress to a title such as consultant and then eventually end up with the title controller, vice president.
Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.
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Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an Investment Advisor. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.
Learn How To Write an Investment Advisor Resume
At Zippia, we went through countless Investment Advisor resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.View Investment Advisor Resume Examples And Templates
Hispanic or Latino
Minneapolis, MN • Private
Washington, DC • Private
Philadelphia, PA • Private
Evanston, IL • Private
University Park, PA • Private
Lincoln, NE • Private
Los Angeles, CA • Private
Vestal, NY • Private
Villanova, PA • Private
San Diego, CA • Private
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The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.7% of investment advisors listed financial goals on their resume, but soft skills such as interpersonal skills and sales skills are important as well.
Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an investment advisor. The best states for people in this position are Washington, New York, Maine, and Georgia. Investment advisors make the most in Washington with an average salary of $123,543. Whereas in New York and Maine, they would average $113,257 and $109,841, respectively. While investment advisors would only make an average of $104,053 in Georgia, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.