An asset manager deals with the management of assets such as capital, commodities, stocks, precious metals, bonds, and real estate. He/she manages assets owned, leased and subleased by an organization or an individual. Asset managers decide on what assets to acquire through comprehensive research of these assets. They then present the findings and recommendations to senior management or board members.
Asset managers apply, broker and observe the activities of asset programs. Their job is to make profit and increase revenue and asset values through proven strategies and savings. They make reports and perform research analysis to determine if losses are likely to happen. Asset managers study current company policies and determine whether changes can be included. They recruit staff and assign them specific tasks. They also organize training and development programs for the management staff. Asset managers usually study a client’s business profile (business portfolio) to identify risks before deciding where best to invest his money. If the client is the type to shun risks as much as possible, the asset manager may invest them with government bonds or treasury bills. Asset managers should know how to diversify and “spread the wealth” around on investments that are virtually “risk-free.” They could diversify a client’s portfolio by investing some of his money on foreign stock options. Diversifying portfolio on both local and foreign stocks can minimize overall risk as economic slumps may occur locally while economic upturns are happening on the other side and vice versa. Asset managers know that every investment has certain inherent risks and diversification does not guarantee against loss.
Education and Training Requirements
Companies who hire asset managers prefer college degree holders in business administration, finance, real estate, or public administration. Some large companies provide newly recruited managers with on-the-job training often under the supervision of experienced asset managers. Certification is not required for this job although it enhances advancement opportunities of certificate holders. Some employers hire managers who have master’s degree in real estate or finance.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements
To become successful in this field, one must possess quantitative and analytical skills, advanced computer knowledge (including how to use spreadsheets and make earnings reports), analytical and problem solving skills, managerial and organizational skills, research skills, and the know how in analyzing numbers and turning them into financial models and projections. Asset managers must also be a team leader and work well independently and as part of a team.
An asset manager makes $65,000 annually on average. Factors such as size of company, location, nature of the industry, benefits and experience may cause salaries to vary considerably among asset managers.