One of the most lucrative careers is investment advisory.
It is estimated that seasoned investment advisors can easily earn millions per year. Perhaps, this field is one of the best careers out there regarding financial returns.
No wonder this career is being aspired by a lot of students and professionals all around the world (are you one of them?).
Let’s see how well a career in investment advisory pays. Afterward, let’s discuss some things that will help you create a successful career in this profession.
Who is an Investment Advisor?
Before we talk about salaries, let’s revisit first what is an Investment Advisor.
An Investment Advisor is one who makes investment recommendations and executes them for a fee. The investments may include securities like corporate bonds, government securities, and other related products.
The payment could either be a flat fee or a percentage of the assets being managed by the advisor. Commission-based payments happen especially for those who handle mutual funds. Stock brokers, though they buy or sell for the account of clients, are not within the definition of investment advisors.
Investment Advisory Salary in India
According to a report from Payscale, the average salary of an Investment Advisor in INDIA is about Rs 360,000 per year.
Salary can be as low as Rs 140,000 to as high as Rs1,800,000 per year. Your aim should be the higher end of the spectrum. Those amounts are still exclusive of commissions which could go around Rs280,000 per year.
It was also reported that those in the middle of their careers got about 30% increase in salaries. But, what’s interesting is that those who are already experienced (meaning, more than five years) got more that 300% jump in income! Thus, an experience is a huge factor when it comes to compensation.
Health benefits, just like in other professions, are given to employees. Most common are general, medical, dental and vision health packages.
Investment Advisory Salary in the US
Meanwhile, in the United States, the average compensation of Investment Advisors is about USD 55,000 (Rs 3.6 million). The usual range is at USD 30,000 (Rs 2 million) to USD 145,000 (Rs 9.7 million) per year.
Do you think these are already big enough? Wait until you hear the bonuses. Their bonuses (bonus plus profit sharing plus commissions) can range anywhere from USD 35,000 (Rs 2.3 million) to USD278,000 (Rs 18.6 million) per year!
Investment Advisory Salary in the UK
The median basic salary for investment advisors in the United Kingdom is about £35,000 (Rs 3 million) per year. Entry level employees (0-5) years on the average get paid £30,000 (Rs 2.6million). Those in their mid-careers (5-10 years) receive about £45,000 (Rs 3.9million) basic salary per year.
Experienced advisors (10 years and more) get to receive about £50,000 (Rs 4.4million or more per year)!
Bonuses can reach almost £20,000 (Rs 1.7 million) a year. Profit sharing and commissions are in the range of £4,000 (Rs 350,000) to £40,000 (Rs 3.5million) annually.
They sure earn a lot of income!
Now that you already know the exact figures, don’t you think it’s time to start thinking about entering the field of investment advisory?
If you do, then, let’s talk about how you can get started.
How to be a successful Investment Advisor?
Step 1. Earn a bachelor’s Degree
There are some courses available for those who want to be advisors. These bachelor degrees typically take 4-5 years to finish. Here are some related majors you can take for your undergraduate studies.
Knowledge of finance will enable you to explore more type of opportunities for your clients. Study how financial markets work and how your clients might benefit from it. You will also learn the different type of securities that you can suggest to your clients.
Learning economics will play a major role when it comes to managing your client’s assets. You must know what type of investments is profitable for each part of the economic cycle. Being adept with economics lets you anticipate the better investments for the future.
Some psychology majors shift to investment banking because of their skill in dealing with different types of people. By learning the clients’ behavior, they would be able to recommend products not just based on the returns, but also on the personality of the client.
Banking plays a key role in money management; that’s why there’re a lot of students who major in banking and are accepted into the investment advisory industry. Getting a major in banking lets you understand the different ways financial investments can earn through banks. Also, you will be thought how to be front-end personnel, that is, how to talk with clients regarding their investment concerns.
There are also universities or colleges that offer degrees that are major in Financial Services. These courses would also be a great fit for an investment advisory career. You will know the wide array of financial services that are available for your clients.
