What does an Investment Advisor Representative do?

Carol Francois

Working in the financial services industry, there are a wide range of opportunities for investment advisor representative positions. This career is typically well compensated, doesn't require long hours, and is found in all investment firms. The primary function of this job can be divided into three sections: sell investment products to new clients, maintain relationships, and stay current on new investment products.

An investment advisor must provide information about fees when signing up new clients.
An investment advisor must provide information about fees when signing up new clients.

There is no formal training program to become an investment advisor representative. In some states, there is a three month correspondence course in investments and securities, but this is an optional program. Most employers require an undergraduate degree or diploma from an accredited university or college as a condition of employment.

Investment advisor representatives are involved in sales and customer service.
Investment advisor representatives are involved in sales and customer service.

There is a training program for all new employees that is offered by the investment firm. This training focuses on the different product offerings, approved selling methods, learning sales scripts, and other skills necessary to be an investment advisor representative. People who are naturally outgoing, talkative, and enjoy working with others report the greatest satisfaction with this career.

The primary responsibility of an investment advisor representative is to sell investment products. Unlike other products, where the details of the product are clearly listed and the customer is free to select, investment products are often sold as part of a professional service. Clients select from a series of packages or groups of product families. The advisor is free to switch the actual investments around to meet the clients' long-term goals.

The sales techniques used for this type of product focus on the expertise of the advisor's firm, the firm's reputation, history, or past performance. The advisor is legally required to provide details about fee structure and account charges when signing up a new client. This is often achieved by providing the client with a brochure that covers this material.

The investment advisor representative position is primarily front line sales and customer service. As such, it is very important to stay in touch with existing clients, building on the initial sales contact. Calling clients to update them on the status of their account and providing valuable information on new products or services that might be of interest to them are all an important part of this job.

All investment advisor representative staff must keep their information current, by participating in training courses on new product offerings. Learning the terms and names of the new products, along with the benefits is central to the job. These courses are offered during business hours, and present a great opportunity to network with other representatives.

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Discussion Comments


What can someone expect to pay for average financial advisor fees? I know very little about investing, and want to work with a professional who knows how the different investments work. I would just like to know ahead of time how most of them charge for their services?


This kind of makes me wonder how much time an investment advisor spends learning sales scripts compared to how the different investment products work.

I may sound a little cynical, but I had a bad experience with an investment advisor and am very cautious about how I invest my money now. This experience prompted me to begin studying different investment products, and now I make all the investment decisions myself.

I feel like I have had as much training and education as many of the young investment advisors have. I have been told many times that nobody will watch your money closer than you will, and so I have taken on the responsibility of being my own investment advisor.


I worked as an assistant to an investing advisor and I learned more about investments and securities than I ever thought I would. My boss was a college graduate, was licensed to sell securities and was also a certified financial planner.

She was able to do pretty much anything when it came to investing, and she had been in the business for 20 years. I know many people felt comfortable investing with her knowing she had a successful track record behind her.


I never realized that a financial investment advisor did not need any formal training. A three month course on securities and investments doesn't seem like much training for someone who is advising other people on where to invest their money.

The next time I am approached by someone trying to sell me an investment product, I think I will do a little more research into just how much training and education they have when it comes to selling investments.

I know a little bit about investing, but don't feel all that comfortable doing it myself. I just know that I work too hard for my money to trust someone else to tell me what to do if they haven't had much training, and are just trying to make a sale.

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