Investment Consultants provide advice on all aspects of investment management and are often hired by fund administrators, financial planners or other investment advisers. They are independent contractors and their fees depend on the complexity and the specific needs of their clients. They may be employed by just one or several private investors, public investment foundations or securities firms. Some of them are actively engaged in investment management advisory services for a number of financial institutions and hedge funds.
Investment consultants advise their clients on the various strategies, sectors, asset classes and countries to invest in as part of their investment management strategy and overall portfolio building process. Their services are used by fund managers, asset owners, individual investors and commercial real estate professionals. They create comprehensive financial proposals and financial investment strategies, working with clients to ensure that their financial objectives are met and that they have the means to meet them. In addition, they also help individuals or small businesses determine the appropriate sources of capital to meet their short-term and long-term needs. They also provide advice on how to plan for a stable and gradual return on investment.
The basic job requirements of an IFA are generally similar. However, there are a few key differences. Typically, financial services IFA’s have additional skill sets, such as accounting, finance and economics degrees or training. They may also have additional years of experience in the field, depending on their area of specialization and the types of clients they work for. They are expected to have a wide range of financial products expertise and knowledge, as well as interpersonal skills required to effectively deal with people, communicate with them, motivate them, and provide strategic direction.
Financial services IFA’s earn an annual salary typically in the range of approximately $60k to over a million annually. There are also other professionals who work as financial services investment consultants who earn even more, but most will not go beyond a six figure annual salary bracket. The top financial services IFA’s earn in excess of seven figures annually.
Most financial services IFA’s are closely tied to their firm’s investment products and portfolios. This is especially true of investment consultants working for the large corporations. Because these individuals must continually evaluate and monitor their client’s investment portfolios, they are often very detail oriented in what they do. Their tasks can include tracking stock prices, analyzing various market trends and changes, reviewing and implementing investor ledgers, identifying alternative investment products and strategies, reviewing and analyzing business plans, as well as communicating with clients about the status of their investments. Their work requires that they be able to analyze a wide variety of markets, time periods and financial situations.
Many large corporations hire investment consultants as well as individual financial services IFA’s because these individuals are much more capable of seeing all aspects of their business better than the larger management team. This enables these firms to make more informed decisions regarding their overall business strategy. Large firms can also save money by avoiding costly mistakes by using the services of an IFA over the larger investment managers. By employing the services of these financial consultants, companies can greatly increase their profitability and avoid many costly mistakes that can be made by the large investment managers.