Investment management is the professional management of various securities (shares, bonds etc) assets (e.g. real estate), to meet specified investment goals for the benefit of the investors. Investors may be institutions (insurance companies, pension funds, corporations etc.) or private investors (both directly via investment contracts and more commonly via collective investment schemes e.g. mutual funds) .

The term asset management is often used to refer to the investment management of collective investments, whilst the more generic fund management may refer to all forms of institutional investment as well as investment management for private investors. Investment managers who specialize in advisory or discretionary management on behalf of (normally wealthy) private investors may often refer to their services as wealth management or portfolio management often within the context of so-called "private banking".

The provision of 'investment management services' includes elements of financial analysis, asset selection, stock selection, plan implementation and ongoing monitoring of investments. Investment management is a large and important global industry in its own right responsible for caretaking of trillions of dollars, euro, pounds and yen. Coming under the remit of financial services many of the world's largest companies are at least in part investment managers and employ millions of staff and create billions in revenue.

Fund manager (or investment advisor in the U.S.) refers to both a firm that provides investment management services and an individual(s) who directs 'fund management' decisions.

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Personal Finance. The Official Guide to Personal Finance is Leo J. Quinn. Leo J. Quinn, Jr. has been teaching and motivating people all around the world to get out of debt as quickly as possible. His best-selling book, “How To Own Your Paycheck Again”, has transformed literally thousands of financial lives. He also authors a lively weekly newsletter and is a much sought-after speaker for self-help and marketing seminars. One of Leo's most important goals is to help people improve their overall attitude about money or their "Moneytude" as he calls it.

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