How to Become a Portfolio Manager

Are you in love with the stock exchange and have an uncommon sense of analysis? Do you want to become the next Warren Buffett? It can be done, provided you have completed a quite demanding career path and have the required qualities.

The portfolio manager is a professional who develops investment strategies for financial institutions or large organizations. He selects securities in order to create a custom portfolio that will maximize the investments of his clients. He makes quantitative and qualitative analyses of the companies in which he can invest the money that has been entrusted to him. And due to the size of these sums, the portfolio manager must follow a demanding path… up to the finish line.

Path to obtain the title

The country’s various financial market regulation organizations suggest two paths combining training and years of experience:

  1. obtaining the title of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) after passing three levels of exams and membership in the CFA Institute AND 12 months of relevant experience in investment management in the 36 months preceding the application for registration;
  2. obtaining the title of Canadian Investment Manager (offered by the CSI (Canadian Securities Institute) AND 48 months of relevant experience in investment management, including 12 months in the 36 months preceding the application for registration.

Many portfolio managers have started their career as a financial analyst, after obtaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree in an appropriate discipline. They then rose through the ranks and added responsibilities.

Essential skills

However, obtaining the title does not guarantee success. You have to have a good dose of patience and very good social skills. You have to know how to listen to very wealthy clients, and to manage their emotions (which fluctuate according to the hundreds of thousands of dollars they entrust to the portfolio manager).

A good portfolio manager is well acquainted with securities, economic environments and major international issues. He must be a keen observer of market movements, show impeccable diligence and be highly responsive, because he must carry out the best transactions for his clients. He will also be recognized for his great meticulousness and patience.

While nothing guarantees a career comparable to that of Warren Buffett, the title of portfolio manager, with an average salary in the six figures, makes it possible to work in Canada while opening international doors…

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