Understanding Asset Management

Asset management is a form of investment management. The term asset management is sometimes used to refer to the management of all investments, including assets, or it may be used to refer to assets that don't fall under the more standard categories of investment management, fund management or portfolio management.

Asset management is one facet of the vast global investment management industry. Large financial institutions manage billions of dollars in assets for businesses and individuals all over the world.

Many insiders feel that independent firms are more successful and more dynamic in investment management than are large banks and insurance companies.

Asset management helps to protect and grow investments. The assets under management may be a large company's pension fund, or an individual's retirement savings. Institutions that manage assets have great weight in the financial markets because of the amount of funds under their control. The decisions these companies make as to how to invest and move around the money they control can affect the overall rise and fall of financial markets.

Pension funds accounted for more than $15 trillion of funds that were under asset management in 2004. In comparison, more than $30 trillion of private wealth was in investments in 2004, about one third of which was being managed by investment management firms. Asset managers in the United States account for almost half of all funds under management globally.

Understanding asset management is a complicated topic. If you have large investments, you want to make sure your assets are properly managed. Various financial advisors can provide information about the best fund managers, the institutions with the best track records, and in general the type of management that may be right for you or your business. Different types of financial management are indicated, depending upon the size of the investment capital, the form of the assets, and many other individual factors.