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Investment Advisor

Investment Advisors (IAs) work for investment dealers that trade in securities -- the largest firms in Canada are owned by banks, but there are also a number of independent ones. This job puts you face-to-face with investors, so you must be registered with securities regulators to be able to provide investment advice and buy and sell investment products including stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

More and more, IAs act as the "quarterbacks" in wealth management teams that provide comprehensive financial planning and investment management to high-net-worth people and businesses. This calls for a working knowledge of financial planning and portfolio management issues to assess client needs and call in specialists as needed.

On the job with an Investment Advisor

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Investment Advisor, FCSI, CIM, CSA, CH.P. Strategic Wealth®
  • Monitor stock market and industry trends likely to affect clients' investments.
  • Meet with clients, by phone or in person, to discuss these trends.
  • Advise clients on the products or services that suit their needs and objectives.
  • Arrange purchase or sale of stocks, bonds and other investment products on behalf of investors.
  • Prospect, build and retain a client base.
  • Stay up-to-date on current investment products and markets.

Most IAs have earned a university or a college degree. Before they can become registered to provide investment advice to clients, IAs must meet proficiency requirements set out by securities regulators. These include completion of CSI's Canadian Securities Course (CSC), the Conduct and Practices Handbook Course (CPH), plus the 90-day Investment Advisor Training Course (IAT). Within 30 months of approval for registration, IAs must also complete CSI's Wealth Management Essentials Course (WME).

IAs must meet continuing education (CE) requirements throughout their careers to maintain registration. Many choose to complete CSI's Derivatives Market Specialist Program or the Canadian Insurance Course (CIC), allowing them to apply for additional licensing to deal in options, futures or life insurance, and offer broader services to clients.

Most Investment Advisors are on fixed salaries during their initial training. After that, compensation is typically based on commission or fees generated from client assets under administration. Most IAs can earn at least $100,000 per year after three to five years.

More experienced top performers can earn upwards of $500,000 per year. Compensation is closely tied to the ups and downs of economic and market conditions.