Portfolio Manager Meaning
A portfolio manager is an executive who is responsible for making investment decisions and manage investment portfolio with the primary goal to meet the clients’ financial and investment-related objectives and work towards the maximum benefit of the client with the minimum possible risk.
Below is the list of functions, roles, and responsibilities of a portfolio manager:
- Deciding the best investment plan for an individual based on his preferences, age, risk appetite, income level, etc.
- Educate the investor about the types of investments available, the returns expected and the risks involved.
- Keep in touch with the client and keep him/her updated on a regular basis.
- Be transparent and honest with the client.
- Be able to make good decisions at the right time.
- Keep himself updated with the latest changes in the financial field.
- Contrive a personalized investment plan rather than suggesting a similar plan like that of a previous client as individuals vary.
- They must be unbiased towards a particular investment, must not look for higher commissions but should work for the best interests of the clients.
- They must keep a check on the market fluctuations from time to time and must be able to guide the investor accordingly.
Apart from all this, they must clarify to the investor that no matter how much planning is done, there would arise unavoidable circumstances that might arise in the course of investment and that the investor must be ready and have sufficient funds to tackle the same.
What does a Portfolio Manager Exactly Do?
We can divide the process of portfolio management into six phases/steps:
Step 1: Ascertain the client’s objective.
Step 2: Select the most suitable asset class.
Step 3: Conduct the strategic asset allocation i.e. setting weights for the suitable asset classes.
Step 4: Conduct Tactical Asset Allocation – This refers to adjusting the weights within the portfolio.
Step 5: Manage Risk.
Now that we have learned the major responsibilities of the manager, let us know some of the qualities the portfolio manager must possess in order to perform well:
- Ability to communicate i.e. strong communication skills
- The anticipation of the market performance
- Capability to generate ideas
- Self- Sustainability
- Competitive Spirit
- Emotional Balance
- Analytical Ability
Types of Portfolio Manager
Following are types of the portfolio manager.
#1 – Bases on Clients They Serve
- Individual Clients
- Institutional Clients
Whatever be the type of the clients they serve, the main of the objective does not change. It would be to satisfy the needs and financial goals of the respective clientele.
#2 – Based on Approach
- Active Approach – A manager with an active approach would be aggressive and would attempt to beat the market returns.
- Passive Approach – A manager with a passive approach he would usually prefer to buy stocks that reflect the market performance i.e. market index. When such an approach is followed, investors expect returns equivalent to that of the market index.
Example of the Portfolio Manager
Let us understand the function of a portfolio manager with the help of a numerical example:
There is a portfolio manager, say K. K has experience in managing investment portfolios and feels that he can follow a proper strategy and gain results rather than just following the market index. He is a manager following an active approach, or we can say, he is an aggressive portfolio manager.
Calculation of portfolio Value will be –
As per the requirements and the risk appetite of the clients of K, he can manage from one investment firm to another maintaining the total value of the portfolio.
Advantages of Portfolio Manager
Portfolio management by a manager helps in:
- Avoiding disasters in investments.
- Reducing risks by reducing volatility in the portfolio.
- Optimal allocation of funds.
The various investment styles used by a manager are as follows:
Financial Advisor vs Portfolio Manager Differences
The terms ‘financial advisor’ and ‘portfolio manager’ are often used synonymously. But there are differences between the two. Let us now learn the differences:
|Point of Difference||Financial Advisors||Portfolio Managers|
|Role||They do not support the long term financial objectives of the client. Financial advisors suggest clients based on their financial situation.||Portfolio manager’s job is to take care of the client’s financial and investment-related objectives.|
|Duty||Financial advisors are not having any legally bound by a trust to the client.||They are legally bound by a trust to act to the client’s best interest.|
|Fee||They earn fee and commission based on the products that are sold to the client by them.||They receive a fee based on the percentage of assets managed by them.|
|Management||They may sometimes be compelled to overtrade to boost theirs.||Since they do not receive a commission, they do not try to oversell products that are not useful for the client of products which are not in their best interest.|
Investors, in reality, prefer portfolio manager over financial advisors for managing their periodical income, benefits and savings.
To sum up, performing the role of a portfolio manager is very risky challenging but at the same time, it offers rewards adequately. It offers a wide range of challenges as well as opportunities for growth, earning and learning. A person with a willingness to take up risks and preparedness to spend a lot of time on researching, with a flair for financial markets, and with an ability to analyze can pursue suitable courses which enable him/her become a portfolio manager.
This has been a guide to who is portfolio manager and it’s meaning. Here we discuss what does a portfolio manager exactly do along with example and advantages. You can learn more about financing from the following articles –