Career as a Portfolio Manager


Summary

A Portfolio Manager is an individual who develops and implements investment strategies for individuals or institutional investors. Under the purview of financial services industry careers, portfolio management positions are available with hedge funds, pension plans and private investment firms, or as part of an investment department of an insurance or mutual fund company. Portfolio managers may be called investment managers, wealth managers, asset managers or financial advisors, but a true portfolio manager position is focused on the analytical side of investing rather than the sales aspect.

Portfolio Managers are primarily responsible for creating and managing investment allocations for private clients. Some portfolio managers work with individuals and families, while others focus their attention on institutional or corporate investors. In most cases, a portfolio manager follows a predetermined strategy for investment, dictated by an investment policy statement (IPS), to achieve a client's investment objectives. Some portfolio managers craft the investment packages supplied to clients, while others simply manage client expectations and transactions. Portfolio managers have to buy and sell securities in an investor's account to maintain a specific investment strategy or objective over time.

A large part of a Portfolio Manager's duties involves maintaining client relationships. Regular contact with investor clients regarding market conditions, updated investment research and economic trends is imperative to sustaining a viable book of business. Additionally, as part of their fiduciary duty, portfolio managers must meet with clients on at least an annual basis to ensure investment objectives have not shifted and current portfolio allocations are still in line with clients' initial requests.

Portfolio Managers must periodically evaluate the performance of predetermined investment packages, as well as meet standards provided by regulatory organizations. For example, a portfolio manager must make timely changes to a portfolio that is no longer in line with initial investment objectives or allocation guidelines. Similarly, because investment management is a highly regulated field, portfolio managers ensure compliance with investor disclosures, privacy laws, anti-money laundering requirements and anti-fraud measures.

Work Environment

Portfolio Managers work with a team of analysts and researchers, and are ultimately responsible for making the final investment decisions for a fund or asset-management. Portfolio managers tend to work very long hours.

Entry Level Education

Bachelor’s Master’s Degree in Economics, Accounting, Finance or Business Administration.

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