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Investment Management Companies

You must have heard of the terms investment management companies, wealth management, and financial planning.

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7 Secrets To High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax and Financial Planning

The insights you’ll discover from our published book will help you integrate a variety of wealth management tools with financial planning, providing guidance for your future security alongside complex financial strategies, so your human and financial capital will both flourish.

Clients frequently share with us how the knowledge gained from this book helped provide them tremendous clarity, shattering industry-pitched ideologies, while offering insight and direction in making such important financial decisions.

Do they sound very similar to you? Actually, they are all very different. However, they are all necessary to organize a good financial life. Making money is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work (and some luck) to generate liquid assets worth $1 million, $5 million, $50 million, and even $100 million. If you are a high net worth or ultra-high net worth individual, you know how much you had to toil to get to where you are.

However, you must also remember that money is meant to make your life more fulfilling. You don’t simply make money for the sake of it. You focus your energies on generating wealth so that you can live a better lifestyle and provide the same to your family. You generate wealth to live your dreams and accomplish everything that you ever wanted to in life. In order to achieve all of your financial goals, you may need a certain amount of money within a certain number of years. In order to sustain a lifestyle that you are living, or to upgrade your lifestyle, you will need a certain amount of regular cash flow.

Your current liquid net worth may have to grow in order for you to achieve all your financial goals. That is where investment management companies come in. At Pillar Wealth Management, we believe that investment management is about making the most of your hard-earned wealth.

Our unique approach to investment management has helped high net worth individuals with portfolios between $5 million and $500 million attain what we call financial serenity. An investment manager is someone who understands the various nuances of managing investments. If you are thinking about hiring one, then you first need to know a bit more about investment management.

In this article, we will first understand the investment management definition. We will then explore important questions like what does an investment manager do, how do investment management services work, and how to find an investment management service.

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An investment management company invests its clients’ money in a variety of investments, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, index funds, futures, and options.

Some of the highest-ranked investment management firms are BlackRock, Vanguard Group, Fidelity Management & Research, Charles Schwab, UBS Group, Goldman Sachs Group, and Morgan Stanley.

Fidelity, Vanguard, and Schwab are often named as best overall because they are comprehensive and affordable, with almost $20 trillion in assets invested by Americans.

According to the SEC’s website, the three types of investment companies are mutual funds (which are open-end funds), closed-end funds, and unit investment trusts.

It is worthwhile to pay an investment manager if you do not feel adequately skilled in making investment decisions and would prefer to depend on an expert to manage your investments for you.

Vanguard is often cited as the number 1 investment company due to its immense size and broad scope of products and services. Its products are affordable and within reach of any budget.

Some of the best-known investment companies are Vanguard, Fidelity, and Schwab. Internationally, UBS, Credit Suisse, Amundi, and Allianz are highly-rated firms.

An investment company manages and sells investment products. It invests in securities using the pooled money of its clients (investors). The investors are paid through dividends from company profits.

The most popular type of investment company is a mutual fund or open-end fund. A mutual fund can issue unlimited shares, on demand, that are priced daily. The fund pools money to buy securities.

Some stocks to watch are Caterpillar, Celsius, and Medpace (Investor’s Business Daily); Etsy, Pinterest, Shopify (Motley Fool); and Walt Disney and Comcast (Morningstar).

Top 10 Investment Management Companies

Top 10 Investment Management Companies

RankProfileManaged AUMType
1.Vanguard$8,100,000,000,000Asset Manager
2.BlackRock$7,961,373,000,000Asset Manager
3.Fidelity Management & Research$3,688,587,311,060Asset Manager
4.The Capital Group Cos. Inc.$3,099,186,116,994Asset Manager
5.Amundi$2,011,000,000,000Asset Manager
6.Pacific Investment Management Company LLC$1,690,000,000,000Asset Manager
7.Wellington Management Company$1,400,000,000,000Asset Manager
8.Invesco$1,390,400,000,000Asset Manager
9.Franklin Resources Inc.$1,300,000,000,000Asset Manager
10T. Rowe Price Group Inc.$1,230,000,000,000Asset Manager
Rankings by Total Managed AUM, source: Swfinstitute

1. Vanguard

The Vanguard Group, founded in 1975 and based in Malvern, PA, has over $8 trillion in assets under management. It is the largest provider of mutual funds, several of which are ranked at the top of the list by AUM.

Founder John Bogle is credited with creating one of the first index funds available to individuals, now called the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, which is a passive investing fund.

Vanguard rolled out its digital advisor in 2020.

