Being a fund manager is quite a responsibility. As glamorous as it may seem, it is one powerful profile that can make or break an investor. Being a fund manager requires a never-fading sense of ownership as the main job is to create wealth for others which require a lot of effort. Determination, dedication and hard work is the key to being a successful fund manager. Start preparing early; here are 7 practical steps that can help you become a successful fund manager;

1. READ, A LOT!
This is one aspect which can be emphasized as much as you say. Reading makes you stay updated with market trends which are highly dynamic. The market condition keeps on changing every now and then, so in order to have the updates handy, one needs to read a lot. This does not limit your scope to financial updates and market, politics, as well as technology, have a significant impact on the economy of a country and world.
Subscribe to newspapers and dailies like Mint, Economic Times, Bloomberg etc. you have to understand that the financial market does not work in silos. A domino effect persists amongst interdependent domains. Try and analyze things you come across, study cases of highly successful as well as not so successful companies.

2. PURSUE THE INDUSTRY
Once you start reading, focus on the financial and investment world. Learn the fundamentals of investments. Track the market movements. Become handy with jargons used like AMC, SIP, Bull market, Bear market etc.

3. NETWORK WITH LIKE PEOPLE OR PROFESSIONALS
In this era of advancements, networking is one such thing that can be done with ease. Platforms like forums, debate houses, social media are a blessing for people who wish to find like-minded people personally and professionally. Bring the power of social media to your use, LinkedIn is the best to connect professionally. Try connecting with various fund managers from leading AMCs like Franklin Templeton, Mirae, HDFC, DSP BlackRock etc and try and understand their strategies and philosophies.
Networking physically is another good option which gives you a first-hand flavor of how things are done. Attend the various expos, trade fairs etc, attend events organized by CII, FICCI, SEBI etc.

4. MANAGE AN INTERNSHIP AT AN AMC OR FUND HOUSE
Once you have already graduated and gained the basics of investing, it is best to get on to things in a realistic manner. Try to get yourself an internship at an Asset Management Company or Fund House which will help you personally; experience regarding the workflow and modus-operandi.
You can try out various websites like Internshala to look for a suitable internship.

5. ENROLL IN A CFA COURSE OR MBA FINANCE
Apart from all the knowledge, you have gained over time and internship that taught you real-time operation, gaining formal education on similar lines is quite important. Enroll for a CFA (Chartered financial analyst) course or MBA Finance degree from a tier 1 college.
Certifications like CFA are a feather in your cap and make you much more demanded than ones who do not possess it. The syllabus of CFA course embeds in it a thorough chapter on Portfolio Management, which is desirable of a Fund Manager to excel in.

6. BECOME AN EXPERT IN FINANCIAL MODELLING
Forecasting is the key to managing funds. Accurate forecasting can only be done if you know financial modeling. Understanding and analyzing the equity market valuations requires a deep understanding of forecasting skill.

7. START WORKING AS AN ANALYST
Find yourself an entry-level job at a Buy-side or Sell-side company. While working for the organization brush-up your analytical skills and build up a rich knowledge base. With time you will gain the proficiency at analyzing funds, companies, strategies, and the stock market.
Diligently monitor the market and positioning of your funds respectively. Stay updated with any change in trends which requires you to make a switch or transfer or withdrawal or more investment, depending upon the market scenario.

Working as a fund manager is a very lucrative and sought-after profession but it requires a lifetime of dedication and hard work to reach the cliff. Analyze and understand the trends that the market shows. Compare and conclude.

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