Professionalism of Investment Consultants and Personal Financial Advisors
Investment Consultants assist corporate management in identifying potential opportunities for growth within the current organization, as well as those opportunities that may be available outside of the organization. Investment Consultants seek to distinguish themselves from other investment advisers by their ability to accurately recommend the most suitable investment managers to literally invest the funds earmarked for investment. Because individual investment advisers typically do not take full responsibility for the entire final decision and implementation of an investment program, each individual institution’s internal investment management team is responsible for making investment recommendations. Investment Consultants are typically involved only in providing support and advice to management regarding specific investment programs and opportunities.
Many financial advisors offer financial advice to a wide range of clients, while other work with only a select few selected industries. Some specialize in financial advising to small businesses, while others work exclusively with large corporations. All financial advisors provide independent advice to clients and most are members of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). All NAPFA member firms operate under a code of ethics that ensures the high standards of client care and conduct.
Another area of expertise that many investment consultants offer is asset allocation. Asset allocation is the process of creating a plan for saving for the future, an investment strategy to achieve specific financial goals, or both. While many investment advisers provide general asset allocation advice, only some specialize in the creation of specific plans to fit individual retirement needs. Managers who have experience in creating effective individual retirement strategies can benefit corporations and individual workers by helping them to identify appropriate risk areas and finding the most efficient means of avoiding such risks.
Private pension asset management is a specialized area of responsibility that is a smaller sector of the overall investment consultants field. This type of service is provided by a select group of investment consultants who are highly trained in endowment fund management. Endowments provide employees with an opportunity to invest in their own retirements and receive tax benefits if they choose. Private pension asset management firms offer the same professional advice that any other endowments firm offers but usually have less experience in the field and may not have access to some of the more unique private pension fund investment options available.
Public money managers are another type of professional investment advisors who manage money for the public. They have been licensed by the state to manage such funds and comply with applicable laws and regulations. Money managers can be employed by individual consumers, corporations, and governmental endowments. Public money managers may also work for investment consultants as an advisor providing money managers independent advice on investment decisions. In this capacity, they would be a separate and distinct line of business.
A final type of professional investment advisors are mortgage brokers. Mortgage brokers provide advice to individuals on the best mortgages available to them based on their current needs and financial resources. Many financial advisors work as mortgage brokers too, offering their own expertise to their own clients. The role of mortgage brokers varies depending on the lender from which they are working. For example, those who work for banks may offer their own services to their own customers or work as independent financial advisors with clients from other lenders.