|Topic||Road to a portfolio mananger|
|What is the best first job to start after school to prepare for a career in asset management?|
|Discount Brokerage or Fund Accountant.|
|Junior buyside research analyst, or junior assistant PM. Look to get in the bottom rung of any job that places you in the front office of a buyside shop, hopefully in a situation where there is room for promotion. If you start on the sellside, you should expect to do sellside work for 2 or 3 years and then earn an MBA, at which point you should try to enter a frontoffice buyside job at a somewhat more senior level (i.e. senior analyst, junior PM, trading).
Your progression to full PM is likely to take 10 years or more, so be patient. The key thing is not racing to get to that job, but in putting yourself around people who know how to do that job well, and learning.
|I think what you have to do is define "Portfolio Manager". It's like saying I want to be an "Analyst". Analyst is such a broad term that it encompasses guys collecting delinquent AMEX payments from bums like me, to guys covering RIM for Scotia Capital.
As far as PM goes, there are IMHO three "streams"...
"PM" at a broker house or "Investment counseling" firm - Basically a sales guy like all the others accept you happen to pass your CFA and get a fancy title, a higher ranking license, and the ability to do discretionary trading on client accounts because CFA taught you how to do an IPS.
"PM" at Mutli-manager [me] - Basically you manage managers. Its decent enough experience and the perks are good. You get pretty good at Zephyr, Bloomberg [not that I'm very good yet but you get 1/2 way through the Global Product Cert program if you stay late enough each day]. You're BIGGEST benefit here is direct contact with actual PMs [note how here I did not put PM in quotes]. Most people with CFAs at Multi-Managers are simply looking to amplify their knowledge base and develop contacts with real firms.
PM. This is the highest rank of the role as far as I am concerned. You actually manage a fund and select individual securities for inclusion in the fund, are followed by Morningstar and have analysts reporting to you directly. This is a much higher paying job and in some ways, it's as much about team building and people skills as it is about your hard skill set. In a lot of ways, the multi-manager role I do is more technically demanding but I can see how many PMs would dispute that: most PMs started off as research associates and then Analysts and then junior PMs.
In closing, I think what this case study in role scope definition does is segregate those who simply passed the CFA, which is fine - it's an excellent program and not easy to attain from those who actually did that PLUS learned more about the business.
I don't know if I'm making any sense?
|Im on the fast track to becoming a PM. I started as "research analyst" on a buyside high net worth RIA. I research idea, present them to the investment committee...we vote and the PMs take action given the mkt conditions, where the stock is trading, etc etc. I have fell into the role of "portfolio assistant." I retain my original responsibilities, but I now deal with the decisions made on a certain # of client portfolios. For example...when a client calls up and says...i am going to buy my son and his new wife a house, please see that I have 500k available in my account. I look at that account, I look at all the position, when they were purchased, any restrictions, any gains/losses, tax implications, opportunity cost, etc etc. I basically make the decision (with the Sr. Pm) as to what we want to do in order to meet the clients needs. Its cool cause I learn a lot. There is so much more than just selling those stocks that are lagging. You really have to look at the account from numerous perspectives.
my 2 cents.