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Tips to become Investment expert, adivsor or Consultant

Updated on March 12, 2014

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The process of acquiring knowledge begins with education. Many academic institutions offer outstanding programs that build a base of knowledge in finance, accounting, and personal financial or estate planning. The area that today is perhaps most aligned with incorporating taxes in making investment decisions is personal financial planning. To screen for a potential fit, the college—bound student should start with one of the dozen or so college guides available in bookstores or on the Internet. Another excellent source is the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards website (www. cfp.net), which lists more than eighty schools that offer undergraduate and graduate programs.

Most practitioners begin their careers by first obtaining degrees in accounting, finance, or law. Although these academic majors consider taxes in one form or another, none of them adequately address the imp act of taxes on security buy and sell decisions, portfolio construction, policy development, or asset allocation and location. To illustrate how little information is available to students: the leading college textbook Investments, Fifth Edition, by Bodie, Kane, and Marcus, is approximately a thousand pages, and devotes only three pages to the impact taxes have on investment considerations and asset allocation. The author could mention instances where noted titles actually misstate the impact of taxes on investment returns, but the objective of this text is to enlighten readers about the benefits of tax—aware investing rather than to criticize the sins and neglect of the past.

To add compelling value with taxable accounts, practitioners need to have at least a basic working knowledge of the taxes their clients are subject to. It is unrealistic to expect one individual to know everything there is about investing, the tax code, or estate planning, but when in doubt, tax— aware practitioners need to know where to locate—or whom to contact to obtain—accurate information.

Additionally, they must be aware of how the payment of taxes affects the returns of permissible securities identified by the client. Moreover, they must be able to see the benefit of the optimal allocation of various categories of assets and investment styles between taxable and tax-deferred accounts to achieve the highest after tax returns possible.

Lastly, they must understand how to measure success and realize that tax aware investing and reporting are evolving art forms, as opposed to sciences.

Upon entering the private sector, sincere practitioners will generally obtain one of the below mentioned professional designations, depending on their employment specialty.

  • Chartered Financial analyst
  • Certified Financial Planner
  • Certified Investment Management Analyst
  • Certified Life under-writer
  • Certified Trust and Financial Advisor

The tax-aware practitioner will benefit from attending conferences and keeping abreast of the latest developments in the industry. This can be done by attending one or several national conferences sponsored by the following organizations:

  • American Bankers Association
  • Chartered Financial Analysts Institute (formerly AIMR)
  • Family Office Exchange (FOX)
  • Financial Planning Association (FPA)
  • Financial Research Associates (FRI)
  • Ibbotson Associates
  • Information Management Network (IMN)
  • Institute of Certified Bankers (ICB)
  • Institute for Private Investors
  • Institutional Investor
  • Investment Advisor

National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)

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