What is a Money Manager?

N. Madison
N. Madison

A money manager is responsible for handling the entire investment portfolio of an individual or business entity. He or she receives payment in exchange for planning, monitoring, and implementing client investments. Client portfolios can include individual securities and bonds, as well as real estate and other investments. Great emphasis is placed on personalization and each portfolio is tailored to the unique objectives and goals of the client. Portfolio management is on a discretionary basis, meaning the money manager has the right to make daily portfolio decisions, without consulting the client.

Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

Investing can be complex, stressful, and time consuming. Often, investors choose to relieve the pressure by hiring money managers to evaluate markets and make critical portfolio decisions. This can help investors have more time for other things, such as work, family, and hobbies. Furthermore, a good money manager can help her clients avoid making costly investment errors.

A money manager typically handles larger portfolios, though each professional or firm has different minimum investing requirements. In exchange for shouldering the responsibility of portfolio decision-making, a money manager charges a fee, based on a percentage of the assets in his care. Though these fees can be expensive, many investors consider the money well spent.

A professional money manager may choose to work as an independent contractor, starting her own business, while another may decide to accept employment with a firm. Each money manger has a unique style and investment philosophy. Many money-management professionals employ sophisticated techniques and technologies in making decisions and formulating investment strategies. Others rely more on simple intuition.

The fundamental goal of a money manager is to position the client's portfolio to meet financial objectives, while managing appropriate levels of risk. To be successful, a money manager must have excellent communication skills, a strong understanding of financial markets, discipline, and the ability to think about all aspects of investment issues. As millions of dollars are often at stake, most prospective clients expect money-management professionals to possess experience and solid credentials as well.

N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


Whether someone has their own business or works as an institutional money manager for a firm, the responsibilities that go along with this job are huge. Anytime you are dealing with money, there is a lot at stake.

The financial world can be complex and scary if you don't have any idea about investments and the best way to get a return on your money. I have some knowledge of this, but still rely on the advice of a professional to get good feedback and recommendations that I am not aware of.

The financial industry constantly changes, so you must follow it regularly to know what is going on. Even if you hire someone to help you make these decision, it is still your responsibility to keep up with your money.


Being a successful money manager can be a very challenging, yet rewarding job. There is a lot of responsibility involved when making financial investments for a person or a company.

Having worked in the financial industry for many years, I have met many people who are very uncomfortable making these decisions themselves, and rely on professionals in the business to guide them through money management options.

The single best money management tip I ever give is to encourage people to always live within their means. This makes their financial planning so much easier when they have already been practicing this and don't have a lot of debt to pay off before they can begin saving and investing.

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