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8 Key Attributes Of A Successful Portfolio Manager

By Marcos Puccini on

Running a successful wealth management business doesn’t just lie in your knowledge of the market and investment opportunities. In fact, it takes a well-rounded portfolio manager to truly excel in their craft. Having a select few attributes and qualities can not only attract new clients but help comfort existing ones too.

So, what makes a successful portfolio manager, and why does it matter? Well, for starters, managing investments requires a lot of tenacity, confidence, and strategic thinking. Those who fail to excel in these areas can quickly fall behind their competitors and restrict their potential for growth.

The reason for this is due to the fact that clients these days are looking for the full package in their wealth managers. It’s no longer solely about the service but it’s become about the customer experience too. Furthermore, it’s vital to remember that with a backdrop of AI and self-managed accounts.

Being a multi-faceted wealth manager as opposed to a “one-trick pony” is more important now than ever before. When it comes to AI, there’s one thing that this impressive technology can’t do – apply real-life experience to investments. Bringing your skills and personalization to your investments is what will help you bag your next client and keep your Rolodex full.

Let’s take a look at what makes a successful portfolio manager and how these attributes can change your financial advisory business.

What Makes a Successful Portfolio Manager:

Being Proactive

Understanding financial markets is tricky. No one knows where it will be in the next 6 or 12 months, especially in today’s Covid-19 climate. The current abnormal economic conditions make investment predictions impossible which makes it hard for financial managers to focus on the long-term. However, with this “new normal”, portfolio managers will have to adapt their strategies to become proactive for what’s to come.

Being proactive means that there has to be a thorough understanding of how the portfolio will behave under various turbulent conditions. Investigating the investment’s past performance and considering other volatile market conditions allows for better decision making under current and future circumstances.

Wealth management attributes

Always Communicating

No one likes radio silence, especially when their wealth is concerned. Even under strenuous circumstances, it’s important for portfolio managers to keep their clients up to date and informed about their investments. Although this often requires unpacking complicated data, explaining your analysis and recommendations in an easily understandable manner is key.

Staying Organized

As we’ve already said, portfolio management requires an intense understanding of complicated data and market figures. On top of this, the market changes almost instantly which requires updated information at all times.

With this being said, it’s fair to say that staying organized can be challenging. Prioritization and focus are important attributes to becoming a successful portfolio manager.

Remaining Curious

There are a lot of decisions to be made when it comes to investments and fund management. On top of this, the amount of information and data is constantly changing. This means that there are often times where managers are left without a complete set of information.

Digging deeper and staying up-to-date beyond what’s required from your portfolio will help enable you to make better decisions. Although there may never be a definitive answer, staying in tune with the market’s performance will guide your financial intuition on the right course.

Understanding the Win-Lose Ratio

Even though investments can be driven by your years of experience and knowledge, there will be times where your decisions don’t perform as planned. This is where we see a win-lose ratio.

If a manager is able to find and secure winning investments more often than not, this improves the average contribution from good decisions. As a result, good decisions will, therefore, outweigh the poor ones.

Remember, a portfolio manager is only as good as their last investment. Each investment should be an opportunity for you to showcase your skillset and knowledge. When this fails, look to the next opportunity for the potential to succeed.

Business growth

Practicing Humility

Humility is a strong quality, regardless of profession. It is a quality that your clients and potential employers will value. Being able to confess when you’re in the wrong and be willing to fix the situation is what separates successful fund managers from the rest. After all, you’re making predictions about the future so it’s understandable that there will be limitations to your insights.

Understanding Analytics

Interpreting data and analytics is a large component of the job. There are a lot of scenarios and plans that need to be researched in order to develop a range of outcomes. As a successful portfolio manager, having a mind built for analytics is essential. In addition to this, seeing trajectories and connecting events and their effect on the market is crucial.

Furthermore, a financial advisor should not only understand the analytics but stand by them too. In times where information is not fully available, decisions have to strategically be made with past performance and data in mind.

Exuding Confidence

Confidence is vital to most jobs and industries. In the world of finance, confidence is an essential requirement due to the importance of your wealth management role. A financial advisor must have the strength to uphold an unpopular opinion with the knowledge of a positive outcome.

Part of this is having control over your emotions. Strong emotional control will prove to be important as the market fluctuates and as you operate off of logic rather than feeling. Having confidence in your strategy and plan will assist you in disastrous times and volatile markets. It will also comfort your clients through uncertainty.

Strategic planning

Final Thoughts

A successful portfolio manager knows when to set their limits but also knows when to excel. Although it may be rare to find someone who exemplifies the perfect financial advisor, there are plenty of attributes that we can aspire to obtain. Having these qualities will ensure that your investment strategies are on top of their game and that your customer service is continuously pleasing.

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