2. BlackRock

Blackrock had about $8.5 trillion AUM as of the second quarter of 2022. It was founded in New York City in 1988; it operates globally in 30 countries.

Blackrock was initially a risk management and fixed-income institutional asset manager. The company claims that risk management is not separate from its investment services, but rather, it is the foundation of its platform, the Aladdin System. 

3. Fidelity Management & Research

Fidelity is based in Boston, MA. The Fidelity Fund became Fidelity Investments in 1930. The firm now has $4.5 trillion in assets under management.

In the 1960s, Fidelity was the first major investment firm to offer mutual funds to ordinary investors. FMR has three fund divisions. Its largest equity mutual fund, Fidelity Contrafund, is the largest non-indexed fund in the US, with over $100 billion in assets.

Fidelity has over 140 branches, called investor centers, in the US.

In 2018, Fidelity began introducing zero-expense-ration mutual funds.

The firm launched its first ETF in 2003.

4. The Capital Group Companies, Inc.  

The Capital Group was founded in 1931 and has its headquarters in Los Angeles, CA. It has over $2 trillion in assets under management.

Capital’s products, including about 36 mutual funds, are focused on active management while taking a long-term approach, protecting it from severe market changes. The company’s Growth Fund of America was the largest actively managed fund in the US as of 2020, with around $!50 billion in assets.

Capital’s advisor team consists of over 7,500 members worldwide.

5. Amundi

Amundi has over $2 trillion in AUM; it is the largest asset manager in Europe, with around 100 million customers. Its headquarters are in Paris, and its parent organization is Crédit Agricole, France’s second-largest bank.

Amundi is involved in active management through a range of mutual funds as well as in passive management through ETFs and index funds. Its core business is asset management.

Amundi moved all of its real estate to a separate platform in 2016, consolidating $50 billion in assets, and in 2018, it expanded its socially responsible investing.

6. Pacific Investment Management Company


PIMCO has around $2 trillion in AUM. It was founded in 1971 in Newport Beach, CA. It was acquired by Allianz SE, a global financial services company based in Munich, but it continues to operate as an autonomous subsidiary.

PIMCO focuses on active fixed-income asset management. It also manages equities, commodities, ETFs, hedge funds, and private equity.

PIMCO’s Global Bond Wholesale fund won the 2021 Money Management Fund Manager of the Year Global Fixed Income award.

7. Wellington Management Company

Wellington Management Company is a private investment management firm with over $1 trillion in AUM. It was founded in 1933 in Philadelphia and has its current headquarters in Boston, MA. It serves as an investment advisor to over 2,000 institutions in over 60 countries, including banks, pension funds, foundations, insurance companies, and wealth managers.    

8. Invesco

Invesco was founded in 1935 and has its headquarters in Atlanta, GA, with branches in 20 countries. It has over $1.5 trillion in AUM. Its stock is traded on the NYSE.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company was unable to cover margin calls and announced it would delay dividend payments.

9. Franklin Resources Inc.

Franklin Resources Inc., with its subsidiaries, is known as Franklin Templeton; it was founded in 1947 in New York City as Franklin Distributors. The company moved to San Mateo, CA, in 1973. Franklin Templeton holds $1.4 trillion in AUM as of November 30, 2022.

Franklin Templeton has over 450 mutual funds, including 27 that are state and federal tax-free income funds. The Franklin Income Fund, which was created in 1948, has paid dividends every year for the past 60 years. It consists of bonds and dividend-paying stocks.

The firm operates in more than 30 countries and has over 9,000 employees, including approx. 1,300 financial advisors.

10. T. Rowe Price Group Inc.

T. Rowe Price Group Inc. was founded in 1937 and has its headquarters in Baltimore, MD. It is a publicly owned global investment management firm with 5,000 employees in Baltimore and 16 international offices operating in 47 countries.

The founder of the company, Thomas Rowe Price, became known as the “father of growth investing.” The company focused on growth stocks, began charging fees based on AUM, and managed accounts as a fiduciary. The company has continued to focus on active management. It offers target-date retirement funds and has $1.6 trillion in assets under management.

Investment Management Definition

If one were to come up with a definition of investment management, then it would go something like this: “Investment management is a holistic way of managing an investment portfolio such that the actual investment decisions are in sync with the financial goals of an individual whose portfolio is being managed.”

Investment management is the process of putting a wealth management plan into action, and that’s what investment management companies do.

At Pillar Wealth Management, for example, we deliver this process successfully for portfolios ranging from $5 million to $500 million by making 4 promises. Wealth management firms can help you to manage your wealth wisely. Investment management isn’t only fund management. It represents more than one activity.

