Investment Product Specialist Jobs
Once an investment analyst or broker has several years of experience under his or her belt, he or she may earn a promotion to investment product specialist. Or he or she may hire on in this position at another bank.
The investment product specialist has extensive knowledge of the investment products available to the bank's customers and develops successful strategies for selling them to the appropriate customers. The product specialist meets with prospective and new customers and explains the various products available, their benefits and risks. The product specialist also trains new investment brokers on all of the products available and which customers will benefit most from each kind of product.
Investment product specialists work with management and executives to create strategies that align with the bank's investment philosophy and meet investors' needs. Executives may rely on the product specialist's input and opinions when it comes to the products and any changes that need to be made in strategy. The investment product specialist is expected to be an integral part of an investment department's growth. He or she may also be required to review all customer portfolios to ensure they adhere to the bank's investment philosophy and goals. Some travel may be required as part of the job, as product specialists meet with prospective clients.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth for all kinds of financial managers (not just investment product specialists) is not as high as in other investment positions. It is expected to be as fast as the average for all occupations. However, the Bureau predicts that competition for these jobs will be high. Candidates with a master's degree and certification will have the best opportunities. The Bureau says employment of financial managers is expected to grow by 8 percent by the year 2018.
Banks and financial institutions require all investment product specialists to possess a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, business or a related degree. Many banks prefer candidates who also possess a master's degree in business administration or are working on obtaining one. Most banks also require candidates to have a minimum of five to ten years of experience in investment banking.
The US government, through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), may require investment analysts be licensed. Also, most banks and other financial institutions prefer analysts that have achieved their CFA designation. The CFA, or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, is sponsored by the CFA Institute. To qualify, the analyst must have a bachelor's degree and four years of related work experience. Then he or she must pass three exams.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
The investment product specialist must have deep knowledge of investment products, stock markets and their histories, and bank and federal policies and regulations concerning investments. He or she should have a demonstrated successful track record with managing client portfolios that show a history of client investment growth.
Because the investment product specialist meets with prospective and existing clients, he or she should have excellent presentation skills. He or she also may be training new investment brokers and analysts, and so must have the ability to train and explain investments and investment strategies and policies to others.
Additionally the investment product specialist should possess very strong analytical, communication, and organizational skills. Banks want investment product specialists to be able to speak to clients with expertise, energy, and enthusiasm.
Salaries can vary greatly from bank to bank and city to city. Most investment product specialists are considered top investment executives, and they are well-paid for their time and expertise. The average yearly salary can start at around $100,000 per year. Very successful specialists can earn more than $300,000, depending on their experience and the financial institution where they are employed.
Potential Career Paths
Investment product specialists are nearly at the top of the food chain in their present positions. They are considered executives and in some cases report directly to the chief investment officer of the bank. If product specialists want to manage analysts and brokers he or she could take a lateral position as a manager. Eventually, the investment product specialist could become the chief investment officer.