Step 2. Get meaningful experience
Look for companies with excellent training programs that can greatly increase your experience and expertise. Apply for those companies.
Every good training program stresses making contacts, making them leads or prospects and then finding the people who you can close as clients.
It’s a numbers game. The training might also include making hundreds of cold phone calls per week. The conversion rate is very low, though. Be happy if you have ten leads. For other training programs, there might also be a door to door prospecting with the aim of getting new contacts at the end of the day.
Getting new leads is difficult if you don’t have a wide array of a personal network. You will have to work hard to eventually find clients who would like to get your service or the service of your firm.
Step 3. Get a certification
If you want to grow your profession, getting a certification is a must. Here are relevant certifications you can choose from.
#1. Certified Financial Planner
This is a certification given to qualified financial planners by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFB Board), or by the affiliated organization of the Financial Planning Standards Board. Currently, there are 25 affiliated organizations.
Not all professionals can get certified. Be sure to check first the requirements of CFP Board so that you can ready yourself. If you’re from India, here’s a video tutorial about Certified Financial Planner to help you more.
#2. Chartered Financial Consultant
The Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation is awarded by The American College of Financial Services as a proof of a candidates’ competence on advanced financial planning. There are already about 40,000 professionals who were accredited with this certification.
On the average, an applicant would study over 400 hours for the exams, and then 30 hours per year for continuing professional education. As such, ChFC is said to be the most comprehensive program to be mandated for any financial services qualification.
You can know more about ChFC through their ChFC website.
#3. Personal Financial Specialist
Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) is a designation allowed only for AICPA members. Thus, if you want it, you must first be a licensed CPA in the United States. The issuing organization is the AICPA.
Aside from that, the candidate must have a minimum of 75 hours of education about personal financial planning, within the five-year period preceding the application for PFS. There are more details available on this site.
#4. Chartered Financial Analyst
This certification is one of the most coveted accreditations in the financial world. The Chartered Financial Analyst designation is conferred by the CFA Institute. A CFA Charter is given to professionals who had passed three levels of certification by the CFA Institute.
There are over 120,000 CFAs in the world. Topics of the exams cover investment management, fixed income securities, stocks and derivatives to name a few.There are also topics on Ethics, Statistics, and Economics.
In India, there are exams offered every June and December. The different testing centers are located in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune. You can check more details through the CFA India page.
Step 4. Continuous professional education
Earning a Master’s Degree in Business Administration will catapult your career a lot further. For the managerial positions, minimum educational requirement is a Master's degree. Higher education will prepare you for more complicated and more challenging tasks as a senior investment advisor.
After your first Master's degree, you may opt to move forward by earning a doctorate. If not, you can choose to study another Master's course. Or, you might want to earn a new bachelor’s degree which you think would help you in your investment advisory career.
Some professionals stop after having one Master's degree. That’s okay for as long as you are still keeping yourself updated by attending seminars or conferences. These events would also help you increase your network of people.
Step 5. Work hard and be consistent
The investment advisory career is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Don’t expect that upon landing your first job; you will already be financially stable. Remember, all legit careers follow learning curves. For the first 3-4 years, you will have to learn a lot from the seniors.
You will get significant results after you hit a supervisory role. You will be given more client lists, more responsibilities, more staff and more income, of course.
But, until this period comes, expect that you will have to learn and learn and learn. Just keep yourself hungry for more experience and education.
If you want to be an independent investment advisor later on, then, you must strive harder in your early years. You must make a name for yourself. From Day 1, people must know you as someone who works hard so that you can earn their trust. Build your network right from the very start.
Skills that will upgrade your income
If you want a faster growth regarding personal development and pay level, there are certain skills you need to develop in yourself. These skills will help you reach your goals quicker and easier.
Here are some of those skills:
#1. Analytical Skill
If you want to process more accounts, your mind needs to be quick at interpreting numbers. Your job would include a lot of numeric data, and it’s all up to you to make some sense from them. For example, if you are looking for a stock to recommend for a client, you will be choosing from lots of stocks available in the stock market. You must learn how to reduce the options in the least amount of time.
