Qualifications Required for an Asset Manager

Asset managers monitor client portfolios.
Asset managers monitor client portfolios. (Image: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Asset managers work for individual clients or businesses to manage financial portfolios and assets. The manager oversees the financial management of stocks, bonds, real estate and all assets the client owns. An asset manager weighs the risk of investments and seeks opportunities to increase the value of the client’s portfolio. The manager monitors the performance of investments and makes recommendations to the client.


Asset managers, financial analysts and financial managers must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. The individual can pursue a degree program in finance, economics, business administration or accounting. Most employers require a master’s degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Courses in statistics, financial analysis and risk management are helpful for a career as an asset manager.


Financial analysts and investors may require licensing by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Asset managers who work as certified public accountants must meet state licensing requirements. A CPA must meet educational requirements, which includes a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, upper-level accounting courses and passing the Uniform CPA Examination.

Job Skills

A financial manager or analyst must have interpersonal skills to work with clients and manage investments. Communication skills are necessary to explain financial information to clients in an easy-to-understand manner. The asset manager must understand various aspects of business to make sound decisions and recommendations to clients. In addition, the asset manager must have knowledge of international finance and regulatory procedures. Asset managers are skilled in math and problem solving as well.

Experience and Certification

Certification may not be a requirement to work as an asset manager but can enhance employment opportunities. The Chartered Financial Analyst credential requires a bachelor’s degree and four years' experience in the finance industry. The candidate must also pass three examinations.

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