Investment Professionals


Exploring this Job

There are many sources of information dealing with the financial services industry. Read publications such as Barron's (, Wall Street Journal (, Forbes (, Businessweek (, Fortune (, Financial Times (, and The Journal of Investment Consulting ( In the print or online versions, you will find a wealth of information on stocks, mutual funds, finance, education, careers, salaries, global business, and more. You can also conduct company research. You might have to become a subscriber to access certain sections online.

While in high school, you might volunteer to handle the bookkeeping for a school club or student government, or help balance the family checking account to become familiar with simple bookkeeping practices. You can ask a parent or teacher to help you research and analyze investment opportunities. Choose a specific industry (e.g., telecommunications, technology, or health care), study companies in that industry, and select and track several stocks that appear to have growth potential.

Participate in competitions, investment clubs, and related activities during high school and college to develop your stock-picking acumen. The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania offers the Knowledge@Wharton High School Investment Competition, a free global online investment simulation for students, 9th to 12th grade, and teachers. According to the Wharton Web site, “students learn about teamwork, communication, risk, diversification, company analysis, industry analysis, and investing.”

The Job

Investment professionals work in many industries, but most work for investment banking firms, investment service companies, banks, insurance companies, and nonprofit organizations.

Investment professionals study their client's or organization's financial status and make financial and investment recommendations. To arrive at these recommendations, they examine their client's or organization's financial history and objectives, income and expenditures, risk tolerance, and current investments. They identify their short- and long-term goals.

Though the amount of investments will vary according to the size of the client and their holdings, most organizations or clients channel their investments into a diversified portfolio. Investment professionals closely monitor current investments, or active funds. They may make recommendations for selling funds and changing to others in order to protect their clients' investments.

Other duties of investment professionals may be administrative in nature if they work for large firms. In addition to compiling quarterly and annual financial reports, they may be responsible for establishing financial procedures, keeping financial records for operating and administrative expenses, and hiring and training staff members.