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Investment Advisor

Investment advisors provide investment advice and recommend the purchase or sale of securities. They consider clients’ incomes, assets, ages, tax burdens, and financial expectations to help them achieve their financial goals.

Also Known As

Broker, Financial Advisor, Financial Consultant, Investment Representative, Registered Representative, Wealth Manager

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Securities Agents and Investment Dealers (1113.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Securities Agents, Investment Dealers and Brokers (B013) 
  • 2011 NOC: Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers (1113) 
  • 2016 NOC: Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers (1113) 
  • 2021 NOC: Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers (11103) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Securities Agents and Investment Dealers

2006 NOC: 1113.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
INNOVATIVE

Interest in identifying potential investments for clients and in preparing investment strategies to help clients achieve their financial goals

SOCIAL

Interest in consulting clients by offering advice and information on various investments to guide them in managing their portfolios; and in developing long-term relationships with clients and a network within the financial industry to gather relevant information

METHODICAL

Interest in co-ordinating information to monitor clients' investment portfolios and ensure that investment transactions are carried out according to industry regulations

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Investment advisors deal with various financial services. Most advisors deal primarily with mutual funds, exchange traded funds, or pooled funds. Other financial services include:

  • Bonds
  • Government treasury bills and bonds
  • Guaranteed investment certificates (GICs)
  • High interest accounts
  • Insurance products
  • Options
  • Stocks

They may work with individual investors or large institutional accounts. In general, investment advisors:

  • Discuss financial goals with clients
  • Make investment suggestions (such as low-risk securities only or a balance of high- and moderate-risk securities)
  • Maintain strict confidentiality regarding client information
  • Buy and sell investment products
  • Advise clients on investment decisions such as what and when to buy and sell
  • Recommend investments and help clients build a portfolio
  • Seek out new clients by identifying and calling on potential clients

Investment advisors build their own client base with little help from their firm. Early in their careers, they spend most of their time finding and calling prospective clients. Once they have a base of satisfied clients, they may generate new business through referrals.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Advisors usually work in an office setting. They work long days and may be out of the office often. This is a fiercely competitive business with constant pressure to develop new client relationships.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Investment advisors need:

  • Self-motivation
  • Listening skills
  • Quick decision-making skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Sales skills
  • Computer skills
  • An aptitude for numbers
  • A lot of energy and a willingness to work hard
  • Coping skills to deal with many rapid changes
  • The ability to work in a competitive environment
  • The ability to deal with rejection
  • The ability to handle a stressful working environment
  • The ability to learn quickly

They should enjoy:

  • Taking a methodical approach to collecting information
  • Analyzing situations
  • Finding innovative solutions
  • Consulting with people
  • Directing the work of others
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

Employers generally require applicants to have related post-secondary education, preferably a university degree.

Post-secondary schools throughout Alberta offer commerce, business administration, and related degree and diploma programs.

Certain courses are required for licensing. For details, see Certification Requirements.


To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Certification Not Regulated

Under Alberta’s Securities Act [pdf], you must be registered with the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) to deal in, advise on, and manage funds and securities.

Investment advisors need to complete specific courses depending on the financial products they handle:

Additional courses and training may be required after obtaining certain licences. For details, visit the ASC and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) websites.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Investment advisors work at:

  • Financial services firms
  • Insurance firms
  • Investment firms
  • Stock brokerages

Some of the larger investment firms offer positions for summer students. This provides excellent experience. Firms also recruit students on campus. New employees generally start in entry-level positions as discount brokers.

Advancement in the investment field depends mostly on the individual’s initiative and ability. Some investment advisors become senior managers in their firms. Others move into senior financial positions in government or business.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 1113: Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers occupational group, 93.4% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 1113: Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.1% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2019-2023 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Some investment advisors receive commissions on transactions. Others charge a flat fee based on the value of the assets they’re managing. Many advisors earn both kinds of income.

New employees may earn a salary during the first year. By the end of their third year, all their income comes from commissions.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) website: www.asc.ca

Canadian Securities Institute (CSI) website: www.csi.ca

Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) website: www.iiroc.ca

The Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) distance learning website: www.ifse.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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