Investment Management - Analysing the markets to improve investment prospects
Investment management consists of working on behalf of clients, both institutions and private investors, to manage their finances and to meet specified goals. Investment managers analyse the stock market and administer transactions to make the most of their clients’ portfolios by investing in a variety of securities and asset classes. Typically, the earning potential of the investment manager is in proportion to the success of the investment, and a successful investment manager is one who uses initiative and foresight to make the right choices for their client’s needs.
There are two main roles within investment management: analyst and investment manager. The analyst deals with the research side of things by following the market closely, analysing stocks and predicting trends, aiming to produce a strategic game plan; the investment manager deals directly with the client’s portfolio, carrying out transactions according to the analyst’s findings.
What with the devastating affects of the recession still making waves across the world, the investment management sector faces ever changing challenges and uncertainty. The current instability means that the work is as exciting and demanding as ever; the choices made by today’s investment managers will come to define the economic landscape of the future.
In these financially uncertain times, the specialist knowledge of industry professionals is much in demand. Now more than ever, investors are concerned for the future of their finances and greatly value the expert advice of investment management firms on how to best look after their money.
While a finance degree would be an advantage, it is certainly not essential. A 2.1 or higher in any area is typically the required starting point, along with a genuine enthusiasm for the finance markets and a good head for figures.
Excellent interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills are paramount and – as with most careers in the industry – fluency in other languages is often a plus. Securing an internship is one of the best ways to gain experience and understanding of the workings of the industry. This will give you the chance to dip your toe in and explore what interests you.
Recent graduates usually start out in research roles, putting their analytical skills to good use by preparing reports and contributing to portfolio decisions. You can expect to be met by a steep learning curve in your first few weeks while working closely with experienced investors. This will give you indispensable skills and insight that will go on to shape your career.
You will also be encouraged to study towards professional qualifications, including an Investment Management Certificate (IMC). Such qualifications can boost your future success and employability as well as increase your earnings which – even at entry-level – are among the highest in the UK. Depending on your preference, you may find yourself working among thousands of employees for a world-class company or bank, or instead in a small, dedicated team at a boutique firm.
- Confidence, enthusiasm and ambition to succeed.
- An ability to fight you corner when debating issues.
- Excellent interpersonal skills.
- An inquisitive nature – someone who is not afraid to question accepted approaches or rise to unforeseen challenges.
- The ability to keep one step ahead of the competition, by getting involved in hands-on research and second-guessing the changes to the market.
Extract taken from TARGETjobs City & Finance 2012.