“Investment adviser” is a broad term. In Hong Kong, it generally refers to intermediaries (individuals or companies) selling or advising on different types of financial products (e.g. stocks, funds). They could be individuals who call themselves financial advisers, or even your relationship manager or other customer service staff at the bank. Depending on the products they sell and the activities they conduct, investment advisers are subject to different regulatory regimes. For example, investment advisers selling securities are subject to the SFC regulatory regime on securities while investment advisers selling insurance products (e.g. ILAS) are subject to insurance regulations.
Investment advisers provide advice to help you manage your investments and make recommendations based on your profile and objectives. As a client, you need to be aware not only of what is being offered and what the charges are, but also of situations where your investment adviser may have a conflict of interest.
See the following sections to learn more.