Portfolio Management Career Profile

Discover your portfolio management career path.

CFI Career Map

Portfolio management overview

A Portfolio manager (PM) oversees the management of investment portfolios for their clients, which include pension funds, banks, hedge funds, wealth management firms, insurance companies, charities, and family offices.  The PM is responsible for maintaining the proper asset mix and investment strategy that suits the clients’ needs.

Personality

The personality of someone who would thrive in a portfolio manager position at an asset management firm likely has the following character traits:

  • Cerebral
  • Detail oriented
  • Quantitative
  • Client focused

Interview prep

Preparing for an interview in portfolio management is similar to equity research.  We have organized the most common interview questions from a wide range of sources and provided the answers you need in our equity research interview guide.  It would also be helpful to review of macro economic interview questions as well.

Entry point

A portfolio manager often begins their career as a financial analyst in equity research.  With a strong performance and expertise, an analyst move up to be a portfolio manager. The PM position is typically a later stage career in investment management, so it may take several years as a financial analyst or stock picker before becoming a portfolio manager.

Exit strategy

The PM role is not a means to an end, but an end in itself.  Most people remain in the role for a long time and focus on gaining more assets under management (AUM).  In terms of progression some people may take on leadership or executive roles at the firm, or they have enough connections, start their own asset management firm.

Compensation

Below is range of compensation you can expect to earn as a buy side PM.  It should be noted that there can be a wide range based on the firm, the year, and you AUM.

PM: $500,000 to 1,000,000+

Course work

The CFA designation is critical for just about all buy side investment management roles.

In terms of online course work, it’s important to begin with a strong understanding of accounting fundamentals.  From there you should have a solid Excel crash course under your belt, which will teach you the basics including shortcuts, formulas and functions.  Beyond that, you can progress to more advanced courses, which will teach you sensitivity analysis and industry specific modeling.  By taking a few courses you’ll learn about various industries and see different types of model.

If you want the best value on a wide range of courses, check out CFI’s Full Access Bundle.