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What Does a Portfolio Administrator Do?

A portfolio administrator job description includes helping manage the investments for an organization. Here we discuss other details about the career, including a portfolio administrator salary and job outlook.

Portfolio Administrator Job Description

Portfolio administrators, or portfolio managers, are financial analysts who are responsible for their company's investment portfolio. This requires them to research and select the various regions, products, and industries for the portfolio, as well as report these investment decisions to management and stakeholders.

Portfolio administrators (PAs) generally work full-time and work for businesses instead of individuals. They usually work in an office setting and focus on the financial analysis side of the business instead of sales. These professionals may work for organizations like management firms, insurance companies, or investment banks.

Portfolio Administrator Job Duties

On a daily basis, portfolio administrators might oversee electronic communications, monitor the performance of interesting funds and do projections to build or alter a plan for the portfolio. They might also be asked to put together detailed performance reports for their clients, who may be business managers, chief financial officers or other, more senior PAs.

Other job duties for portfolio administrators may include:

  • Developing investment strategies
  • Monitoring business trends
  • Writing reports
  • Analyzing financial data
  • Identifying market risks and opportunities
  • Reorganizing portfolios as needed to meet financial goals

Education Requirements for Portfolio Administrators

Students wishing to become a financial analyst need to have at least a bachelor's degree. While there are many certificate programs available in the field of finance, a bachelor's degree in finance is required for most portfolio managers and some employers may require or prefer those with a master's degree in the field. Students may also study related areas, such as economics or business administration.

Bachelor's degree programs in finance are usually offered as Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees, but Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance degrees are available. Students in these programs usually take some business core courses with their general education classes, as well as courses focused on financial topics like:

  • Financial markets
  • Financial regulations
  • Corporate finance
  • Financial accounting
  • Financial statements
  • International finance

Advancement Opportunities

Although it is not usually required, portfolio administrators may wish to pursue optional certification in the field to increase their chances of advancement. There are several different certifications available for portfolio administrators and others who are responsible for investment decisions, including the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential and the Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) designation offered by the CFA Institute.

These professionals may also increase their chance of advancement with work experience and/or education. Usually, advanced positions require a master's degree in finance or another related field, like business administration.

Portfolio Administrator Salary

In 2019, PayScale.com reported that the median annual salary for a portfolio administrator was $54,587. This salary may vary by factors like location, specific skill sets, and level of work experience. For example, PayScale.com noted that portfolio administrators that had 20 years or more of work experience made a salary of $67,683.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recorded the median annual salary of $85,660 for all financial analysts in 2018. The BLS also noted differences in salaries depending on factors like industry and location. For example, financial analysts made the most money in states like Wyoming and New York.

Portfolio Administrator Job Outlook

The BLS did not report a specific job outlook for portfolio managers but did report the job outlook for all financial analysts from 2018 to 2028 as 6%. This job outlook is slightly faster than the national average and equates to 20,300 new positions in the field throughout the decade. This growth may be due to the increase in economic activity and a growing diversity of financial products.