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What is the typical work and life balance for a portfolio manager?

I have heard that portfolio managers work up to 80 hours per week.

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Gilly’s Answer

(Privately operated Real Estate) At first, in any position, you’re discovering and learning the company's values and objectives, the lay of the land. Get as much info on each location (Lease, location, headcount, purpose of use, furniture, layout, amenities, etc.) It’s always helpful to build a network to help bounce ideas and become more effective and efficient. At The one year mark you should have some standards and protocols, tweaking as you gain experience. Find tools (software, free online checklist, etc.) that work for you. Be open to learning and asking questions. It’s OK to be wrong because it helps you learn just dont repeat! You have to be detail-oriented, organized, and FOLLOW THROUGH! Stay curious by following industry trends. A year in, you should feel a bit more confident and able to have more of a Work-life balance!
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Connor’s Answer

Hi Kevin!

Seeing as this has the finance tag, I am going to take the other side of Sabitha's answer and assume that you are talking about being a financial portfolio manager.

Depending on how old you are, I would highly recommend the show Billions. It gives an inside look into a hedge fund and what their day to day is like. Often times you see people staying well into the night and starting before the sun rises. This is because the world of finance never sleeps. There can be a news article released at any time that can cause you to act quick. And now with the addition of 24-hour trading from some brokerages, you actually have the ability to act quickly. You do not have to wait for the market to open like you did "back in the day."

With that being said, if you are a portfolio manager then you have the ability to manage as you see fit. You run the show, so you can decide the hours you work. There are two great examples: Cathie Woods and Warren Buffett. Warren is more of a passive investor. He buys large chunks of securities every now and then and lets their performance speak for itself. Then you have Cathie Woods. Cathie adjusts her portfolio every day. She is constantly scanning the market for undervalues companies and companies with high potential for growth, or speculation.

So, can you work up to 80 hours a week? Of course. Do you need to? Only you can answer that question...
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SABITHA’s Answer

I am assuming that you are asking about a Portfolio Manager in a business setting and not a financial portfolio manager. let me explain how it works in a business setting.

A portfolio manager generally is responsible for keeping track of all the changes or moving parts that must be completed before an effort can be deemed complete. They usually also track budgets, raise any risks and roadblocks for leadership help and make sure all the teams are following the plan to deliver in the right sequence and timelines.

As you can see from the description, it is a high profile role where you must be able to manage not only your time, but the project timelines for multiple teams as well. Given how teams are spread out across the US and some even based offshore, the working hours tend to vary based on the needs of the various teams. So there will definitely be days where there are long hours, but luckily there might also be days where everything is on track and your schedule may be light.

The same will be true for other roles as well, especially as teams are very spread out after COVID with remote workers being the norm rather than a rarity.
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