Interview with WallStreetPlayboys: A Top 3 Institutional Investor Ranked Analyst (part 1/2)

The following is Part 1 of an interview with WallStreetPlayboys (he is also available to answer your questions)

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  1. What is your current job title and a one sentence description of your primary job responsibility?
  2. Keeping it short here, Managing Director or Research Analyst.

  3. What are previous positions you have held and how many years of experience do you have?
  4. Still keeping it a bit vague, over a decade of experience

    Undergrad

  5. Did you go to a "target", "semi target" or "non target".
    Attended a Target school however I have hired candidates from Non-Target schools as well.

  6. What was the most useful thing you learned in ugrad that you apply in your current position?

    The finance courses such as accounting "101" and basic corporate finance are the most transferable when you begin a job on Wall Street. In terms of today, work experience trumps the classes, when you do something for over 10 years you pick up specific knowledge and classes become much less relevant. For my specific role it is key to have in depth industry knowledge, in addition it is important to become known on a few particular stocks. Becoming the "axe" is the slang term on the Street.
    To help out new comers though, you need to know the three statements. In addition you should know how to do quick math, percentages, quick fractions and understand broad concepts such as BETA, CAPM and of course the simple DCF.

  7. What was the most useful thing you learned in ugrad that helped you get where you are now?

    How to work hard. Internships and a good GPA are necessary, build up your hard work tolerance early. It's cliche to say hard work in this industry, but if you are working multiple internships with a 4.0 it shows on your resume.

  8. What was your most useful class and why?

    If forced to choose accounting 101. Not trying to tell people to take advanced accounting, but the basics are necessary and make it much easier when you update models and link cells quickly as you gain more responsibility as you move up the ladder.

  9. During recruiting, how were you able to set yourself apart from other competitive candidates at your school?

    Hard to say, work experience and GPA but it was a target school. Instead this should be a message to go to a Target if you can, it makes a big difference having banks on campus with you. Finance people are busy so they select these schools for a reason.

  10. On the job

  11. What were some of the main factors in getting the job position you have now?

    After entering, moving up is a combination of the following: hard work, luck, brains. That is in no particular order.
    I have certainly seen some smart guys get caught up in a bad segment of finance (mortgage bust) and have also seen some less talented people (opinion) get into some great positions on the buy-side and sell-side. Overall the message though is if you're hard working & smart the Street will have a spot for you somewhere, long-term.

  12. What are some of the specific things you do in your current position?

    In no particular order: marketing, call/email buy-side clients, run fast numbers and update clients during earnings season, write research and review models from associates. One of the most critical pieces of the job is collecting votes for II in my position. Being ranked number one (All-American Research First Team) is always the goal, not willing to disclose where our team ranks but it is in the Top 3 space/sector/bank or otherwise.
    With that said this is also why the vast majority of ranked analysts and research analysts in general are in New York City. You need to be in front of your important clients, both on the phone and in person. Your goal is to travel a lot and ideally your team can handle the leg work, be it a Vice President, Senior Associates, or other Junior Research Analysts. It's a different job from the buy-side where their goal is to hide ideas and information and it is my job to come up with interesting investment ideas and get them in front of C-level management.

  13. What is a day in your life like during the workweek? Can you give us an hour by hour run down of your typical day?

    This is difficult, an ideal work day would be the following though (always checking email and making phone calls as well):
    Morning - Wake up do a morning call (making a call on a particular stock),
    Mid-Morning - Immediately get positive feedback from interesting work, go to the airport for marketing with the CEO of aforementioned stock call
    Early-Afternoon - Land to receive an email from an associate saying the stock is up 5%
    All-Afternoon - Go to marketing meetings with no issues from flights or scheduling, with CEO
    Market Closing - The same stock that was pitched is now up 7%, no announcements after the close and no other news to explain the jump in the stock price
    Evening - Go to a client dinner, an updated model for a different company we cover is sent to me from an associate with no errors and no need to change numbers, the note is already loaded and ready to be submitted, I simply hit submit
    Night - I get ready for the next day of marketing.
    This never happens.

  14. What is your favorite part about the job? What is your least favorite?

    Favorite Part:
    Being tied to the market and knowing the sector I truly enjoy the companies I cover, also hate to say it but there is some wiggle room to miss calls now and then and not ruin an entire portfolio. Unlike the buy-side which leads me to the least favorite.

    Least Favorite:
    There is less upside because I cannot own the stocks I cover, regulations. Can't ask for it all though as pay is less volatile on the sell-side, so it is a give and take

  15. What is the size of your firm?

    Most II ranked analysts are at larger banks. Will leave it at that.

  16. What type of person (what background / knowledge / experience / personality) is best fit to do your type of job?

    Social, intelligent, hard working, fast. You will get stock calls wrong and you will need to stand in the ring and say you were wrong so be prepared. You also need to be up on news for your companies, if a client calls on an item that just "hit the tape" you can't say you missed it. You're there to give direct answers fast to your premium clients.

  17. How do you see your type of role and your industry as a whole changing in 5 years? 20 years?

    The industry continues to change, 10-15 years ago before regulations it was a different industry. So it may operate differently but companies need their stories to be heard and for specific people to understand smaller spaces, so it will still be around.

  18. Did you ever have a mentor and who were some other influential people who helped you along the way?

    Everyone needs or should want a mentor. It's a positive thing to have a person to strive to become, with that said the list of people I consider mentors are still in my phone today. Many people believe you should do everything yourself and be independent. This doesn't make sense to me, even if you don't have a direct mentor the people you surround yourself with will make you a different person through osmosis. If we take anyone on this forum and put them in a room with highly talented people for a year, they will benefit even if they have nothing to add to the discussion for the time being. When you're young you want to listen and surround yourself with older successful people who are willing to help, you're not as amazing as you think you are. When you get older and you've earned your stripes it's a positive thing to pay it back to the younger generation.

