How to Become an Investment Consultant

Career Path Guide

Although there are multiple paths you can take to become an investment consultant, a very effective route for entering this profession is to follow these general steps:


1. Determine if this profession is suited to your personality and professional interests

2. Pursue a bachelor’s degree in Finance, Business Administration, Economics or a similar field

3. Gain financial services career experience while you’re a student

4. Obtain financial services industry licensure

5. Pursue a master’s degree

6. Apply to become an investment consultant with a wealth management firm or other employer while you’re a master’s student, upon graduation, or without any post-graduate education (provided you have sufficient industry experience to be competent in the role)


Read on below to learn more about what it takes to become an investment consultant:



Will I need any related work experience?

Investment consulting is not considered an ‘entry-level’ career; you will likely need financial services industry (private client, private banking, advisory, brokerage, etc.) experience in roles wherein you’ve gained strong knowledge of all banking, investment and credit products and services.


In these previous roles, you should have also developed sales and relationship management skills that enable you to build strong relationships with customers, and to proactively promote/sell to high net worth clients.



What university/college education will I need?

Most employers will require that you have at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as Finance, Business Administration or Economics, and some will require that you have a master's degree in one of these fields, or another relevant field.





Will I need industry certification?

Although the certification requirements can vary from employer to employer, most will require that you have at least some form of financial industry certification. 


For example, in the United States, you may be required to hold the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, while in Canada, you may be required to complete the Canadian Securities Course, or the Investment Management Techniques course, offered by the Canadian Securities Institute.



What is an investment consultant?

Investment consultants are responsible for providing investment solutions for their clients in order to help them meet their needs.


These services include investment policy development, asset allocation analysis, asset liability modeling, investment manager search and selection, performance measurement and evaluation, and customized educational programs. 



What do they do?

Although their duties can vary from job to job, investment consultants are generally responsible for the following: 


• Maintaining comprehensive client files

• Obtaining information from financial product representatives

• Building and maintaining client database by initiating marketing activities

• Helping clients identify their financial needs and goals

• Providing advice on specific securities

• Explaining and comparing different financial products to clients

• Helping clients calculate their current financial position 

• Helping clients achieve their financial goals by preparing a portfolio proposal

• Providing strategic advice on asset allocation, risk management, investment policy development, asset class structuring, investment manager evaluation and monitoring





Is this a good career choice for me?

Becoming a successful investment consultant takes a certain set of personal and professional attributes; if you have the following, you may be well-suited for work in this field:


• You have thorough knowledge of and keen interest in the finance industry and all types of financial investments, equity shares, bonds, commodities, mutual funds etc.

• You have selling skills and are interested in sales 

• You have a client-cantered approach to business activities

• You enjoy developing innovative solutions for clients

• You can build and maintain strong client relationships

• You have a keen interest in financial, economic and global capital markets



How much do investment consultants earn?

Unfortunately, there is no salary information available from reliable sources for the occupation of “investment consultant”. We can however, get a general idea of what they earn by looking at the salary level of workers in closely related occupations.


Salary in Alberta: According to the The 2016 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey (which are the most recent figures available at the time of writing - February 11, 2020), Albertans working as part of the “Investment Advisor” occupational group earn an average annual salary of $108,386.


Salary in British Columbia: According to WorkBC (Province of British Columbia), those working in the 'Financial and Investment Analysts' occupational group earn an annual provincial median salary of $71,947. 


Salary in the United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans working as part of the “Personal Financial Advisors” occupational group earn a median salary of $88,890 per year (May, 2018 figures).


Please Note: These figures are for illustrative purposes only. Also, the amount earned by investment consultants can vary quite a bit, and can vary based on the following factors:


• Their level of experience and education

• The amount of responsibility inherent in their position  

• The size and type of their employer 

• The region in which they work

• Their pay structure (if it includes salary, bonuses, commissions, etc.)

• Many other factors



Who creates job for investment consultants?

Investment consultants are often employed by:


• Financial and wealth management firms

• Commercial and investment banks

• Securities and commodities brokerages 

• Insurance carriers

• Credit agencies 

• Self-employed



Who do they serve?

Although investment consultants can serve individual investors, their clients are typically institutional investors. For example, their typical clients include corporate and public defined contribution and defined benefit pension funds, foundations, endowments, healthcare, and insurance companies.



Current job postings

Our job board below has a listing of "Investment Consultant" postings in your area of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom or Australia.




Similar career guides in our database

Listed below are careers that may be in the same field, or they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and/or responsibilities as “Investment Consultant”:



• Business Valuator

• Financial Advisor 

• Financial Analyst

• Financial Planner

• Investment Analyst

• Investment Portfolio Manager




What scholarships are there for aspiring investment consultants? 

The “Relevant university majors” section below lists fields of study that are relevant to becoming an Investment Consultant. You can search for relevant scholarships by finding those majors on our "Scholarships” page. 


Success Tip: Apply for any and all scholarships that you even barely qualify for; there are millions of dollars worth of scholarship money that goes unused every year due to a lack of applicants in Canada and the United States!




The following resources were used to gather information for this “How to Become an Investment Consultant” career path guide:


Services: “Investment Consulting.” (n.d.). Wilshire website. Retrieved August 7, 2017.

Occupations in Alberta: “Investment Advisor.” (January 13, 2013). Alberta Learning Information Service website. Retrieved February 11, 2020.

Explore Careers:Financial and investment analysts.” (January 24, 2018). WorkBC website. Retrieved February 11, 2020.

Occupational Outlook Handbook: “Personal Financial Advisors.” (September 4, 2019). United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved February 11, 2020.


Please Note: Some of the information presented in this career guide was adapted from actual job postings, which due to their brief publication nature are not listed here as references.



Relevant university majors

We have career guides for over 60 university majors in our database. Below we've outlined those that are most relevant to becoming an investment consultant. Click on the links to see what else you can do with these majors!


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