Investment managers manage investment portfolios for banks, life insurance companies, trust companies, or other financial institutions. The job also typically entails doing data analysis and preparing presentations that explain or justify investment decisions based on the data. To become an investment manager, you will generally need a college degree, post-graduate work experience in a financial setting, and a post-graduate degree.
If you want to become an investment manager, it can be important to get a college degree in finance. Keep in mind that in some colleges, in order to be admitted to the finance major, you must also be admitted to business school. Business school application is very competitive. Thus, getting good grades can be essential if you want to increase your chances of being accepted to the finance major.
Granted, it should be noted that sometimes asset management companies do accept individuals with a background in the liberal arts, particularly if business-relevant courses such as economics, accounting, and financial analysis have been taken as electives. Although finance skills are very important, asset management companies also need workers who can write reports well and verbally express concepts to clients. English majors are typically well-trained in written and verbal expression. Thus, English majors have critical skills that asset management companies need.
Whether you major in finance or in English, it can be helpful for you to participate in a finance internship in college. The career services department at your college should be able to help you find a finance internship; however, if the career services department cannot help you, most likely the business school will be able to help. Completing a finance internship during college can provide valuable real-world experience that will supplement your classroom learning.
Generally, it is recommended that you apply for your first finance job during the last semester of college. Talk to the career services department and do an online job search to find a job. You will not start out as an investment manager. Instead, you will most likely become a research analyst to gain experience for the first few years of work. The purpose of this first post-graduate job is to help you get work experience in a finance-related setting so you can increase your chances of being accepted for post-graduate finance study.
You could start looking for post-graduate opportunities as soon as you have completed your first two years of post-graduate work experience in a finance setting. Please note that the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in finance is generally recommended for anyone who wants to eventually become an investment manager. The MBA will give you specific knowledge and training that will give you the tools to manage investments for maximum profit. Also, becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) could be helpful if you want to be an investment manager.
Once you have completed the MBA in finance and once you become a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), then you will be ready to become an investment manager. You may not be promoted to the position of investment manager right away; however, you will have the necessary credentials when the opportunity for promotion comes. When you become an investment manager, you can choose to work as an investment manager for a hedge fund, mutual fund, insurance company, the government, a university, a foundation, or some other organization.