Skills a Portfolio Manager Needs Each Day

Portfolio managers enjoy one of the most rewarding and lucrative careers in finance, and many have had significant training to obtain those positions. For people who aspire to a portfolio management career, Creighton University’s online Master in Investment Management and Financial Analysis (MIMFA) provides a thorough level of education in the skills needed for day-to-day success as a portfolio manager as well as preparation for the Chartered Financial Analyst® exams and designation.  The CFA® designation is considered by many to be the leading credential in the field.

Checking the news

A portfolio manager’s day often starts early, before trading begins. That is when a manager checks newspapers and online sources to review major news developments and early trading around the world. A major earthquake, a government policy dispute or the death of a leading political figure from thousands of miles away often may ripple through the financial markets. Program coursework in the Economics of Investment Management gives students an overview of the economic principles involved in assessing how news developments may increase or decrease the risks of various investments.

Monitoring current portfolio

Early in the day, and again several times later in the day, a portfolio manager needs to check the prices of the assets in which he or she has invested. He or she also needs to judge whether the values are on track for investors and to make critical buying and selling decisions. Among the core skills a portfolio manager requires to carry out these tasks is the ability to value various types of investments. Courses covering Fixed Income & Derivatives, and Equity Analysis, provide the foundational skills to perform these valuations.

Analyzing trends in the market

For much of the day, a portfolio manager is likely to be working with research analysts and with several computer applications analyzing both broad trends and more focused patterns of movement in the markets putting together investment strategies to take advantage of those trends. Creighton’s MIMFA program offers substantial coursework in Quantitative Analysis which focuses on the mathematical and statistical techniques that are used to analyze patterns in how investments are changing in value over time.

Evaluating companies

Many times during the week, a portfolio manager needs to be able to assess whether a specific company or its products are suitable for investment, and part of that skill is being able to thoroughly understand the company’s financial statements. In some cases, a manager may need to have deeper knowledge of the principles of corporate finance. Two of the program’s required courses, Financial Statement Analysis I, Advanced Financial Analysis and an elective course in Corporate Finance, provide valuable training in these areas.

Demonstrating leadership

At the end of the trading day, many portfolio managers have meetings with other staff members or clients to discuss the day’s events and prepare for the following day. To stand out, a portfolio manager must show leadership in identifying new ideas, trends and innovations that may provide an edge in investing. A portfolio manager also must show leadership in character, recognizing that good ethics are critical to maintaining a solid reputation in the market. Creighton’s MIMFA courses in Ethical and Professional Standards and Portfolio Management deliver these important foundations.

To learn more about portfolio management careers and Creighton’s MIMFA program, call us at 866.717.6365 to speak to a Program Manager or request more information today.