Portfolio Manager Career Path

I am a high school student, and I will graduate in a little over a year. My college will be completely paid for, so I was planning on getting my MBA directly after my undergraduate, I was planning on a major in finance and a minor in economics. My question to you is, since I will be bee lining it to my MBA, hopefully with some internships, what would be the quickest/best way to become a portfolio manager?

Comments (21)

DickFuld, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Getting your MBA directly after undergrad is only possible at horrible schools and will give you virtually no more opportunities than just completing undergrad alone.


H13x, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Second this. A friend of mine got her MBA straight out of undergraduate and is doing advising work as we speak.

Would getting CIMA certified help DickFuld ?

No pain no game.

DickFuld, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Second this. A friend of mine got her MBA straight out of undergraduate and is doing advising work as we speak.

Would getting CIMA certified help @" ?


A CFA probably would help at a lot of mutual fund companies. However, the opportunity set to be a PM at a mutual fund will likely be a lot smaller over 20 years from now (when OP will be in his forties) given the continued flight to indexing.

DickFuld, what's your opinion? Comment below:
The first part of your comment isn't true - even MBA business schools">M7 schools often take at least 1-2 students straight out of UG
Let's say that's true.......those 2 students will not get the same opportunities as those who have work experience. Will they get better opportunities than they would have with undergrad alone? doubt it.

So, what is your conclusion? Should he/she strive to get the MBA right after college? Keep in mind he's in high school.

itookyourhome, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I second that an MBA direct out of undergrad will not give you a head start (cause I did it).

There are lots of paths to PM over a career. All of my PMs were either engineers, science, or history majors. Getting to the PM role is about delivering a constant stream of profitable investment ideas as an analyst, with a fair amount of luck that a role opens up.

WSO Monkey Bot, what's your opinion? Comment below:

logan.d, bummer your thread hasn't had a response yet. Maybe one of these threads could point you in the right direction:

  • Asset Management: Portfolio Manager Career Path? a solid career choice. So I wanted to know what is the usual career path to become a portfolio manger at ... a asset management firm like BlackRock, PIMCO and wellington. Also what is the salary like for a portfolio ... Salary BlackRock Pimco Career Path Asset Management Forum Resources Investment Banking Interviews PE ...
  • Sell Side and Buy Side Trading Career Path a Portfolio Manager The career path of a PM is more of a journey and much less of a structured path as there ... I am very interested in becoming a trader. Could anyone post about the career path of a trader. ... And how many years on average will they be in that position until promoted? What is the Career Path of ...
  • Portfolio Management Career Path on Buy Side What is the entry level position for one to begin a path in portfolio management, I have head it ... is a Portfolio Management Assistant but how does one get hired for this position, what makes one look ... most attractive. I currently will work for the opposite side in sales and marketing side but wanted to ...
  • Product Management Career Path a portfolio manager myself (provided I enjoy it and turn out to be good at the job). So I have a research ... background, and know something about the theory of how portfolio management should work, but pretty much no ... bolts of how portfolio management works. On the other hand, it'd not be research and ...
  • Thoughts on FinTech industry as a career? Specifically Order/Portfolio Management System software technology firms such as these? Just looking for some information/ career path possibilities within this ... Hi, Wanted to get peoples thoughts on the FinTech industry pertaining to Order/ portfolio ... management System software providing services to Buy-side with Execution, Compliance, PnL, Positions, ...
  • Investment Manager Research Career Paths Does anyone know what the general/organic career progression is for an investment manager research ... analyst? portfolio manager ...
  • Fork in the road: Career path in Asset Management Essentially, I would like some advice from you guys on what you think the best career choice is for me. ... In 2018 I have to make a pretty serious decision, which will determine the direction of my career ... . Currently, I have three real possibilities: Consultant Relations for a mutual fund. Institutional Equity ...
  • Execution Trader at Discretionary Macro Fund, Career killer or valid path to PM? trading. Is execution trading a valid path to a PM or risk-taking role? Will I be able to learn from the ... I should look for during the interview process? Ideally I'd rather have a Jr PM title but there's ... or swim PM role at this point, but have some opportunities to work closely with some prominent ...
  • More suggestions...

No promises, but sometimes if we mention a user, they will share their wisdom: lib8023 @Central Banker" RedBarron

You're welcome.

