The Makings of a Portfolio Manager

The Makings of a Portfolio Manager

Ideally, it’s best to be one’s own boss. I mean, you don’t have to answer to anyone, and you feel a certain freedom in making your own decisions. But at the same time, with “great power comes greater responsibility” (hope I got that movie quote right).

Being self-employed means you DO take on more responsibility and as karma has it, you pay for any mistakes you make. But at the same time, you feel more self-motivated, independent-minded… a maverick, so to speak. And even though you are the person responsible for your success, this sense of freedom and being your own boss is exciting and rewarding.

Mental Discipline and Clarity of Mind

I’ve already mentioned ‘Clarity of Mind’ a few times, but it’s a mental discipline that one should develop. For me, yoga practice and meditation has helped me focus, and to help clear my mind for the work that needs to be done; for the learning that needs to be done in order to succeed.

That Laser Focus on the Stock Market

With clarity of mind comes the discipline and focus of learning all you can about the stock market, but also learning to develop one’s style when it comes to investing and managing portfolios.

A laser focus is essential. And being able to simplify complex ideas and develop your own ideas and concepts is just as essential.

Also, having the drive, or being self-driven and self-motivated goes hand-in-hand with a laser focus.

Invest in What You Know and What You Like

In the world of portfolio management, it helps to invest in companies you are passionate about and that you know quite well.

For instance, I’m a big MacUser, have been for literally decades. My first computer was a Mac SE. So, it came natural to invest in Apple (AAPL) as I had a natural passion for personal computing and Apple Computers overall. I believe in the products as I have many Apple products at home. And thus, Apple has had a proven track record and the company is the most valued company in the world at $2.2 Billion marketcap right now.

Apple is a no-brainer, though.

A newer example would be Zoom (ZM). I believe in the company and the product. I use the product all the time when connecting with family and friends, and Zoom has been highly successful during this global pandemic. Will the company continue its success? It’s hard to say, as this pandemic surges on in 2021. Even if companies and classrooms go back to the way they were pre-pandemic, there will still be a need for Zoom as businesses and schools see the benefits of using Zoom at times.

Have a Core Group of Stocks for the Long Run

I think any portfolio manager should identify a core group of stocks that are (and will be) your big earners, your long holds that you are willing to keep for years and years.

Ideally, your core group of stocks could have good dividends, to generate additional income. You can add to these key stocks over the years. And it’s one of those situations where you buy it and forget it. Of course, in portfolio management, one would check up on these stocks from time to time, read all the latest news about these companies. Even though you are not folllowing them from day-to-day.

In Summary

Portfolio Management can be looked on as a job that can be elevated to art, or something which can be achieved with great skill and creativity.

It doesn’t have to be boring. It can be fun, exciting and rewarding… and no doubt can be self-rewarding.

For me it’s a job that I strive for with passion and enthusiasm, and it’s one that I could easily do as a self-employed person. And especially heading into my retirement years.

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Portfolio Manager & Musician

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