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How To Become An Investment Manager

Investments are a great way to grow your money. While you can invest your money into a savings account, it is usually great to invest your money somewhere that you can watch it grow.

While you work to earn your money, investing your finances is a way of getting your money to grow. It is a way of passively growing your finances, and in most cases, this can prove to be extremely beneficial.

But investing isn't always simple and easy. You see, every investment comes with a risk. It is up to you to decide if the risk is worth the possible return on investment. While this may take a lot of effort on your part to try and figure out on your own, there are people who have dedicated their careers to mastering the art of investment and keeping a keen eye on the markets.

It is up to investment managers to advise their clients, both as individuals and as large corporations to make wise and sound investment decisions. This is quite an intense role to hold, but one that is needed.

To become an investment manager, you need to gain a degree in finance, or a degree that is related to the field of finance, you need to gain field experience, you may need to consider pursuing a graduate degree, you need to become certified, and then seek out employment.

Let us dig deeper into the career of an investment banker and look at the steps you would need to take to pursue this role.

What Is An Investment Manager?

An investment manager is someone who greatly understands investment risks and rewards and they specialize in advising their clients on what investment decisions to make. The ultimate aim of an investment manager or a portfolio manager is to obtain the greatest return on investment for their clients.

With their knowledge and expertise, they don't just know what a good or high-risk investment is, but they also know what would be best suited for the client. For example, older clients may not be in a position to take a lot of risks, whereas younger clients may be able to take greater risks. Large corporations may need to consider the needs of stakeholders, shareholders, and investors before making a decision to invest.

There are many elements to consider when investing, and investment managers would need to keep all factors in mind to yield the best results for their clients.

Much like a financial manager, an investment manager will be in control of all finances pertaining to investment. They will not only provide advice, research, and data to their clients, but they will also handle the clients' entire investment portfolios and they will handle the entire investment process.

Investments vary from assets to stocks, bonds, and even investing in individuals or organizations. Using knowledge of data analytics and trends, investment managers will tell you if making a particular investment is worth the risk or not.

What Does An Investment Manager Do?

From the onset of the relationship, an investment manager will meet with clients to determine what type of investments would suit the client, if they are in a position to take a greater risk that may yield a higher reward, or if they should play the investment strategy safe depending on the financial data of the client.

But over and above staying on top of investment strategies from a client perspective, they need to keep an eye on the markets and market trends to know what potential investments are on the rise and what's on the decline. Additionally, when you consider that news, economic outlook, and current events greatly impact investment potential, it is expected that investment managers stay abreast of all these occurrences to make sure their clients make well-informed decisions.

They will not only devise and implement strategic plans, but they will also work with their client in determining investment goals and what the client is hoping to achieve financially from their investments.

They will collaborate and work with a team of analysts, their clients, and even their client's financial advisors to create the best investment portfolio for the client.

Types Of Investment Managers

There are a number of different investment managers that exist, all depending on the type of clients they work with and the type of investments they focus on. For example, there are personal investment managers that work with people on an individual level. In most cases, this will be the investment manager that anyone can find at their bank or at an investment institution, and these investors will help individuals establish an investment portfolio for themselves.

If you are retired or newly employed, you may not be using an investment manager. However, someone who has a lot of money in an estate or has been investing in various organizations will need someone to manage and oversee their entire portfolio.

Some investors work in large institutions and organizations, investing billions of dollars into different facets. Investment managers in these cases may also have different specialties in that there are some who focus on investment into other organizations, and other investment managers who focus on investment in physical items such as assets, equipment, and even potential employees.

Steps To Become An Investment Manager

Step One: Earn A Degree

While you ultimately need a degree in finance, getting a related or equivalent degree may still help you on your path to becoming an investment manager. Bachelor's degree programs that you can consider pursuing are degrees in finance, accounting, business administration, and business management.

You would need to cover courses in math, statistics, computer sciences, economics, data analysis, business and tax law, and asset and risk management.

Step Two: Gain Experience

Whether you obtain an entry-level role in an organization or in an investment firm, or you pursue an internship, having hands-on experience will get you one step closer to becoming an investment manager.

Step Three: Pursue A Graduate Degree

Whether you are completing a master's program in finance, accounting, business administration, or business management, getting a higher degree or graduate degree is a necessity for you to be considered for any management-level role.

This, coupled with the experience you would have garnered, is enough to get you one step closer to your desired role.

Step Four: Obtain Licensure And Certification

The role of an investment manager is extremely great, but it comes with a lot of responsibilities. To ensure you are capable of doing the job successfully, you would need to obtain a chartered financial analyst (CFA) certification, or a chartered portfolio manager (CPM) certificate.

Before you take these tests to obtain your certification, you need to make sure that you meet all state requirements before sitting for the examination process.

Step Five: Seek Employment

You can now begin your journey of looking for a role as an investment manager and you may begin taking on clients.

What Is The Average Salary Of An Investment Manager?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), financial analysts earn a median annual salary of $95,570.

What Skills Are Needed To Be An Investment Manager?

Aside from having the financial and technical skills that you will acquire from your degree program, you would need to work in high-stress environments, you would need to meet strict client and market demands, you would need to have critical thinking skills, and you would need to have high levels of honesty and integrity since you will be handling and managing peoples' finances.


What Is The Job Outlook For Investment Managers?

The BLS states that financial analysts can expect to see a projected 9% growth over the next ten years with about 32,000 jobs opening up on average each year.

Where Will I Work As An Investment Manager?

You could find employment in private brokerages, in banks, or at investment firms.

Is It Hard To Be An Investment Manager?

Considering that there is a lot at stake financially, clients will make or lose money based on your advice. This may not be hard per se, but it does carry a lot of responsibility. It is also a fast-paced and stressful career to pursue, so you would need to be able to work under pressure.


Becoming an investment manager means you will have a direct hand in determining an individual's or an organization's financial success. This is a great responsibility but the salary prospects and the career growth opportunities that it presents for you are amazing and would be worth pursuing.

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