A mutual fund works as an investment pool, collecting the contributions of numerous investors and using them to purchase stocks and bonds. The collected stocks and bonds purchased with investments comprise a portfolio. Every investor in a mutual fund partially owns the portfolio. Mutual fund managers decide which stocks and bonds to add to a portfolio and which to remove, buying and selling on behalf of the fund's investors. Mutual fund manager training combines education and real world experience.
Becoming a Mutual Fund Manager
Mutual fund managers often are senior employees at stock and bond trading companies, or individuals who start their own financial firm after building a customer base and experience. Because mutual fund managers trade stocks and bonds, these individuals almost invariably start their careers as stockbrokers or other low-level commodities traders and work their way up to a managerial position.
What To Study
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an important step in becoming a commodities trader such as a stockbroker or mutual fund manager entails obtaining a bachelor degree in business, finance, accounting or economics. Not all commodities trading firms require that brokers hold bachelor degrees, but most do. All traders must pass the Series 7 Exam, as per provisions set forth by the Securities Exchange Commission. Future mutual fund managers may learn all the material covered on this examination during the course of obtaining a bachelor degree in finance or a related field.
Internships and Courses
Internships prove valuable training experiences for future mutual fund managers and help arrange professional connections. College students preparing for careers in commodities trading may undertake internships at trading firms during their senior year of college or even earlier. According to the BLS, many firms hire interns upon graduation and help them pass the Series 7 Exam. Interns may have access to mutual fund managers with whom they forge personal relationships, an important training and professional development resource. Taking professional development courses and participating in conferences and other commodities trading events may prove advantageous.
On-the-Job Training and the MBA
The most important training for brokers and future mutual fund managers occurs on the job. Young brokers may learn under the tutelage of more experienced professionals. According to the BLS, most individuals who continue to senior positions such as mutual fund managers eventually obtain a master's degree of business administration. Brokers may obtain an MBA by taking courses while working or by taking time off from work for full-time study. The former method provides the best balance of work experience and education for future mutual fund managers. Some schools offer special courses in mutual funds.
- Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images