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Becoming An Investment Advisor With A Law Degree

Investment advisors oversee investment strategies for individual and/or institutional investors. Some, like today’s guest, may focus only on high net worth individuals, in which case the available investment strategies broadens from securities like stocks, bonds and mutual funds to include things like hedge funds, private equity and other alternative strategies that require a minimum level of liquid net worth.

Becoming an investment advisor is a popular alternative career for lawyers. Today’s guest, David Sadkin, an investment advisor at Bel Air Investment Advisors in Los Angeles, explains how several legal skills developed in law school are helpful in this field. Watch my interview with David to find out if this path makes a good fit for you. If you’re not sure, check out my FREE self-assessment – it will help you find a fulfilling career. Click here to get it now.  
Join JD Careers Out There for access to this video plus more day-in-the-life career path interview videos & transcripts.

Today’s Guest

Investment advisor David SadkinInvestment Advisor David Sadkin
Title: Investment Advisor, Bel Air Investment Advisors
City: Los Angeles, CA
Law School: Harvard Law School in Cambridge, MA
College: University of Illinois in Champaign, IL
Previous Career: Worked on Capitol Hill as Senior Counsel to the US House Gov’t Reform & Oversight Committee.
Videos: David’s Career Advice & Becoming An Investment Advisor

Becoming An Investment Advisor

Responsibilities for investment advisors include bringing in new business (new investors), talking to those clients to determine their risk tolerance and appropriate investment strategies, and then working to maximize their return in a manner that fits their risk profile and financial goals. For high net worth advisors, that may include meeting with people like hedge fund managers and bond managers to determine who would be great to work with on behalf of their clients’ investments.

If you’re drawn to law graduate jobs that require lots of analytical thinking, then this path might be for you. David tells us you’ll need to be good at that to piece the puzzle together between the clients’ needs, the markets, the math and the economics. In the full career video, David explains who makes a good fit for becoming an investment advisor, how to break in and much more.


This is a preview of the video transcript on financial investment advising.

Join JD Careers Out There for access to the full version of this transcript plus the career guidance video library & transcripts.

Luber: Hey everyone – welcome to JD CareersOutThere – we explore career paths you can do with a law degree – both in and out of law – and we do this to help you find a career that fits you – so you can love what you do.

I’m Marc Luber, the founder of JDCOT. I’ve always used my law degree to work in alternative careers for lawyers – first in the music industry and then as a legal recruiter. I’ve been helping lawyers with their careers since 2003 and I’m excited for the opportunity to help you.

Today we’re exploring the career path of becoming an Investment Advisor. We’re talking to David Sadkin of Bel Air Investment Advisors, a high net worth investing firm in Los Angeles. Here’s a look at our discussion where I asked Dave what he does as an Investment Advisor:

David Sadkin: Sure, my firm oversees about $6.5 billion for 300 families and we oversee their investment strategies in both the traditional and alternative investment space.

Luber: So what does that mean exactly? You’re handling high net worth investors?

David Sadkin: Right.

Luber: Tell us how that’s different for someone who is handling other kinds of people who aren’t high net worth investors.

David Sadkin: Well it differs in a couple of aspects: first it’s just the dollar amounts that we’re talking about. High net worth is sort of considered to be $20 million and above for the family in liquid net worth.

So that’s the first distinction, and the second distinction is just the types of strategies we could use. There are a number of strategies: hedge funds, private equity, other alternative strategies that require a minimum level of liquid net worth in order for investors to be qualified for those types of investments.

So we have a broader platform than maybe a more retail investment firm would have.

Luber: So what is your role specifically? What are the requirements that you need to do on this job?

David Sadkin: I’m a client adviser. So what I do is I work directly with families, both finding families that want to invest with us and then once they become clients of the firm, we talk about risk tolerance, appropriate investment strategies, we talk about different asset classes. What we try to do is figure out how we can maximize their return in a manner that fits their own risk profile.

So, for example, a very conservative investor might have a 100% of their net worth in municipal bonds, which is considered to be a relatively low risk strategy. Whereas, someone who’s looking for more growth-oriented strategies might be in more private equity or might be in more equities.

Luber: And so, since you’re mostly focused on bringing in these people are you also an expert in every kind of investment or do you have a team that is the expert in the different areas and they help guide you? How does that work?

David Sadkin: We work together as a team. So my job is really to get to know my clients, to get to know what types of strategies they’re comfortable in, what their return expectations are, what their goals are and finding ways to achieve those goals.

But in terms of the actual investing – whether it be buying and selling the bonds or the stocks or the private equity funds, we work as a team. We’ll bring in experts in each of those areas.

So my responsibility is for the large allocation decisions: figuring out how much should be in bonds, how much should be in stocks, how much should be in alternatives, and then what we do is use sort of a best in class open architecture structure to get the best managers to manage each of those pieces of the puzzle.

Luber: Great, great. So it’s really different for every client then – everything is tailored to their needs and goals, right?

David Sadkin: That’s absolutely right. There are no two clients that will look the same. They have different objectives, they have different goals, they have different risk tolerances. My job is to figure out what the appropriate strategy for those families are and then we use those other managers to make the investment decisions.

Luber: Got it. Interesting stuff! So much more to cover. We’ll continue this discussion in the Full interview. You’ll all hear lots more from David about what he does as a high net worth investment advisor, how your law degree helps in this path, how YOU can do it, and how YOU can break in to these jobs.

You’ll want to join the JDCOT membership for access to the full, in-depth career interviews & transcripts that will help you find and land a career that fits you. Check out what people are saying about JDCOT by clicking here.

©2019 Careers Out There

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Thinking of leaving the law? The best first step you can take is a good look in the mirror. START HERE:

it's free!
You’ll also get periodic updates, reminders & access to career guidance programs sent to your inbox. We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe via a click at any time.