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A fund manager is a financial professional who is in charge of an investment fund. A person in this position must handle the funds they supervise in a way consistent with their stated goals while working to maximize returns to benefit investors. People who work in these senior positions generally have extensive experience in the financial industry, including experience at various levels of the fund management hierarchy.
Funds can be structured in a number of different ways and for various purposes. The fund manager is in charge of managing both the day to day and long term operations of the fund. He or she decides how the fund should invest the monies available to it, how to balance the portfolio, and how to handle other aspects of running the fund. This can include things like marketing the fund to potential investors, implementing procedures and policies in the office, and establishing ethical standards for the business.
It is not uncommon for a fund manager to have an advanced degree such as an MBA, along with experience in the industry. He or she may have worked for banks as well as other financial institutions in addition to funds such as hedge funds or mutual funds. This extensive experience often includes activities in different aspects of fund management as a fledgling fund manager learns about accounting, balancing portfolios, responding to market shifts, and financial ethics.
Typically fund managers are supported by a large staff. This can include entire departments to focus on issues like monitoring stock values and maintaining ethical standards, as well as personal assistants who help the manager with administrative tasks. Office hours can be long, as there may be times when a fund manager needs to come in early or stay late to meet over the phone with people in other time zones or to respond to emerging market trends; a fund manager who sleeps through a market crash will be out of a job.
A good fund will have stable management which includes many long term employees. The fund manager is usually compensated in the form of a fee which is based on performance, providing an incentive for the manager to handle the fund well because his or her compensation is tied to returns. Funds with high staff turnover may be experiencing problems which investors could potentially do better to avoid and it is advisable to look up a fund's history before plunging into an investment.