For current and prospective investors in today’s diverse marketplace, there are a number of ways to manage your strategy and holdings. Two of these are investment management and asset management. If you’re unfamiliar with either of these, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we’re going to break down the two, including the scope and what an asset manager vs. an investment manager’s role will look like.

Because both strategies come with inherently unique paths to cultivating and growing wealth, we’ll also be examining the nuances between each that may align better with certain financial goals and aspirations. So, whether you’re an individual looking to invest for the first time, an individual looking to better manage your current financial investments, or an institution with vast resources, this blog will help shed light on which strategy may be the better fit for you. To start, let’s take a look at investment management vs. asset management.

Investment Management vs. Asset Management: A Breakdown of Each Strategy

To kickstart the investment management vs. asset management analysis, let’s first focus on the former. By definition, investment management is the handling of financial assets and other investments. It is important to keep in mind that this management strategy does not simply focus on buying and selling stocks, for example. It could also include strategies for budgeting, taxes, and more as well.

 At its core, investment management is the professional art—and science—of managing a portfolio of securities, such as stocks and bonds, to ultimately achieve an investor’s specific goals. The primary goal is wealth accumulation through strategic buying, selling, and holding of these securities based on comprehensive market research, trend analysis, and a deep understanding of global economic factors.

Some of the pros you’ll find with investment management are the ability to create tailored strategies to your individual needs and goals and active management from your investment manager. At BIP Wealth, we focus on holistic wealth management and follow guiding principles such as expert insights and human connection, transparency and accessibility, and intelligent forecasting to help our clients navigate the road between risk and reward. To learn more, be sure to check out our holistic wealth management services page.

Asset Management vs. Investment Management: What’s the Difference?

Asset management, though sometimes used interchangeably with investment management, encompasses a much wider range of wealth management. Think of it this way: Investment management can be considered a part of an asset management strategy, but asset management compared to investment management extends to a myriad of other tangible and intangible assets, including real estate, commodities, intellectual property, and sometimes even assets like artwork or vintage cars.

At its heart, asset management is also about understanding an investor’s unique needs and goals and focusing capitalizing on them in the long term. Because it encompasses so many more financial holdings, asset management vs. investment management may focus more on sustained long-term growth rather than short-term gains in the stock market, for example.

You’ll find that many of the pros to asset management are similar to investment management. Both asset management and investment management tend to give investors a much more holistic wealth management experience. Additionally, asset management may give investors access to alternative investments such as private equity and hedge funds. At BIP Wealth, our team of experienced financial advisors works to give our clients access to financial wealth opportunities that have historically been reserved for the ultra-wealthy.

The Role of An Asset Manager vs. an Investment Manager

Both asset managers and investment managers critical focus is on creating wealth for their clients. Now, there are some differences in the roles each takes on. Investment managers tend to focus specifically on the domain of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Their day-to-day may be more centered around market research, trend analysis, and portfolio balancing.

Asset managers, on the other hand, operate on a much broader canvas. They may put more focus into portfolio optimizations, strategizing with clients on the acquisition of, maintenance, and even the sale of a wide range of assets—from stocks to homes to luxury goods.

To put it simply, while both are stewards of wealth, their focal points differ. The investment manager is a craftsman, meticulously sculpting portfolios, while the asset manager is the mastermind, orchestrating an all-encompassing wealth strategy.

Investment Management vs. Asset Management: Which Is Better For Me?

Because the journey of wealth management is a personal one, deciding which strategy may be right for you will take time—and be dependent on a number of factors. For individual investors who are looking to grow their wealth primarily through stocks and bonds, investment management may be the right way to go. For those who already own a high number of valuable assets, asset management may be the better choice. For larger organizations and businesses, the expansive and strategic purview of asset management also tends to align well, ensuring that assets are managed and grown cohesively over extended periods.

It is important to first consider your risk tolerance, as this can play a significant role in which strategy is right for you. If you prefer a more hands-on, active strategy with frequent adjustments, investment management’s active approach might resonate. Conversely, if you’re looking at long-term stability and diversified risk, asset management, with its wider asset base, might be more fitting.

If you have any questions or want to speak to one of our financial advisors, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can also check out our Resources to learn more about topics in the financial space, including portfolio vs. wealth management and why the Roth IRA is the “holy grail” of tax-smart investing.


What is the difference between asset management and investment management?

At its core, the difference between investment management vs. asset management is the scope of what is managed. Investment management tends to focus solely on stock and bonds while asset management can encompass a wider range of assets, such as homes and luxury goods.

Is an investment manager the same as an asset manager?

No. While the two share a similar role, asset managers tend to operate on a much broader canvas, including the management of a much wider range of financial assets, compared to investment managers. 

Is asset management better than investment management?

It depends on what your financial goals and needs are. For individuals and organizations with many financial assets, asset management may be the better option. However, for individuals looking to start a stock portfolio, investment management may be the better choice.

This communication contains general investing information that is not suitable for everyone and is subject to change without notice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and there is no guarantee that any views and opinions expressed will come to pass. The information contained herein should not be construed as personalized investment advice, tax advice, or financial planning advice, and should not be considered a solicitation to buy or sell any security. Investing in the stock market and the bond market involves gains and losses and may not be suitable for all investors. Indices are not available for direct investment.