A portfolio manager is a high-level financial analyst who makes executive decisions for a company or client. These managers typically work for portfolio management firms or investment banks; however, they can find employment at a variety of firms. A master’s degree and several years’ experience as a financial analyst are common prerequisites to becoming a portfolio manager. Some jobs dealing with the transfer of securities require federal licensing, and many portfolio managers seek optional professional certification as well.
A bachelor’s degree is the standard level of education for entry-level financial analyst positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in a finance-related field, like accounting, economics, finance or business administration (http://www.bls.gov). Courses in advanced math and statistics are also recommended.
A master’s degree in business administration or finance also might be required to become a portfolio manager. These programs typically take 2-3 years to complete and include advanced courses on asset management, hedge funds, options pricing and bond valuation.
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