How do financial advisors handle their clients' transactions?

mac404's picture
Rank: Chimp | 5

I'm currently a senior at a big ten university, coming from a non-finance/accounting major. I've been thinking to myself how unprepared I'd be if I ever entered a more technical second round interview for an advisory type job interview. I'm not too informed on what a financial advisor's day to day duties entail, I know most of it is relationship management.

Could someone explain what happens, for example, when a client asks their Merrill Lynch advisor to buy shares of a Vanguard index fund for their portfolio? Does the advisor send Vanguard money from the client's brokerage account at Merrill in exchange for shares?

How about if the client wants to buy a stock? Does the advisor have to contact a broker-dealer? Or does the advisor act as the broker and buy them directly from the market for the client.

I know these questions are easily answered, but I can't find good resources online for how an advisor handles trades on a client's behalf.

Thanks for the help!

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Mar 29, 2017