Normally, a financial advisor or a wealth manager starts the process of investment management by learning about a client’s financial life.

The advisor gets to know what the short, medium, and long-term goals of the client are and what kind of lifestyle the client lives.

Based on a careful evaluation, a financial plan is chalked out. This plan can include various actions like structuring finances to optimize taxes, ensuring risk management through insurance, crafting succession planning for a business, prioritizing transactions to meet any upcoming goals, managing real estate or private equity, helping with legal aspects, and managing the actual investment of assets.

So, investment management companies are just one part of the overall financial plan. Check out this authoritative guide: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Financial Advisor: For Investors With $5 Million to $500 Million in Liquid Assets to know more about the various aspects of a financial plan.

In order to meet a client’s financial goals, there is a need to figure out where to invest, how much to invest, in what assets classes to invest, for how long to invest, and when to make changes.

The investments should make a return while minimizing the risks taken to generate those returns. The cost of the investments should also be kept under control so that they do not eat into the returns that the portfolio generates.

Once the investments are made, they need to be monitored regularly because markets go up or down. All of these activities are the domain of investment management.

Feel free to get in touch with us in order to know more about Pillar Wealth Management’s time-tested investment management service. Note that an investment manager is also a financial advisor or a wealth manager.

But not all financial advisors and wealth managers are investment managers. The ultimate goal of investment management companies is to deliver a life that you envisioned through smart investment decisions. The best investment management firms, therefore, offer other value-added services like tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning, and any other tasks that help protect and grow your wealth.

5 4

What Do Investment Management Companies Do?

  1. They prepare financial plans
  2. They prepare asset management plans
  3. They provide investment advice
  4. They evaluate performance and risk
  5. They consider the tax implications

1. They prepare financial plans

As pointed out above, investment managers at investment management companies begin by first understanding a client’s overall financial situation. This situation is usually documented in a financial plan. Things like income requirements to sustain a certain standard of living, expected cash inflows and outflows over a reasonably long time period of time, the impact of taxes, and investment costs are carefully assessed.


Based on the financial plan, investment managers at investment management companies estimate the amount of money that would be needed at specific points of time in the future.

2. They prepare asset management plans

Then, based on the amount of money that is available currently for investment, a portfolio management plan is created with specific allocations to multiple asset classes.

The investment manager builds a portfolio that minimizes the risk for a certain expected return. You may have heard of something known as the efficient frontier curve.

It is basically a representation of how a portfolio’s risk changes with expected return or vice versa.

The job of the investment manager is to place a client’s portfolio at a sweet spot on the efficient frontier curve. However, asset managers work differently. Their main job is evaluating the market, opportunities, making a report, and so on. You can use their service by contacting an asset management firm.

3. They provide investment advice

Asset management firms or investment management companies can help you to invest your funds into several assets like bonds, stocks, and so on. An asset manager can help you to manage your asset and reach your investment goals. Besides, investment companies offer securities services for the sake of your investment objectives through mutual funds.

Feel free to download this complimentary book on portfolio performance. It talks about how the performance of a portfolio is tied to a variety of risks.

Once the portfolio is ready, the investment management companies make the actual investments on behalf of the client.

However, the work done until now is only part of the overall responsibilities of an investment manager.

4. They evaluate performance and risk

Good investment management companies won’t simply invest and then sit back. They will regularly evaluate the performance of the client’s portfolio and ensure that it is moving towards the ultimate financial goals of the client.

If it isn’t, then changes are made to the portfolio either by shifting investments from one asset class to another or liquidating non-performing investments and holding cash until an opportunity is found to re-invest.

5. They consider the tax implications

While shifting asset classes, a successful investment manager will consider the costs involved in such transactions. Whenever an investment is sold, a capital gains tax is levied to the client.

The tax rates for short-term capital gains are higher than those for long-term gains. Therefore, it may sometimes be beneficial to not move investments as whatever benefit is gained through such a move can get canceled out by capital gains taxes.

Besides taxes, there are other costs as well which can eat into the returns of the portfolio.

Before reading this, if you wondered what does an investment manager do, you now know that investment management is not a one-dimensional “invest and measure the return” process.

It requires a much more holistic approach, something that Hutch and Chris have been doing for more than 30 years at Pillar Wealth Management. You can schedule a free consultation with them to discuss more.

How do Investment Management Companies Work?

Investment management companies offer services that involve multiple activities. So, to understand how investment management companies’ services work, let us go through each of the major activities.

