Author Topic: Career Advice: Finance Sector  (Read 926 times)

PhillyWill

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Career Advice: Finance Sector
« on: May 09, 2016, 08:27:14 AM »
Hi Folks,
     Career advice, here we go. Here is my background thus far:

-I'm 27, single & mobile.

-I have a BA in Music w/ business minor. I worked as a musician just long enough to realize that I didn't enjoy doing it for money.

-I just passed the Series 7 and Series 66. I've been working for 8 months in a junior role at an investment advisory firm. This firm is the investment arm of a large regional bank with  many lines of business. I work closely with several well-established financial advisors. They're not shysters and I respect the work that they do, but I'm pretty confident that I don't want to go that route. I am very interested in finance and the markets, but I have no desire to spend my life on the phone trying to bring in clients.

-Prior to this job I worked in retail banking part-time for three years while I was playing music.

     Now that I have the baseline licenses to work in finance, I'm curious in what direction to take myself. My current job is intended as a professional development program for future FAs, so one way or another it's not a good long-term fit for me. I plan to stay until I feel like I'm not learning anymore and then look elsewhere.
     My instinct is to seek a back-office job at a fund company like Fidelity or Vanguard. I like the idea of working in actual asset management rather than as a middleman putting clients in third-party investments. That said, my main goal is to work in a capacity that is more knowledge-intensive and less sales-focused.

     As a side note, I'm currently studying the fundamentals of value investing as per the many reading recommendations of Josh Kennon.

     I want to continue to educate myself, but I need to decide on what my ultimate goal should be. My current firm will most likely continue to pay for further licensing, so I'll take advantage of that if possible. I'm not opposed to getting an MBA, but of course I will only do so if it's for a specific job and if the firm pays for it.   

Fire away with any questions. I really appreciate any input you can give me!




aFrugalFather

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Re: Career Advice: Finance Sector
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2016, 08:31:05 AM »
Have you checked out the Radical Personal Finance podcast?  He discusses the possibilities of work in the FA field, maybe there are some insights there you haven't thought of?  Great podcast in general if you are interested in finance. 

Annihilation500

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Re: Career Advice: Finance Sector
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2016, 09:18:30 AM »
I'm in a similar position, 27 working as an analyst with an advisory team with great and honest FAs.  I'm actually considering the FA route because I don't want to spend my entire life chained to the computer researching stocks and bonds and working spreadsheets.  I've talked to a ton of people about the different options available in asset management and other areas.  It definitely depends on the firm, but many well-paying (for finance) knowledge-intensive jobs with asset managers have terrible hours that look a lot like the investment banking lifestyle until you're more senior.  The good analysts I know at PIMCO have to go in to work at ungodly hours in the morning and stay pretty darn late. 

If you want to make a transition like that, there are probably many different ways, but I would suggest pursuing the CFA designation.  Retail investors don't really recognize its value, but asset managers do.  It's not quick or easy (it takes about three years to complete and most people can't pass all three levels because the tests are challenging), but it definitely shows that you're serious about learning the business and know a good amount of info, especially if you don't have a ton of hands-on investment experience (8 months isn't very long).  Even starting down the path and getting level 1 before looking around signals that you're serious about heading that direction.

It's even better if your firm helps to pay for the fees and materials.  Many do.