what is investment?

Investment is a bit like when you deposit your money in a savings account. You want your money to be safe, and you also want it to grow a little thanks to the interest that you will earn.

When you work in Investment Management (or Asset Management, as it is also called) you are the person who people bring their savings to. People come to your firm with their money and it’s your job to find a way to make their money grow, while keeping it safe.

You do this by investing your client’s money in companies that are listed on the stock market, and in other investments. You have to choose companies that you think are going to be successful to invest in. As these companies grow, so too will your client’s money.

Could you work in investment?

Edinburgh is one of Europe’s leading centres for asset management, and there are over 7,500 people directly employed in Scotland in this field. There are lots of career opportunities in local firms including:

  • Analysts
    who research and analyse potential investment areas
  • Investment Managers
    who make investment choices based on their own knowledge and analysts’ reports
  • Client Relations teams
    who maintain relationships with clients, understanding their needs, answering their questions and keeping them informed
  • Operations teams
    who keep the company running with everything from IT to HR

You don’t need a degree in Economics or Business to work in investment. Employers are keen to attract graduates with a wide variety of backgrounds. Many companies also have opportunities for school leavers who would rather go straight into employment. What asset management firms are looking for most is:

Intellectual curiosity

That’s a fancy way of saying you are always asking questions and wanting to know more! You love learning new things and have a wide variety of interests.

Analytical skills

You can weigh up the pros and cons of an argument. 

You can source information, synthesise it, make a decision and back it up!

Communication skills

You can explain your thoughts and opinions to others, summarising the key points and adapting how you say it to suit your audience. You can listen too and know that empathising with other people is a key part of good communication.

Team work

Willing to work with others to come up with a plan and get the job done.

Help everyone play to their strengths, learn from your mistakes and collaborate to perform at your best.

Why do Future Asset work with girls?

Future Asset was set up specifically to help girls in high schools in Scotland find out more about the world of investment. We’re here to help you find out more information, encourage you to aim high, seek out new opportunities and also think about some exciting career paths you may never have known about.

We’re focusing on girls because, quite simply, there are fewer women than men in investment roles. Women make up about 15% of Portfolio Managers and a similar percentage of Investment Analysts. There are more women in roles such as compliance, risk client relationships but they still hold less than 1 in 3 of these jobs.*

Asset management firms would like to encourage more women to apply for these roles because diversity, in all its forms, is a good thing! Research shows diverse teams generate different ideas, make better decisions and don’t suffer from “group-think”. 

*CFA Institute’s Gender Diversity in Investment Management 2016survey of members