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What does an Investment Advisor do?

Learn all about Investment Advisor duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become an Investment Advisor.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

An investment advisor is a professional who helps companies and individuals make decisions about their investments. They provide advice on what to invest in, how to invest, and when to sell.

Investment Advisor job duties include:

  • Research and recommend investment opportunities to clients
  • Monitor client portfolios and adjust as needed to reach goals
  • Stay up-to-date on financial news and developments that may impact client investments
  • Meet with clients to discuss their financial goals and risk tolerance
  • Prepare and present investment proposals to clients
  • Negotiate on behalf of clients to get the best possible terms for investments
  • Execute transactions to buy or sell securities in accordance with client instructions
  • Regularly review client portfolios and performance against goals
  • Provide tax planning advice related to investments

Investment Advisor Job Requirements

An investment advisor is someone who provides financial advice to clients based on their individual needs. They must have a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, or a related field, and they must be certified by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Investment advisors typically have several years of experience working in the financial services industry.

Investment Advisor Skills

  • Analytical
  • Proactive
  • Strategic
  • Innovative
  • Leadership
  • Excellent communication
  • Flexible
  • Client-focused
  • Goal-oriented
  • Organized
  • Multi-tasker
  • Detail-oriented

Related: Top Investment Advisor Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become an Investment Advisor

There are many different paths to becoming an investment advisor. Some people start their careers as financial analysts or stockbrokers and then move into investment advising. Others may begin their careers in accounting or even law before becoming an investment advisor. No matter what your prior experience is, there are a few key things you need to do to become an investment advisor.

1. Get a degree in finance, economics, or a related field. While you don’t necessarily need a degree to become an investment advisor, it will give you a strong foundation of knowledge to work from. If you don’t have a degree in one of these fields, consider taking some courses at a local community college or online.

2. Obtain your Series 7 license. In order to become an investment advisor, you must first pass the Series 7 exam administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). This exam tests your knowledge of securities and investments.

3. Complete additional FINRA exams. Depending on the type of investment advising you want to do, you may need to complete additional FINRA exams, such as the Series 65 or 66 exams.

4. Find a firm to work for. Once you have your licenses and exams out of the way, it’s time to find a firm to work for. Investment advisors typically work for banks, brokerages, or financial planning firms. There are also many independent advisors who work for themselves.

5. Start building your client base. The final step to becoming an investment advisor is to start building your client base. This can be done through networking, referrals, or marketing yourself online or in print. It takes time and effort to build up a clientele, but once you have a few clients, word will start to spread and you’ll soon have a thriving business

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