Difference Between Asset Management & Investment Management

The nature of the investments that asset managers and investment managers work with are different. These financial managers also work with different types of clients. Read on to compare these fields in greater detail.

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Comparing Asset Management to Investment Management

Asset management refers to overseeing a specific type of investment option that is exclusively available to wealthy investors. Investment management is a generic term that encompasses several financial roles, including portfolio managers and stockbrokers.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2018)* Job Outlook (2016-2026)**
Asset Manager Bachelor's degree $70,515 11% (financial analysts)
Investment Manager Bachelor's degree $92,958 11% (financial analysts)

Sources: *PayScale; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Asset Managers vs. Investment Managers

Ultimately, asset managers and investment managers share the same goal of making money for their clients. How they do this is a little different. Asset managers typically work with wealthy individuals or companies that have very large amounts of money to invest. Investment managers may work with any individual or company interested in investing. Asset managers may concentrate on a specific type of asset investment, such as real estate, and develop a long-term plan to ensure their client's investments appreciate in value. Investment managers may oversee daily transactions related to a client's investments or they may be responsible for focusing on specific types of investments, such as stocks.

Asset Manager

Asset managers work with affluent clients and handle their investments in things such as real estate. In addition to finding investment options for clients they also determine ways to save clients money or maximize their profits on existing investments. In order to do this they need to be detail-oriented and capable of making effective decisions. It's normal for asset managers to spend a great deal of time working on a computer in an office. It's also common for asset managers to work overtime.

Job responsibilities of an asset manager include:

  • Evaluating market factors
  • Identifying investment opportunities
  • Producing projects of returns from investments
  • Communicating to clients about investments
  • Preparing reports

Investment Manager

Investment managers can fill many roles. They may specialize in stocks and provide insight to their company's research department about stock options for clients or they may determine which investments to include in a client's portfolio. Although they spend a great deal of time working in an office they may also travel to meet with clients regularly. Overtime is common. They need strong analytical skills because they must consider a lot of information when determining the best investment strategies for clients or making recommendation about stock options.

Job responsibilities of an investment manager include:

  • Clarifying goals for a client's portfolio
  • Determining which investments to buy
  • Evaluating economic factors
  • Preparing reports for clients
  • Changing investments if options underperform

Related Careers

There are a number of careers in finance that involve duties similar to the ones that asset and investment managers perform. Learn more about what real estate managers do and explore the role of a web broker by accessing the articles linked here:

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