Specialized Investment Advisor

Specialized Investment Advisor

Specialist Investment Advisors provide expert advice for a particular area of investment or financial planning, working with more complex products, strategies and clients to develop sophisticated financial investment plans. In some firms, there are also Specialist roles that provide support for generalist Financial Advisors.

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

Demand for Specialized Investment Advisors is increasing as investment products become more complex, retirement planning strategies grow in importance and greater wealth is accumulated and passed betw

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*

Undergraduate degree typically required.

Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills
*
Desktop area Work Environment

Office, home office or travel; may work evenings and weekends

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

Demand for Specialized Investment Advisors is increasing as investment products become more complex, retirement planning strategies grow in importance and greater wealth is accumulated and passed betw

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*

Undergraduate degree typically required.

Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills *
Desktop area Work Environment

Office, home office or travel; may work evenings and weekends


WHAT IT IS

Key Role Dimensions

Providing technical expertise to clients and/or internal stakeholders, including any of the following:

  • Working with existing clients to help diversify/enhance their existing investment portfolios
  • Helping generalist Financial Advisors understand specific investment information
  • Working with Portfolio Managers to provide guidance on various investments and investment strategies related to their area of specialization
  • Providing input into product development and management, marketing and sales strategies
  • Training Financial Advisors and other investment sales professionals on products and services

Focus Areas

Specialists work with more complex products and clients to develop sophisticated financial plans. Many Specialized Investment Advisors spend their entire careers focused on one specialized investment area. Sample areas of focus include:

  • Trust & Estate Specialist: Manage transferring wealth across generations.
  • Tax Specialist: Determine appropriate strategies for tax savings (e.g. RRSPs, RESPs, etc.).
  • Offshore Specialized Investment Advisor: Manage wealth holdings outside Canada, often in locations with advantageous tax policies (e.g. Cayman Islands).
  • Investment Advisor/Stock Broker: Transact in a broad variety of securities (i.e. stocks and bonds).

WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED

Key Job Accountabilities

Specialized Investment Advisors generally:

Offer specialized financial planning advice:

  • Offer advice on the benefits and risks associated with different financial products and identify how to integrate them into clients’ financial plans.
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of their specialized investment area and relevant policies and governmental legislation.

Manage client relationships:

  • Establish regular contact with Financial Advisors and/or their clients to understand clients’ financial objectives and discuss/inform about new and/or existing investment products.
  • Inform Financial Advisors and/or their clients about changes in legislation that may affect client savings and investments, and suggest portfolio changes as required.

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

Must-haves:

  • Proven ability to be proactive and goal-orientated
  • Highly Customer-focused: Consistently delivering high-quality service
  • Application of high ethical Standards: Willingness to adhere to strict codes of professional conduct
  • Relationship Management: Ability to network and establish relationships with clients and source referrals from Financial Advisors
  • Research /Analysis & Reporting: Ability to work with financial projections and calculations regarding investment or savings potentials across a variety of scenarios
  • Knowledge of statistical and quantitative theories and their applications
  • Investment & Sales Management:
    • Knowledge of sales cycles and processes
    • Awareness of investment needs during different life stages
  • Deep knowledge of a particular investment area (e.g. offshore investment strategies, mutual funds, stocks, bonds)

 Nice-to-haves:

  • Previous experience in financial advisory services or investment banking
  • Expertise in areas of wills and estate, offshore accounts or particular industries
  • Background in law (i.e. lawyers, law clerks)

Education & Credentials

Entry-level positions typically require:

  • Undergraduate university degree

In the fields of:

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Finance
  • Mathematics

Senior positions will require:

  • Graduate degree

In the fields of:

  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Economics
  • Mathematics

 Employers in different segments may require candidates to possess one or more of these designations:

 Other training may include: 

  • FINRA Series 7, Series 63, Series 14, Series 26, Series 27, Series 39 for those working for organizations with U.S. operations
  • Wealth Management Essentials – Estate & Trust

Programs Offered

Centennial College

Mortgage Professionals Canada

Queen’s University

Trent University

University of Toronto

York University


WHERE IT CAN TAKE YOU

Career Pathways

Advancement depends largely on your career interests and personal development plan. There are a number of pathways open to Specialized Investment Advisors through:

  • Increased Seniority: You may choose to pursue various management roles such as leading a specific region or managing Investment Bankers or Financial Advisors.
  • Focused Specialization: You can continue to deepen your expertise in your chosen field of interest or explore other areas of specialization (e.g. focusing on high- or ultra-net worth clients, new immigrant clients, Aboriginal finances, offshore investments, etc.)
  • Internal Transfer You may choose to work in operational or corporate areas within an organization, such as product management, marketing, risk or portfolio management.

Future Trends & Impacts

There are several external factors and environmental trends that can influence the demand and qualifications for this role:

  • Demographics:Changes in investor demographics may lead to an increasing need for specialized advice (e.g. wealth transfer and estate planning).

  • Regulations:Specialized Investment Advisors must remain up-to-date with any changes in industry rules and regulations impacting requirements for licensing/registration, sales and trading activities. 


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