Practical analysis for investment professionals
15 April 2015

Poll: Which Skill Will Be Most Important for Investment Professionals in 10 Years?

Given the rapid pace of change in the finance industry in recent years, it’s hard to foresee what types of skills will prove most essential to investment professionals in the years ahead.

The ongoing debate over the utility of active investing, the rise of robo-advisers, and other technological innovations, to name just a few developments, have created a measure of uncertainty as to what the future will look like and what sort of talents finance professionals need to focus on strengthening to excel over the long term.

With these issues in mind, we asked CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief readers which areas of expertise they anticipate will be most essential to success a decade from now.

Not surprisingly, a vast majority of the 822 respondents emphasized the importance of hard technological and knowledge-based skills, with a plurality (34%) saying that financial modeling and analysis will be most essential, 22% anticipating that knowledge of global business practices will be, and 9% opting for computer programming.

Which skill will be most important for investment professionals in 10 years?

Poll: Which Skill Will Be Most Important To Investment Professionals In 10 Years?

Meanwhile, a strong minority (29%) believe that softer skills — presentation, communication, and writing — will be most important, suggesting that finance professionals would do well to foster their social savvy.

Do you want to participate in future polls? Sign up for the CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief.

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Please note that the content of this site should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute.

About the Author(s)
Paul McCaffrey

Paul McCaffrey was formerly the editor of Enterprising Investor at CFA Institute. Prior to that role, he served as an editor at the H.W. Wilson Company. His writing has appeared in Financial Planning and On Wall Street, among other publications. He is a graduate of Vassar College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

8 thoughts on “Poll: Which Skill Will Be Most Important for Investment Professionals in 10 Years?”

  1. Where is salesmanship on the list? Where is ability to connect with a client and their values?

    1. Ante says:

      I would imagine salesmanship and connections fall under presentation, communication and writing skills.

  2. Investment skills for tomorrow? I suggest that the 28.8% strong minority cited above will rule the day. The softer skills of building and maintaining trusting relationships with clients and colleagues, the ability to listen to genuinely understand and not just to respond, are lost but essential skills. Every wealth manager whether personal or institutional must master an understanding of human behavior. The fundamentals, technical knowledge, and algorithms are known, followed, and dissected almost as quickly as they are implemented. Soft skills, including those mentioned by Mr. McRitchie will set the investment manager apart from her commoditized competitors. Take a look at the work of Jason Voss @TheIntuitInvest.

  3. Some of the challenges of such polls is :

    1. People being at different professional life cycle tend to be biased towards their own unique situation.

    2. The view point is of suppliers. How about asking the buyers .

    Deepak Sawhney

  4. Eugene says:

    These skills in combination are not limited inly to investment. It applies to the broader executive sphere. It has been trending since mid 2000. Its however increasingly more important as we progress.

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