What it is:
How it works (Example):
An investment advisor usually analyzes securities based on past performance, current or projected market conditions, and the underlying financial structure of a specific deal, and makes investment recommendations to an individual or group of investors. Investment advisors may be independent consultants or work as part of established firms, such as brokerages handling mutual funds.
Investment advisors are regulated according to the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. In addition, if they have substantial assets, investment advisors must be registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in which case they follow guidelines, including disclosures of their own investment activities.
Why it Matters:
Investment advisors are helpful in negotiating complicated transactions because of their broad background in many aspects of securities, including deal structuring, project finance, and brokerage. Investment advisors are paid a commission that is based on the performance of the security transaction that provides for a commonality of interest with the client (i.e. the client's success is their success.)