Firstly, an investment manager will analyze the financial picture of the client. This is one of the most important steps because any good investment plan has to link the investments to the actual goals of the client.

Good investment management companies will ensure that they align these two aspects. Based on the short, medium, and long-term requirements as well as the current liquid investible assets, an investment plan is chalked out.

The plan will answer questions like where to invest, how much to invest, and how long to invest.

Once the financial goals are known and an investment plan is in place, it is time for the investment manager to actually execute the buy and sell transactions. The investment management firm will handle all transactions on behalf of the client.

Good investment management companies will use an independent custodian. A custodian is an institution or a third-party entity that actually holds the client’s investment.

Lastly, investment management companies also regularly monitor the progress of all investments that have been made. It is the job of investment management companies to ensure that the client’s portfolio is on track to achieve all the pre-defined financial goals.

You can read more about all the responsibilities expected of the top investment management companies in this complimentary book on finding the best financial advisors for individuals with $10 million or more in liquid assets.

In return for their services, investment management companies charge a fee. This fee is generally a fixed percentage of the total assets that are invested. Many firms use a sliding scale where the percentage drops as the size of the total assets invested through the investment management companies increases.

So, ultra-high net worth investors can negotiate a lower fee if their account size is large enough. Some investment management companies that are fee-based can earn from other sources like commissions and kickbacks.

In contrast, fee-only firms earn only a percentage fee, which is disclosed to the client before beginning the engagement.

Bear in mind that the size of investment management companies does not determine the success rate. Moreover, investment management is a personal topic and each plan will be unique to a client’s situation.

A lot of the bigger firms offer investment management services that have a limited number of products. You get an option of “low risk,” “moderate risk,” and “high risk.” However, we believe that every person cannot be compartmentalized into 3 groups.

The bigger firms also talk about how they regularly provide updates to all clients. However, the updates are mostly automatically generated pdf reports with a standard template.

At Pillar Wealth Management, we believe regular updates involve speaking to actual human beings and stress-testing every client’s portfolio to check if it holds up to extreme scenarios.

You can get in touch with Hutch or Chris and learn how Pillar Wealth Management does investment management in a non-cookie-cutter way.

How to Find an Investment Management Service

Now, you know what investment management is, how investment management firms work, and what services they offer. The only question left is how to find an investment management service. Rather, how to find a reputed and successful service.

Investment Management companies


The first thing you can do to find an investment management service is search online. You can read reviews about various firms and check the background of the investment managers who work at those investment firms.

Choosing an investment management company is like maintaining a website. Before using an investment management company’s services, you need to consider the marketing performance of the company, which is like measuring content and ad performance on a website. Also, considering the availability of the service is like studying geolocation data, and how they work with different types of clients is like the device characteristics for a website. The last thing is ‘to measure content performance,’ which means assessing the company’s development, as in the use of asset classes.

You can also explore what their fee structure is, whether they are registered as a fiduciary, and what type of clients they work with.

This downloadable book on finding the best financial advisor for portfolios ranging from $5 million to $500 million has some great tips on things that you should look for in an investment firm.

Many investment firms have a minimum threshold in terms of investible assets that they work with. Besides, to make sure that the company is highly experienced, you can take a look on their assets under management (AUM).

As a high net worth individual, you can seek firms that work with account sizes ranging from a few million dollars to a few hundred million dollars.

You can also start a conversation with Hutch or Chris at Pillar Wealth Management.

The two of them bring together more than 60 years of combined experience in providing investment management services to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients.

Another great way to find a great investment management firm is to speak to the people you know.

Your family, relatives, friends, business partners, or family doctors may already be working with a top investment management firm. They will give you honest reviews about the most promising firms that they know of.

Hutch Ashoo and Christopher Snyder are the expert founders of independent, fee-only, and fiduciary wealth management firm Pillar Wealth Management.

If you would like to speak with them or simply ask any questions about how custom and trusted wealth management advice is offered to high net worth individuals with $5 million to $500 million in investible assets, then feel free to start a conversation.


To be 100% transparent, we published this page to help filter through the mass influx of prospects, who come to us through our website and referrals, to gain only a handful of the right types of new clients who wish to engage us.

We enjoy working with high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors and families who want what we call financial serenity – the feeling that comes when you know your finances and the lifestyle you desire have been secured for life, and that you don’t have to do any of the work to manage and maintain it because you hired a trusted advisor to take care of everything.

You see, our goal is to only accept 17 new clients this year. Clients who have from $5 million to $500 million in liquid investable assets to entrust us with on a 100% fee basis. No commissions and no products for sale.

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