Working for wealth management firms, foundations, and other organizations in the securities industry are portfolio managers. They are responsible for the day-to-day management of investment portfolios on behalf of individual or institutional clients. It is typical for a portfolio manager to be responsible for all aspects of an investment portfolio, from creating and managing an overall investment strategy that meets client needs to implementing that strategy by selecting an appropriate mix of securities and investment products and managing that mix on a regular basis.
Investment decisions and strategy formulation are aided by the work of a team of senior financial analysts led by a portfolio manager. Analysts at investment banks and other sell-side firms help a portfolio managers find products that are a good fit with their portfolio. Some portfolio managers, such as those employed by wealth management firms, may be required to meet with individual clients to discuss investment strategy, explain investment decisions, and provide updates on portfolio performance.
Portfolio Manager Career Path
Working as a financial analyst in the securities industry is a common route for portfolio managers to begin their careers. Bachelor’s degree holders are typically eligible for junior analyst positions. For many junior analysts, a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or other relevant master’s degrees is required before they are promoted to senior analyst positions. A new candidate for a senior analyst position may be immediately qualified with a relevant master’s degree.
Investment reports and recommendations are typically produced by senior financial analysts working under the supervision of a manager of a portfolio. A senior analyst’s primary role is to conduct new research and analysis, as well as to communicate with industry contacts, update their research, and present their findings to management and clients. One or more junior analysts may be under the direction of a senior analyst. A senior financial analyst can advance to the position of portfolio manager by demonstrating strong work ethic and a track record of success. It’s possible for the manager to move up to larger portfolios if the portfolio performs well. In most cases, a senior portfolio management position marks the end of one’s career path, but this is not always the case; some portfolio managers move up the corporate ladder or start their own businesses.
Portfolio Manager Educational Qualifications
As a portfolio manager, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. Even if master’s degrees aren’t required by every employer, the majority of portfolio managers have them.
Quantitative business disciplines such as accounting, finance, and economics are generally considered good preparation for entry-level positions in this profession. Statistical and analytical skills can also be developed in the fields of mathematics and engineering as well as in the study of physics.
The MBA in finance or another relevant field, such as business administration or economics, is the standard for portfolio managers at the master’s degree level. It is also possible to pursue a master’s degree in finance.
Portfolio managers are frequently expected to be certified financial analysts by their employers. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, awarded by the CFA Institute, is the most well-known and sought-after certification in the field. Any financial analyst with a bachelor’s degree and four years of relevant work experience may apply for this designation. In order to receive this honor, candidates must successfully complete a series of three tests. Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification, awarded by the CFP Board, may also be an optional qualification for some companies.