Investment representatives market and sell a variety of financial products and services. They need at least a bachelor's degree in finance or a similar field for entry-level positions. They must also have a federal license in the state they wish to work.
Investment representatives, also known as financial planners or advisors, work at banks, credit unions or investment firms and provide advice regarding investment products and financial services. They market their products and services by way of telephone sales, in-person visits and sales leads. Most have earned a bachelor's degree in finance or a related field and have several years of relevant experience. Every state requires that they hold a federal license, which requires passing a comprehensive examination.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in finance or other relevant field|
|Other Requirements||Related experience; federal license required in every state|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||30% for personal financial advisors|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$89,160 for personal financial advisors|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Investment representatives are responsible for conducting the administration of investment products and services. They must market and sell financial products and services to potential clients. Investment representatives offer advice and representation of the following financial products:
- Estate planning
- Mutual funds
- Retirement plans (Individual Retirement Accounts)
- Education savings
- Trust funds
They may also prepare various reports and correspondence, maintain files and databases and verify financial data. Responsibilities include providing strategies and suggestions to clients. Investment representatives also provide administrative support in large offices, performing work such as organizing records, opening and distributing mail and answering telephone calls.
Investment representatives often need to attend investment-related conventions, meetings and seminars. They may be required to travel frequently to meet with potential clients.
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Requirements to Become an Investment Representative
Investment representatives must possess excellent oral and written skills, strong attention to detail, the ability to multi-task and the ability to make good business decisions. They must possess knowledge of the products and services they sell, such as brokerage accounts, CDs, deferred compensation, IRAs and trust accounts.
Employers prefer applicants with a bachelor's degree and at least 1-2 years of work experience within the financial industry. A professional license is generally required upon employment; most states require a Series 7, 72, 63, 65 or 66 license. License examinations are administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA's goal is to ensure the securities industry follows honest and fair practices designed to protect American investors. Some investment and securities firms offer paid on-the-job training for individuals who are studying for their series exams.
Job Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that from 2014-2024, personal financial advisors could expect to see 30% growth in employment, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth was predicted to be largely attributed to the aging baby boomer generation, who will need financial and investment advice for their retirement. As of May 2015, the BLS stated that personal financial advisors earned a median annual salary of $89,160.
Those interested in becoming an investment representative should seek out a bachelor's degree in a finance-related field and attempt to gain at least a year or two of professional experience. All states require investment representatives to be licensed once hired, which involves passing an exam. This career field is expected to see exceptional job growth between 2014 and 2024, per the BLS.