Hey there and happy Monday, friends! I'm back from vacation and will share photos/stories from our trip soon. But today, I'm kicking off a new post series today called "Show Us Your Life." My goal is to share tidbits of my life that I might gloss over otherwise. Through this post series, I'll talk about things like how Phil and I handle the division of household chores, how I meal plan, progress we are making on house projects and how I manage my finances.
I'm kicking off this post series with a post about what I do for a living. I briefly reference work, but I have never really delved into what it is that I actually do - mostly because I think it will bore others. But here's a summary of how I fill my work hours each week.
Job Title: Taxable Fixed Income Client Portfolio Manager
What this actually means: I am a product specialist that focuses on fixed income investments, or in laymen terms, bonds. There are 2 broad categories of bonds: taxable and tax-exempt (i.e. bonds issues by municipalities); I focus on taxable bonds. I work for an asset management company that manages a wide array of mutual funds as well as some accounts that are managed according to a client's investment policy. I am the liaison between the people who are managing our funds and the sales people/end users. It's my job to understand how our funds are invested, why they are invested in that way, and I have to succinctly explain what is going on with the economy in general as well as every area of the taxable bond market.
So, what exactly are bonds? Everyone and their mom seems to know what stocks are because it's a bit more of a 'sexy' and interesting investment class. But bonds are sort of the boring sidekick that people don't talk about as much. Which is interesting because the global bond market is nearly twice the size of the global stock market. Plus bonds are an important asset class for our retirement accounts because, in general, the older we get, the more we should invest in bonds v. stocks. But back to the question at hand. Bonds are basically large loans, but instead of borrowing from a bank, the company or entity (which could be a corporation like Target or a municipality like the State of Minnesota) borrows from a diverse group of investors. For example, in August Google issued $2 billion of bonds, which means they borrowed $2 billion dollars that they will pay back in 10 years from a diverse pool of investors that includes corporations, asset managers, etc. The investors who bought Google's bonds will receive semi-annual interest payments and they will receive their investment back when the bonds mature in 10 years.
But what do you actually do? There are many facets to my job, but here are the three main ones:
1. I write content. Each week I write a weekly fixed income market date and I also write topical pieces about things going on in the bond market.
2. I answer product- and market-related questions. Our sales people sell funds with exposure to every financial asset class. There's so much for them to learn and explain that they need subject-matter experts to defer to when they get difficult and detailed questions about bonds or the market in general. Questions I might answer are: When will interest rates rise? What's our forecast for interest rates? What is our projection for the likelihood of a recession? If interest rates rise, how will various sectors of the bond market perform? What is our exposure to emerging market debt? What is our outlook on emerging market debt. And so on and so forth. Luckily I have a portfolio management team that provides their outlook/views on these topics. It would be really hard to answer them on my own.
3. I travel. This is an aspect of my job that will be ramping up in 2017 as my goal is to travel about twice a month. When I travel, I usually travel with a sales person who is trying to get clients, such as financial advisers, to use our funds when investing their client's money. They bring me along so I can provide more detailed information about how our funds are invested, how they've been performing, and what has been driving their performance.
So there you have it - that's what I do, in a nutshell. Did I completely bore you? I don't expect anyone to be interested in what I do for a living, which is why I very rarely talk in specifics about my job!
Ok, it's your turn! Tell me what you do for a living and give me an explanation of what your job entails - or write your own post and share the link with me!