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How do you become an Investment Advisor?

Becoming an Investment Advisor is rather difficult.  An Investment Advisor needs to have strong financial & investment knowledge and importantly, relevant experience.  It is easy to understand why relevant experience is important.

Most clients would not trust a proposed $100,000 or $1 Million portfolio recommendation by an Investment Advisor with no prior experience, no matter how knowledgable he or she is.  Investment Advisors also face the high standard of working with Relationship Managers & Wealth Managers who are already fairly knowledgable in economics, financial and investment.

Read More: What is an Investment Advisor

Although it is difficult to become an Investment Advisor, there are a number of ways to get there.

 

What are the possible ways to become an Investment Advisor?

Management Associates
Management Associates

The most popular route is through the Graduate Training Program which most major financial institutions have.  Below are two tables on possible placement & rotation into a typical graduate training program by financial institutions.

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Front Office 

Client Desk Advisory Desk
Personal Banker, Service Relationship Manager, Client Associate, Assistant Private Banker Treasury, FX, Equity, Fixed Income, Dealing, Structured Product, Commodities, Derivatives, Funds, Alternative Investments, Discretionary Portfolio, Credit, Estate, Trust, Insurance

 

Middle Office

Operations Research
Settlements, Custodian, KYC & AML, Compliance Equity, Fixed Income, Treasury, FX, Commodities

 

What are other options?

Personal Banker
Personal Banker

Other options include starting as Equity Analysts, Fixed Income Analysts, FX Analysts from Brokerages or Fund Management Companies.  Another route is to start as a Wealth Manager or Product Specialists in Wealth Management.

 

How many years of relevant experience do you need?

Accepting Investment Proposal
Accepting Investment Proposal

As an Investment Advisor, you would be required to have the following knowledge & experience:

  • Strong knowledge base in asset classes (Equities / Fixed Income)
  • Strong fundamentals in global financial markets & economic trends
  • Familiarity with target market stocks & stock exchanges
  • Familiarity with investment instruments (Securities, ETFs, Unit Trust, Derivatives, Structured Products)
  • Dealing or Execution Experience
  • Able to work with Wealth Managers and Clients

This means to adequately have the relevant experience, it can take as little as 2 – 3 years and as long as 5 – 8 years.

 

Is there any certification to have?

Graduate Exploring Career Options
Graduate Exploring Career Options

Yes, financial advisory in most countries are regulated.  Like all Wealth Managers, Investment Advisors are required to have the relevant capital market license.  As the regulatory requirements are constantly changing and being enhanced, there may be new certifications to get.

 

What qualifications do you need?

Being a specialist means building up core competencies and credibility.  Aside from having a University Degree in Finance, Economics, Banking, Statistics, Mathematics, many pursue finance related qualifications such as CFA and CAIA.

More Certifications:

Title Full – Title
CFA Chartered Financial Analyst
CFP Certified Financial Planner
ChFC Chartered Financial Consultant
CMT Chartered Market Technician
CAIA Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst
CIIA Certified International Analyst
CIPM Certificate in Investment Performance Management

 

Learn More: 7 Top Global Accreditations for Wealth Management

 

What is the best way of getting in?

If you are suitable, the best way is to network yourself in.  Since an Investment Advisor works closely with the Head of Investment Advisory and the Relationship Managers, knowing them could help you to get in, since they are already comfortable with you.

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