Financial Services Industry – Investment Consultants and Professional Investment Advisors

An investment consultant is an individual who provides independent investment advice, financial planning, and / or investment products to investors. An investment consultant prepares investment strategies to assist customers in meeting their needs and / or realizing their financial goals. They develop internal documents that outline individual venture capital, real estate investment options, and private equity for clients. This information is presented to the investor at a meeting and is called a financial statement. These financial statements are prepared on the client’s behalf. Most investors are not sophisticated enough to prepare their own financial statements.

Professional investment consultants are well trained to provide sound financial advice. To accomplish this task, many investment consultants enroll in classes covering various investment instruments. Some of these instruments are: stocks and bonds, money market funds, individual securities (Bonds and Annuities), mutual funds, alternative investments such as penny stocks, commodities, derivatives, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and custody accounts.

Another profession that is similar to that of financial planners is life coaches and mentoring. Life coaches and mentoring professionals typically have a background in psychology, sociology, finance, and other related fields. Some life coaches and mentoring professionals have backgrounds as teachers or coaches of various extracurricular activities. Other life coaches and mentoring professionals have obtained certifications and degrees from accredited educational institutions.

Many investors want to obtain professional assistance in planning and implementing an investment strategy. The most cost effective approach to acquiring such training and guidance is to hire an experienced financial planner or investment consultants. These individuals are generally trained to provide client analysis and recommendations in the areas of investment strategy and risk management. When hiring an investment consultants or planner, it is important that they have strong relationships with other industry players and the appropriate business skills. Clients are also encouraged to interview the candidates, which may require some background research on the potential employees.

Graduates with a four year college degree in accounting, finance, or business administration are the most likely candidates for entry level positions in investment consultants. While these professionals can attain positions in more sophisticated firms, most client offices choose to hire those with at least a bachelor’s degree. Those with a four-year college degree are also more likely to seek higher-level positions in their firms. As the economy enters a new phase of recovery, more entry level positions may become available as companies seek to reduce costs and streamline operations in preparation for a coming economic downturn.

Graduates who obtain a Master’s degree are most often successful in obtaining upper level positions in investment consultants or financial services firms. A Master’s degree program includes courses in management, accounting, economics, statistics, risk management, business leadership, finance, accounting, economics, and business law. Many Masters programs also include internships and experiences in investment banking and other financial services fields. For graduate students, a dissertation can be completed in as little as two years, depending on the student’s topic and nature of their studies. The dissertation is often required as a final exam for professional certification, licensing, or other credentials such as the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) or Registered Investment Consultant (RIC).