What Does an Investment Consultant Do?
Investment Consultants (ICs) provide a number of services for both institutional and individual clients. An investment consultant helps clients develop and put together investment plans, handle their finances, and build and maintain their portfolio. As with all financial advisers, investment consultants constantly monitor their clients’ investments and work closely with them to adjust their portfolios as their financial goals change over time. While an investment consultant is paid by a firm that employs him or her, they are also commonly self-employed professionals who are highly skilled in their fields and can be extremely helpful to any client who uses them.
All United States Social Security Administration (USSS) licensed investment consultants may work directly with clients, assisting them with their USSS approved financial plans. They may also work as independent financial consultants or self-employed professionals and provide independent financial advice to their clients. Some investment consultants work in the professional background to their USSS-approved clients and others have additional education outside the professional arena and work as teachers, journalists, accountants, and other professionals who have additional education and experience outside their professional capacity. All investment consultants may have stock portfolios or mutual fund portfolios managed on behalf of their clients and/or other third parties.
Investment Consultants are trained in financial planning and in the law and must pass an examination administered by the government to become licensed in order to provide these types of services to their clients. Prior to becoming an Investment Consultant, most USSS licensed investment consultants complete a number of hours of education at the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). NAPFA is the industry’s largest and most trusted non-profit professional organization for personal financial advisors. After becoming an NAPFA member, Investment Consultants can work on a full-time basis with NAPFA member clients. In many cases, they are able to earn up to seven hundred dollars a month.
Many of the investment consultants who work for NAPFA also participate in a variety of workshops and seminars to help them learn more about personal finance. Some of the investment consultants who work for NAPFA also participate in a number of online forums and social networking sites in an effort to learn more about what their fellow investment consultants are doing and how they are making money. These online activities, along with their in-person workshops, help them understand investment products like bonds, stocks, mutual funds, and more. Some NAPFA members even receive newsletters and reports from a number of different investment consultants. This information allows them to make better-informed decisions regarding the investments that they invest in.
Some of the largest financial planners and investment consultants in the United States also belong to the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). In addition to NAPFA, there are a number of other professional organizations, such as the International Association of Personal Financial Advisors (IAPFA), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AIPA), and the Financial Planning Association. All of these professional associations offer seminars and workshops to help investment consultants learn more about financial planning, including the many options that they have available to them today.
In general, investment consultants can either work for larger firms or independently. However, some do work for smaller firms and even some of the independent financial services brokers in the U.S. Many independent financial services brokers, particularly those who work solely for themselves, are able to provide their clients with customized financial services to fit their needs. If you are interested in becoming an investment consultant, contact some of your local financial services brokers today to learn more about the job.