How to Become an Asset Manager: 5 Steps (2024)

Asset management is an incredibly attractive profession for many finance students and young professionals, and for good reason. Many of the world’s leading asset management firms oversee trillions of dollars in client assets. Savvy professionals with the skills and knowledge to make sound decisions for clients are highly valuable to those firms. But landing a position with a reputable firm isn’t as simple as submitting a resume and acing an interview. Here are some steps that could be helpful if you’re wondering how to get into asset management.

Step 1: Earn a Finance Degree

Hopefully if you’re reading this article, you’ve already considered, begun, or completed the path of an undergraduate or graduate degree in finance. Consider your finance degree the basic foundation on which every other tip we provide is built. It’s your first step in the journey to get into asset management. In addition to your finance courses, it’s important that you take every accounting and statistics course you can.

These courses will establish and demonstrate skills in financial modeling and computing that you’ll need as an asset manager. While earning your degree, keep in mind that your best opportunities for landing a job within a firm after graduation are on-campus recruiting fairs and events. Always keep your eyes open for opportunities to get in front of the right people.

Step 2: Get Your Feet Wet at an Asset Management Firm

Think entry-level here. This is the step where you pay your dues. It’s tempting to fixate on a particular position you want. Instead, it may be beneficial to get a foot in the door at a firm where you’d like to one day hold your dream job, even if it means you start in a position you don’t particularly want. If you can, try to secure a position as aresearch analyst. These positions are highly competitive, and most opportunities come about through on-campus recruiting or already having a connection at the firm you want to work for. You may be applying side-by-side with people who hold MBAs, CFA®charters, or other additional attributes that give them an advantage. So be willing to think outside the box. If you feel good about the company, and you are committed to a future in asset management, don’t rule out positions in sales, marketing, or other disciplines that will allow you to gain valuable experience in the business. Once you’ve built credibility in the firm, you will have a distinct advantage over external applicants when you get the opportunity to make a move.

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Step 3: Set Yourself Apart

This is where you can really accelerate on your path to get into an asset management career. Positions in asset management are competitive. The best firms are looking for the best-of-the-best employees, and you need to find a way to set yourself apart from the pack. Many of the most successful asset managers in the world haveearned the CFA charter. The CFA charter is the most respected and recognized investment management designation in the world, according to CFA Institute. Earning the charter is not a simple feat—it’s a three-level exam that takes, on average, four years and 300 hours of studying per level to complete. Even though it’s difficult to earn, the CFA charter is an excellent way to demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to the industry. Some people in pursuit of asset management careers may choose to complete anMBA programin lieu of, or in addition to, the CFA Program. That’s certainly an option, but not all asset management firms view the MBA in the same light as the CFA charter. It’s important to know if the time and money you invest will have the potential to pay off in the career path you’ve chosen.

Step 4: Pay Your Dues

In most cases, firms won’t consider you for a fund or asset management position until you’ve put in at least two years in a related support role. This often means taking a position as an analyst, researcher, or trader for the firm. It’s incredibly important to keep your eye out for opportunities both within your company and with other companies. Think of your path to get into asset management as a ladder rather than an elevator. Constantly pursue positions and tasks that get you closer to your desired destination. Keep your eyes on the goal, but don’t expect to get there without taking a few calculated steps along the way.

Step 5: Demonstrate Your Skills

While building experience in support roles, think of the work you do every day as a constant job interview. This is a chance to demonstrate your potential. Volunteer for the work others run away from. Identify and seize opportunities to learn. Participate in projects where you can hone your teamwork and leadership skills, as well as gain higher visibility for your talents. Look at each job you’re tasked with as an opportunity to build your resume and reputation in the firm and the industry. Regardless of the credentials you’ve earned, you will face an uphill climb if you do not master and demonstrate the soft skills required to be successful in the professional world.

There’s no “one way” to break into any career. Every person’s path and story is unique and different. But hopefully, these tips have provided some ideas and structure to build on and given you a better understanding of how to get into asset management.

How to Become an Asset Manager: 5 Steps (2024)


What are the 5 steps of asset management? ›

Proper asset lifecycle management is vital to ensuring your organization is running at peak efficiency. Asset lifecycle management is typically broken down into five stages: planning, acquisition, utilization, maintenance, and disposal.

What are the 5 core components of asset management? ›

  • Asset Inventory. ● ...
  • Level of Service. Level of Service (LOS) defines the way in which the City stakeholders want the City to perform over the long term. ...
  • Critical Assets.
  • Revenue Structure. ...
  • Capital Improvement Project Plan.

How do you become an asset manager? ›

To become an asset manager, you need a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, or a relevant field. Experience is crucial for finding a job, so while you are in school, you should intern at an investment bank or financial institution.

What are the 5 P's of asset management? ›

The 5P's represent - People, Philosophy, Product, Process, Performance. In finance, the 5P's served as a rule-of-thumb guide for our evaluation of whether to invest in a particular fund - hedge funds or private equity funds in my context.

What are the 5 assets life cycle? ›

Asset life cycle stages

Each asset goes through 5 main stages during its life: plan, acquire, use, maintain, and dispose. The majority of time is spent in the use and maintain phases, but each stage plays an equally important role in ensuring you get the most from your asset.

What are the 5 major assets? ›

Generally, you should consider five broad asset classes when constructing your investment portfolio: cash, fixed-principal investments, debt, equity, and tangibles. Cash refers to the most liquid holdings in your portfolio.

What is the basic of asset management? ›

Asset management is the day-to-day running of a wealth portfolio. It is usually headed by an investment manager. The management of assets involves building a portfolio of investments. This includes assessing risks, finding opportunities, and developing an overarching strategy for reaching a set of financial objectives.

What are the 3 main asset management types? ›

Historically, the three main asset classes have been equities (stocks), fixed income (bonds), and cash equivalent or money market instruments. Currently, most investment professionals include real estate, commodities, futures, other financial derivatives, and even cryptocurrencies in the asset class mix.

What is the qualification of asset manager? ›

Education, Experience, and Licensing Requirements:

Bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, economics, business administration or related field (MBA preferred) Several years' experience in asset management or related field preferred. CFA, CTP and CPA preferred.

How to become an asset? ›

This means that you're reliable and consistent, have good communication skills and can complete tasks independently. Being an asset also means that you can work well with others, especially if they have different strengths or weaknesses than yours.

How to succeed in asset management? ›

Some of the key skills required for a successful career in asset management include: Strong financial modeling and writing skills. Strong knowledge of financial markets, asset classes and risk.

Which 3 are principles of asset management? ›

These Asset Management Principles are briefly characterized:

“Failure Modes” – not all assets fail in the same way. “Probability” – not all assets of the same age fail at the same time. “Consequence” – not all failures have the same consequences.

What are the four fundamentals of asset management? ›

Likewise, the board has a role in the four asset management fundamentals: value, alignment, leadership and assurance.

What is the asset management process? ›

Asset management is the process of planning and controlling the acquisition, operation, maintenance, renewal, and disposal of organizational assets. This process improves the delivery potential of assets and minimizes the costs and risks involved.

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