An investment advisor is any person or group that makes investment recommendations or conducts securities analysis in return for a fee. Investment advisors work as professionals within the financial industry by providing guidance to clients in exchange for specific fees. Often, investment advisors have a level of discretionary authority, allowing them to act on behalf of their clients without having to obtain formal permission prior to executing an action. However, a discretionary authority must be formally provided by the client, and it is generally arranged as part of the client onboarding process. Generally, there are very limited conflicts of interest between investment advisors and their clients, because the advisor will only earn more if the clients' asset base grows as a result of the advisor's recommendations and securities selection. Clients may have portfolios of any size to qualify as a client as long as any minimum requirements set forth by the investment advisor or the associated investment firm have been met.