You also need analytical skills to answer smartly however difficult the questions your client would ask.
#2. Researching Skill
Research is very vital for every advisor. In general, you need to know more about the investment products than your client. You will earn their trust if they know that you can add something of value to them. As an advisor, you will be of value if you can give them investment options they never thought would be a great fit for them.
Prioritize research so that you wouldn’t advise the wrong investment. The last thing you would want is your client to incur a loss just because you’re not diligent enough to research!
#3. Relationship-building Skill
Every advisory career is very people-centric. Not just because someone has money to invest, it would already mean that they will hire you if you ask them. You need to build a relationship with them. After all, we’re talking about money here. People wouldn’t just allow other people touch their money.
You must know what makes people tick. You must know how to interpret people’s actions. You must understand how to deal with different personality types.
Until you’re good with people, you wouldn’t be able to build a successful career in investment advisory.
#4. Leadership Skill
From here on, you must understand you can’t work alone in this business. From time to time, you will need help in researching, network building or presenting.
Later on in your career, you will be leading a team of people all working towards the common goal of helping other people or businesses with their investment needs. That team would help your career a lot. That team will only grow if you also grow as a leader.
#5. Networking and Marketing Skill
You need a huge network of people to thrive in your investment advisory career. Like what they say, this is a numbers game. Out of a hundred people, you will only have a few clients. You must know how to market your services so that you can reach out to more people.
Know what the strengths of your advisory firm are and leverage on them. Share those strengths with potential prospects. Let them know how high the quality of your service will. But, be careful not to overrate.
Above all, a successful investment advisor needs to have ethical values. You are an advisor not just to earn money, but to help other people. They trust you; don’t ever do something that will take that trust away from you.
Most-sought after Investment firms
Here are some of the well-known investment firms you can apply for in India:
#1. Bajaj Capital Limited
Bajaj Capital Limited is a financial institution based in New Delhi, India, and has been in existence since 1964. It offers investment advisory and financial planning services among others. It offers different investment products such as insurance, mutual funds, fixed income securities, fixed deposits and even real estate investments.
Work with the company is rewarding, yet demanding. The institution boasts a 15-point narrative why working with Bajaj Capital is a rewarding experience.
You can check the latest job openings through their website.
#2. DSP Merrill Lynch Limited
DSP Merrill Lynch Ltd. is a Mumbai-based, full-service investment banking and brokerage company that offers a wide array of financial products. Its 140-year experience in the Indian market includes underwriting and trading of different private and government securities.
If you want a global firm with an extensive history, then Merrill Lynch is for you. It’s a good place to launch your career if you are aiming to go abroad eventually.
#3. SBI Capital Markets Limited
Want to go to a big company? Maybe SBI Capital is the one for you. SBI Capital Markets Limited is the largest Investment Bank in India.It is also a subsidiary of the largest commercial bank in India- the State Bank of India. Aside from Investment advisory, they also offer services on debt placements, mergers and acquisitions, stressed assets resolution and private equity.
Their recruitment focuses on attracting the best talents from businesses across India. So, if you want to get noticed, it would help a lot if you are good academically.
Check out their new job openings on their site.
#4. Birla Global Finance Limited
Birla Global Finance Limited was incorporated in 1991 with the aim of providing financing solutions to the market. It is part of the Aditya Birla Financial Group, providing a gamut of financial services such as asset management, broking, private equity and general insurance broking services.
The company offers “Employee Value Proposition” to its employees to provide them unique opportunities regarding career growth, learning, development and recognition. The company believes in offering each employee “A world of opportunities”.
Want to work for them? You can start by visiting their career page.
Big income is very much possible in this career. Just make sure you are ready enough to make sacrifices, and to work consistently.
At all times, you must stay focused and positive. Success doesn’t come easy in this profession. But, when it comes, it pays off very well.