In summary, here are 10 of our most popular portfolio management courses
Frequently Asked Questions about Portfolio Management
Portfolio management is the process of assembling and overseeing a selection of investments in stocks, bonds, and other securities that meet a particular investor’s desired balance of risk and expected return. Efficient portfolio construction and management are critically important for building wealth over the long term, enabling investors to earn more over time than just putting money in an interest-bearing savings account while avoiding the risk of attempting to pick individual stocks and “beat the market.”
Most strategies for portfolio optimization are based in modern portfolio theory, which is founded on the insight that evaluations of risk and return should be made about an entire collection of assets, not just individual assets. Thus, portfolio optimization is pursued by combining assets with different risk profiles that balance each other out in aggregate and minimize the overall portfolio risk for a given expected return. Statistical analyses of variance in price movements and correlations between assets are relied upon to build this efficient diversified portfolio.
Other portfolio theories have emerged to remedy perceived flaws in modern portfolio theory, giving portfolio managers additional tools. For example, post-modern portfolio theory seeks to more aggressively minimize downside risks, claiming that modern portfolio theory fails to adequately distinguish between regular small losses and rarer but more dangerous catastrophic declines in the market. Behavioral finance has also critiqued conventional portfolio management strategies for failing to account for the role of cognitive biases of investors and the market at large.
Portfolio management is an art as well as a science, and professionals in this field must be skilled at analyzing a basket of different securities as well as working with investors to determine their desired combination of risk and return. Because of the enormous value that can be generated by an efficient diversified portfolio over time, this expertise is always in high demand - and is highly compensated. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial managers earned a median annual salary of $129,890 in 2019, and these jobs are expected to grow much faster than average.
Absolutely. Coursera offers an incredibly wide range of opportunities to learn about business and finance, including individual courses as well as Specializations spanning multiple courses. Coursera also gives you the chance to learn about portfolio management from top-ranked universities from around the world, including Yale University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Rice University, University of Geneva, and the Indian School of Business. And, since you can learn on Coursera for a significantly lower tuition than on-campus students, your valuable education in portfolio management is sure to be a smart investment.
Math is one of the skills you may benefit from having before you start learning portfolio management. Accounting and computer science skills can also be helpful. Strong reading skills can help you when processing large amounts of details. Analytical ability is typically important when learning how to navigate the stock market, and the ability to work alone can help you when mastering these financial concepts. Some other skills that may help you in portfolio management include people skills that can help when dealing with clients and organizational skills that can make it easy to keep track of precise financial details.
People who have strong interpersonal skills and communications skills are typically best suited for portfolio management roles. This is because explaining complex details to clients is often a key role of the job. People who enjoy analytical thinking and who enjoy poring over details may also be suited to portfolio management. This is because portfolio managers may spend large amounts of time each day analyzing stock market trends and looking for patterns to predict which stocks are likely to go up or down. Being deeply curious and driven to succeed are also qualities that can help a portfolio manager perform well.
Common career paths for people in portfolio management include personal financial advisors who work directly with individual investors and financial analysts who help both individuals and businesses make financial decisions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Budget analysts who may help clients with budget planning and financial managers who may help clients with long-term financial goal setting as well as budget planning are two other potential career paths for a portfolio management professional. Portfolio management professionals may also find a niche in teaching, where they typically help others learn the fine points of investing and managing a portfolio.
Some topics you can study that are related to portfolio management include investment management and how to use some of the software programs portfolio managers typically use, such as Python and spreadsheets. Business writing, interpersonal communications, and how to give presentations are other courses you could study that can be useful when working as a portfolio manager. These are typically helpful because of the need to communicate with clients about investments.
This FAQ content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.