Burke, what's your opinion? Comment below:

A PM in what (asset/class) strategy? Why do you want to get two Masters degrees? You need to clarify/expand upon your plan.

Whatever1984, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Our newest PM is coming out of Risk. The department is quant, and we'd prefer him in product instead of trading, and likely we'll be pulling him a lot for product work, but the title is the only way we were able to get him. He was widely considered one of the smartest people at our ~2k person shop. Aiming for PM is unrealistic out of school. (our highest paid PM makes roughly 5X what the CEO does, and the CEO was a PM)

The only difference between Asset Management and Investment Research is assets. I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
  • 1
logan.d, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Alright, if I should wait to get my MBA. What should I do? Start as an asset management analyst? Then move up the chain to associate then PM? And where should I get my MBA in there?

Best Response
DickFuld, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Alright, if I should wait to get my MBA. What should I do? Start as an asset management analyst? Then move up the chain to associate then PM? And where should I get my MBA in there?
That would be fine, as would equity research or banking. If things are going well in your career, you probably won't want to get an MBA. The opportunity cost should be massive and you may very well end up in a similar or worse seat than the one you left.

I know this is hard to understand at your age, but you will simply be choosing from your best set of alternatives at each point in time. There is no final destination.

This entire career you have mapped out in your head will not turn out the way you expect. The traditional PM will have largely gone the way of the Dodo bird by the time you hit mid career (where you reach peak earnings). Maybe that prediction will be wrong and maybe it won't, but something will take you on a different path than you expect now.

vanillathunder, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Oh, I got this one:

Quickest way to become a portfolio: read tons of books (think 200+ books), make your firm tons of money by having a 3-5 year track record of alpha generation, you will be a PM in no time

HBS, GSB, CBS, Wharton won't help you that much in the classroom, they just give you an amazing brand and an awesome platform to meet people who can give you jobs ONLY IF YOU PROVE YOU CAN DO AN AMAZING JOB.

John Rocker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Rerum aliquid minus ratione sint fuga. Ea est ex eius omnis nesciunt nihil impedit eaque. Sit et et voluptas culpa sed. Numquam dolorem ex sapiente et. Nesciunt sit quaerat pariatur.

Quia nihil cum cupiditate. Quia voluptas non maxime necessitatibus. Et dolores aperiam quis omnis autem est illo. Et quo est et harum. Amet sapiente aut fugiat nesciunt autem porro. Iure consequuntur illum quasi ea ex.

Earum at veniam voluptas eos ut. Atque ut fugit dolores amet eligendi iste. Perspiciatis est quae delectus distinctio corrupti neque laborum.

Perferendis cum ducimus cum totam reprehenderit. Sint vel temporibus nihil ut in minus natus. Autem quo fugiat et eos nam et et. Nihil expedita quo est qui ut at. Expedita qui eos error quos qui quisquam consequuntur. Maiores iure odio quia eos aut animi non. Similique amet qui nostrum nostrum.

"Straight Cash, homie"-Randy Moss

Start Discussion

Career Advancement Opportunities

June 2023 Investment Banking

  • Lincoln International (▲01) 99.6%
  • Jefferies & Company (▽01) 99.1%
  • Financial Technology Partners (= =) 98.7%
  • William Blair (▲11) 98.2%
  • Lazard Freres (+ +) 97.8%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

June 2023 Investment Banking

  • William Blair (▲04) 99.5%
  • Lincoln International (▲11) 99.1%
  • Canaccord Genuity (▲18) 98.6%
  • Stephens Inc (▲12) 98.2%
  • Financial Technology Partners (▲09) 97.7%

Professional Growth Opportunities

June 2023 Investment Banking

  • Lincoln International (▲01) 99.5%
  • Financial Technology Partners (▲06) 99.1%
  • Jefferies & Company (▽02) 98.6%
  • Lazard Freres (▲15) 98.2%
  • UBS AG (▲19) 97.7%

Total Avg Compensation

June 2023 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (6) $592
  • Vice President (32) $396
  • Associates (148) $260
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (11) $198
  • 1st Year Analyst (280) $170
  • 2nd Year Analyst (91) $170
  • Intern/Summer Associate (46) $166
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (206) $93