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How do I Become a Portfolio Manager?

Jill Gonzalez
Jill Gonzalez

To become a portfolio manager in the United States, you should have at least a bachelor's degree in finance or accounting. You might also be eligible for such employment if you have a degree in business administration, particularly if you have a concentration in finance or a related area. Some employers may prefer candidates who have a Master's in Business Administration (MBA), but this is not a common requirement. It could also be helpful if you have some project management or budgeting experience, though a degree in these areas is generally not necessary.

In order to obtain one of these management-level positions, you should plan to have at least eight years of experience working in finance. Many employers look for candidates that have hands-on experience working with financial portfolios. In some cases, it will be a requirement for all applicants to have direct management experience. If you have never been responsible for managing portfolios or other financial matters, you could still be eligible for an entry level or trainee position.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

If you want to obtain one of these positions and be successful in this field, you should have excellent leadership capabilities. To become a portfolio manager, it is likely that you will have to supervise a few employees. In some positions, you could be responsible for managing a dozen or more people. If you can demonstrate to an interview committee that you are capable of handling this type of responsibility, you may have an advantage over your competition.

It is generally important, in a management position of this kind, for candidates to have exceptional communication skills. You should be able to speak to others in a manner that is clear and concise if you want to become a portfolio manager. You should also be able to convey your thoughts in writing, as you may responsible for creating and transmitting a variety of reports, emails, letters, and portfolio content information to co-workers and clients. Employers generally expect individuals who hold these management positions to also have solid negotiation capabilities and problem-solving skills.

Some familiarity with federal and state regulations may be beneficial to you as you try to find this type of job. In order to become a portfolio manager, you might be solely responsible for supervising the administration of customer accounts. As part of this process, it could be helpful if you know how to trouble-shoot a variety of computer problems. In addition, you may need to consult on software systems that your employer is considering implementing.

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