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What is the process to become an investment fund manager?

I have communication skills and I enjoy doing math. I personally find math easy and fun. #math #accounting

Thank you comment icon Here is a good website that also explains what is required and salary potential: https://www.owlguru.com/career/investment-fund-managers/requirements/#degree-req Toni Prince
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Natalia

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Zahid’s Answer

Becoming an investment fund manager takes a lot of education, training, and patience, and requires a lot of hard work to become certified and build a portfolio. One must have a high level of educational and professional credentials and appropriate investment managerial experience to qualify for this position.

Most brokerage firms or investment houses will look for applicants to possess a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in economics, finance, business, or mathematics. In many cases, an advanced degree such as an MBA or other master’s degree is highly recommended.

There is also a requirement to be licensed. In the United States, the most common licensing forms are the Series 7 and Series 63 or 66 certifications. The Series 7 exam is required to become a registered representative of any broker-dealer firm, or investment firm, within the United States. It is a six-hour test, which a firm will typically sponsor, and will cover all types of investments and regulations – stocks, bonds, mutual funds, individual retirement accounts, annuities, stock options, ethics, documentation, and effecting transactions.

Upon passing the Series 7 exam, the applicant will also need to take either the Series 63 or Series 66 Exam, depending on state of residence. The Series 63 exam is much shorter, and covers knowledge and familiarity with state regulations. Once this exam is passed, the successful applicant will be able to begin building their client base and investing on behalf of those clients.

Check out the link below for more information:
https://www.careerexplorer.com/careers/investment-fund-manager/how-to-become/
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your feedback. This information was useful! Natalia
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Sylvia’s Answer

Hi Natalia, great to hear that you have such a clear goal in such an young age! I think major in economics, business, finance or math is a easier way to get you closer to your goal. There are many kinds of investment and strategy used by investment fund manager, so I think it's good to pick classes teaching the knowledge and concept of them. And highly recommend you to prepare for CFA or other licences when you are still in school as you will need them for this role, and believe me you won't have much time studying once you start working. Also you should do some investment with your own money even it's little money as this will help you understand how the market works and also build your view and strategy. Find some internship opportunity in hedge fund and security house will help build your profile and also allows you to know what you need to prepare.
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Madisen’s Answer

Great question Natalia! Becoming an investment fund manager usually comes after holding many roles, and there are a lot of different paths you can take to get there. With that being said, there are many commonalities that investment fund managers have.

First, most investment managers hold the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. To hold this designation, there is a 3-part test. You can take the first part in your final year of your Bachelors degree and then take the other 2 tests after graduating.

Second, most individuals in the investments industry have to hold various series licenses. The type of series license that you hold depends on your role and cannot be obtained without sponsorship from a investment firm, so until you are employed many of these licenses cannot be obtained. However there is a preliminary test to hold many of the series licenses, and you do not need sponsorship to take this test. The Series Industry Essentials (SIE) exam you can pass and it is valid for 4 years! Many investment firms are requiring applicants pass this test before being hired. Taking and passing this test in college maybe during your junior year, would be a great added benefit to your resume!

Third, many investment managers obtain higher education like an MBA. Higher education and some additional designations are usually achieved after working for some period of time. Many investment/financial firms will sponsor or pay for a portion of your education costs in exchange for commitment to continue at the firm.

Lastly, their network!! This really is the most important. There are so many opportunities in the investment/financial space to use critical skills related to math, but unfortunately it is not transparent and easily accessible to a diverse audience. The best thing you can begin doing is build a network, and you can do this many ways.
--Go to a university that is recruited by the large brokerage firms. Before you submit college applications, set up an appointment with the schools career counselor for finance majors, and ask them what companies recruit here and what opportunities the school provides to connect your with large firms. What do the professors in your major do? Do they have connections to investment firms and professional experience or are they purely involved in research? Look up random investment funds (Vanguard, Fidelity, BlackRock, etc.) and see where the fund managers went to school.
--It is not enough to just get your bachelors in finance, you have to be involved in the industry. Start attending professional conferences, apply for scholarships, and compete in collegiate competitions.
--------The major broker/dealers and governing organizations hold conferences and often offer scholarships to students to attend. Some will allow you to attend for free and others will also cover a your travel and hotel costs. Examples of organizations that host conferences are Association for Financial Professionals, The CFO Leadership Council, or the CFA Institute. Large firms also hold conferences like TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, or Morningstar. Have a purpose when you go to the conference. Example: "I want to connect with firms that offer summer internships for Juniors in college." or "I want to find a mentor who can help me understand the pros and cons of this industry." Before you attend the conference have professional business cards and resumes printed, and once you get there be open to learning and engaging. I am not an extrovert, so it is EXHAUSTING, but many people there also aren't extroverts, so be curious and show the genuine you and professionals will *most* likely be kind. (Make a note of those who aren't because you do not want to work for them.) Reach out to the event planner/organizers prior to the event, and ask them "I am a student from X, and my goal in attending this conference is {X}, what are your recommendations?" also be willing to help them.
---------Apply for scholarships! There are a lot of niche scholarships out, and there are many for minorities in finance. Your college counselor and professor should know some and have students that have gotten them in the past that can coach you on writing a good essay. (Before you go to that university ask these kinds of questions!) You can just google them, but your chances are reduced.
---------Compete in competitions! Competitions often come with great rewards (scholarships, sponsorship, and cash rewards) if you win, but even if you don't you still get a ton of experience! Often only one team is allowed to compete from each school, and only a limited number of students are allowed on that team. Talk with the students that have already competed in the competitions beginning your freshman year of college and ask them how they positioned themselves to be eligible to compete.

Overall there are a lot of career paths you can take to get to being a fund manager, but it is competitive to get in with the good firms. If you don't already have connections, you are going to have work really hard, but if you are passionate about the opportunity hold onto that and keep on moving forward a step at a time.

Feel free to reach out if you have more questions!

Madisen recommends the following next steps:

Begin searching for the university you want to go to. Set up appointments with the career counselor for the finance major and dive deep into the opportunities students have.
You freshman year of college find a mentor that is a Junior or Senior that is heavily involved in the major. Start introducing yourself to the finance professors and be curious!
Your Sophomore or Junior year take and pass the SIE. Take the CFA part one your Senior year.
Be involved in the major and do some of the following: compete, be on the student body, get good grades, go to conferences, get internships, apply for scholarships..
Be the genuine you, don't listen to your fears, and find the path that is right for you!
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