Top 10 Takeaways from Frank Timons' “A Day in the Life of a Portfolio Manager”

Author: Katherine Leyden

Top 10 Takeaways from Frank Timons'  “A Day in the Life of a Portfolio Manager”

  1. Be assertive and demonstrate interest in your chosen career.

    For those pursuing a career in Portfolio Management, Timons suggests that students “Read about the role and the position, complete the CFA program--show that you have an interest in investing. Do what you can to get close to people who manage money; the more savvy you are, the more opportunities you create for yourself.”
  2. Understand that people invest emotionally.

    By having an acute understanding of behavioral finance, investors can be one step ahead of their competitors. According to Timons, the market is driven by emotion, so human tendencies should be a top consideration in investing.
  3. Be the person who is not afraid to take risks.

    Timons attributes much of his success to his willingness to take chances. The ability to manage and understand risk allows an investor to stand out in their field.
  4. Take classes that stretch the creative side of your brain.

    Timons established a base of strong analytical skills as a Program of Liberal Studies major at the University of Notre Dame. He believes that an interdisciplinary education helped him to have a unique approach to investing.
  5. Never discount the role of passion in your career pursuits.

    Some of the most successful people are those who “chose to stray away from the conventional path; they followed the bright light and did something they were passionate about.”
  6. Avoid common risk factors.

    It is crucial to maintain diversity in investments. During the 2010 BP oil spill, Timons’ inherited a portfolio that contained a large exposure to  vendors involved in the accident.
  7. Understand the nuances of investments, but also understand when to ignore them.

    At the trading desk, tensions are often high, which can lead rash decisions. When investors encounter divisive situations, they must stay calm, get the data, and make focused investments.
  8. Find the best small companies because they will be acquired by larger companies.

    Timons is an advocate for finding small companies that show potential. These businesses are often the most profitable investments because they are likely to be acquired by much larger companies.
  9. Do not let rejection suppress your drive to succeed.

    During his first year in the University of Chicago MBA program, Timons was the last student in his class to get hired for a summer internship. In spite of this, he ultimately had a rewarding experience at Sun Microsystems in Silicon Valley.
  10. Find the best resources within your undergraduate class.

    Notre Dame is full of talented students. Timons spoke about the success of his fellow classmates at ND, and he encourages students to build strong relationships with their peers during their time as undergraduates.