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Who are asset managers?

Individual investors often lack the knowledge and resources to consistently generate strong investment returns. As a result, many turn to asset management firms to invest on their behalf. These firms consist of investment professionals with diverse market expertise and access to a large pool of capital, allowing them to use various investment strategies to produce returns. The fees charged by Asset Management Companies are typically a percentage of the total assets under management (AUM), which is the amount of capital provided by investors. 


How do firms make their money? 

  • Convinces various types of investors to give it assets to manage  
  • Charges fees for managing those assets  
  • Varies among the asset classes  
Source: CFI

There are various types of asset management firms, including:

  1. Mutual Fund Companies: These firms pool money from multiple investors to purchase securities and other assets. The investors receive shares in the mutual fund, and the fund manager uses the money to invest in a diversified portfolio of assets.
  2. Hedge Funds: These firms are similar to mutual funds, but they are only open to accredited investors, such as high net worth individuals and institutions. Hedge funds typically have more flexibility in their investment strategies, and they often use leverage and derivatives to generate higher returns.
  3. Private Equity Firms: These firms invest in private companies and help them grow by providing capital, expertise, and strategic guidance. Private equity firms typically acquire a controlling stake in the companies they invest in and work closely with management to improve their performance.
  4. Wealth Management Firms: These firms provide comprehensive financial planning and investment management services to high net worth individuals and families. Wealth management firms typically offer customized investment portfolios, tax planning, and estate planning services.
  5. Pension Funds: These firms manage the investments of retirement plans, such as 401(k)s and pension plans. Pension funds typically have long-term investment horizons and focus on generating steady returns to meet their obligations to plan beneficiaries.
  6. Insurance Companies: These firms manage the investments of insurance companies, such as life insurance and annuity contracts. Insurance companies typically have large portfolios of fixed income securities to match their long-term liabilities.
  7. Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) Providers: These firms create and manage ETFs, which are investment vehicles that trade like stocks on an exchange. ETFs typically track a particular market index or sector and offer investors low-cost and easy access to diversified portfolios.
  8. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): These firms invest in and manage income-producing real estate properties, such as apartments, office buildings, and shopping centers. REITs offer investors exposure to real estate assets and typically pay out a significant portion of their income as dividends