Investment Consultants (IC’s) are professional advisors who provide independent advice on investing for self-directed investors. An independent investment consultant assists clients devise and develop investment strategies and build and maintain their portfolios on their own. Like other financial advisers, investment consultants work closely with their clients and monitor their investments as their financial goals change over time. However, unlike financial advisers, investment consultants do not provide ongoing services to their clients, but instead provide independent guidance in the areas of investment strategy, asset allocation, and savings and investing. In addition, IC’s do not provide insurance, receive royalty payments, or serve as brokers.
Unlike financial advisers, investment consultants are not required to meet specific licensing or credentials, although most states require that an investment consultant have met a minimum level of training and experience. Therefore, an investment consultant can help you to invest your hard-earned dollars in an array of securities and products, and earn a comfortable living working from home. There are several different types of investment consultants, including financial advisers, market researchers, portfolio administrators, and investment bankers. A financial adviser provides advice on how to invest your money; a market researcher provides quantitative and qualitative research on the financial markets; and a portfolio administrator designs a monthly investment plan for his or her clients. Bankers arrange for an institution account, collect and organize investments, and provide advice on raising capital. The type of service you require will depend upon your personal needs.
Typically, financial planners and portfolio administrators charge a fee per month for their services. The fees associated with the services of a financial planner and a portfolio administrator vary according to the complexity of your financial situation and the particular products they specialize in. If you have several properties, several stock portfolios, or a number of vehicles such as retirement and annuities, it may be more cost effective to hire one individual to manage your affairs rather than allowing them to handle all of your finances on your behalf. Personal financial planners and portfolio administrators typically offer advice free of charge to their clients; however, they receive a percentage of the resulting investment gains for their services.
Many people seek the services of investment consultants because they wish to earn extra money without having to work for someone else. You can become an investment consultant by taking courses at an accredited business or community college. Upon graduation, you should compile a list of potential clients with whom you feel a bond and offer to work for them full-time for a specified period of time. Some consultants may charge their clients a flat fee for providing their services; others may charge a percentage of the gains their clients earn. Consultants who offer their services through independent contractors receive a percentage of the profits their clients earn on a percentage-of-profit basis.
Once you’ve compiled a list of potential clients, you’ll need to determine what type of financial services you’ll offer. Typically, investment consultants offer a range of financial products and financial services to their clients. The most common products and services offered are asset protection, retirement plans, estate planning, insurance, investments, real estate management, investing in stocks and mutual funds, commodity markets, tax advantaged investing, and money management. In order to be effective, financial services plans and products must be customized to fit your client’s needs and goals. The success of your service is dependent upon you understanding your clients and their individual financial goals and circumstances. A thorough evaluation of your clients is essential before you make recommendations about which financial products and services to recommend.
In order to become an effective financial advisor, you must build a strong, professional network. A network starts with your personal network of friends and acquaintances and continues through your work environment and church community. Your network provides the initial contact for a variety of individuals and businesses who may be interested in hiring financial advisors. If you’re considering a college degree in finance, keep in mind that financial advisors must have excellent interpersonal skills and be highly detail oriented. With a college degree in finance, the opportunity to serve as a financial advisor has been transformed into one of the most lucrative positions available today.