Who Wants to be a Mutual Fund Manager?

If so, what are some of the paths to getting there? I’ll throw a couple ideas out there but I’d really like to obtain a general consensus. 1) Obtain the CFA designation. Probably non-negotiable right? 2) Top 20 MBA? Is an MBA even necessary if you obtain the CFA? 3) Work experience - do you have to start as an equity analyst? Big Firm/Small Firm? 4) Start by managing money for individuals and pull enough $$$ together to start your own? Look forward to the comments. Thanks!

I think CFA/MBA are somewhat interchangeable here. If I was looking to hire people out of a top 5 MBA program, for instance, I would not care less if they had a CFA charter. The CFA is definitely a plus for mutual fund management, but it’s not a necessity if you have other decent credentials. 3) There are also non-equity mutual funds. But anyway, I imagine that most fund managers were lowly analysts at some point. Obviously, it’s better if you have experience working at a big firm, or at least one with a big name. If not, it probably won’t kill your career by itself. 4) Maybe. Sounds like you have to be really well-connected or know some really rich people to do it this way though.

Here’s one way, although you do make your own destiny. Step 1: ???, depends what you’re up to now. Step 2: Become an analyst on the buy side. Step 3: Either attain CFA or good MBA (obviously not necessary if you have before step 1) Step 4: Have a good track record of picks so that your PM/manager likes you. Step 5: Ask to have the opportunity to run money. Step 6: You are either given the opportunity or you need to move somewhere you will have the opportunity. Step 7: Profit.

Thank you both for your input. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to give a little more detail on my personal situation, but I like the general discussion too. Currently a Level II Candidate in the CFA program, working as an individual portfolio manager on the Trust side of a national bank. Previously started in financial planning and hold the CFP®. Graduated from a small private university with Cum Laude honors in 2005. 27 years old. I really like to work with individuals, but I would kick myself if I never tried to get into institutional management. Part of my thought process to the MBA is because of the transition from individual to inst’l might be difficult to do, even if I’m fortunate enough to complete the CFA. Thanks again.

Ok that’s cool. You’re still young, so I’m sure opportunities will open up - either through MBA or something else. Good luck.

Sounds like a new reality show…