  19. Are the sacrifices you've made to date worth the benefit realized by you so far in your career?

    Absolutely. Pain today or regret tomorrow. You do this long enough and the hard work or pain becomes fun and your life in general will improve. This is just an opinion based on life experiences though.

  20. If you weren't working in finance, what do you think you would be doing?

    Are you asking me to retire you sound like one of my associates. Jokes aside, that is something to consider when the time comes, not this year though.

  21. How much does money motivate you?

    Money motivates anyone who wants more out of his/her life.

  22. How much does someone in a role like yours make per year (base + bonus)?

    The range is quite variable depending on experience, rankings and many other factors. If forced to place a range it would be $300K-$1M+ all in, but that's not a helpful range as it goes from someone who just got promoted to someone who is ranked number one by II. If you're the number one guy in a growing or "hot" space then you will certainly make north of $1M. This is information you can find through internet searches.

See Part 2 Here (available on Thur April 11, 4pm et)

Comments (50)

Apr 9, 2013

Feel free to post up questions. Will be around late tonight after work to answer. If it is something that will be answered on Q&A part two will note that for you as well.

    • 1
Apr 9, 2013

Saved for later, may come up with some questions. Nice Interview

Apr 9, 2013

Thanks for doing this.

If one's goal were to become a good sell-side analyst, would it be better to start a career in finance (IBD / ECM) or industry? Assuming investment research is not a viable option.

Apr 9, 2013

As a full research analyst, have you ever considered moving to the buyside (AM or HF)? As a ranked analyst, I am sure you have been approached.

Personally, I really enjoy investing, and have been looking to move to a value-oriented investment manager. But I am interested in hearing your perspective on the benefits of a long-term career on the sell-side versus the buyside.

Apr 9, 2013
West Coast rainmaker:

As a full research analyst, have you ever considered moving to the buyside (AM or HF)? As a ranked analyst, I am sure you have been approached.

Personally, I really enjoy investing, and have been looking to move to a value-oriented investment manager. But I am interested in hearing your perspective on the benefits of a long-term career on the sell-side versus the buyside.

As a quick answer to this, yes the offer has come through before but it really depends on what you like to do and timing as well. There will be more info on part two about buyside vs. sell side.

The short answer is pay is more variable on the buy-side eg. hedge funds. Long-only is likely lower pay, unless you're at a major firm like fidelity/t-Rowe and are managing a set of Analysts already. Ie: top dog at a top shop with high amounts of capital.

Will add an answer to personal reasons why in part 2 though.

    • 1
Apr 9, 2013

Thanks for the great post.

"Attended a Target school however I have hired candidates from Non-Target schools as well."

In your experience, what made you hire these non-targets? When comparing non-targets to targets, what do you look for the non-target to have to trump the target school guy?

Apr 9, 2013
FutureWaller:

Thanks for the great post.

"Attended a Target school however I have hired candidates from Non-Target schools as well."

In your experience, what made you hire these non-targets? When comparing non-targets to targets, what do you look for the non-target to have to trump the target school guy?

One of my colleagues posted the following this was IB related though:
//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/why-we-hired-a-non-...

Now in terms of differentiation here's how it works for a non-target in terms of research

1. A little luck
2. Industry knowledge or a timely cold email
3. Job experience

The first part is always the same, it is unlikely that you are going to directly go in without a bit of luck but as you can tell by my typing style you know what quote i am going to say next: "The harder I work the luckier I get". So you basically need to intelligently knock on doors every single time your resume looks a little bit better. If you just got promoted in a small asset management firm but have a 4.0 at a non-target... probably a good idea to knock on some doors.

Part 2 is more relevant to science type majors or other industry specific careers. If you're part of product development at say Starbucks, it is likely you have some expertise in the field. You can spin this story with say a CFA level one and get a few doors to hopefully crack open.

Part 3. Again this needs to be stressed a hundred times over. If you went to mid tier university, but you have interned at an investment bank in research/sales and trading or investment banking... well you're getting an interview. Since this forum does a lot of "prestige talking" to give an example I would rather interview a guy who worked at Piper as an investment banking summer analyst from a non-target, than interview a guy from Stanford with zero internships and that same high GPA. Maybe some people will say thats an "extreme example" but thats how i'd look at the resume. When you've done the job or at least something similar that tells me "good i don't have to train him as much, that frees up my time".

If you can save a Managing Director or PM a vast amount of time, you will get paid for it. Time is the most valuable asset in the world, you can't get it back.

    • 1
Apr 9, 2013

@jec

So ECM is technically investment banking as well, you are just solely focused on raising capital through equity raises and it is much much less related to picking stocks.

Finance is really like this:
Investment banking, private equity = transaction based
Hedge funds, mutual funds, research = stock picking based

Now, at a young age, investment banking would be a much better role (industry - ie medical, oil and gas) to start in because when you try to switch to research your pitch is this:

"I have done M&A transactions for the space and am well versed in financial modeling and the basics of raising capital. I want to work in research now as I realized I was interested in xyz space and enjoy following the stocks more than I enjoy creating merger models and helping take companies public. Overall, I would like to cover xyz space because of xyz reasons."

The analyst knows you can model and don't make a lot of mistakes after you survive 2 years in industry bankin or M&A banking. ECM would be "okay" but below those as your story is less clean cut.

Banking is broader, if you work in "financial services banking" then you could run the pitch on all financial services research analysts. "I enjoy covering banks/credit card companies etc etc".

Hope that helps.

FYI typing from mobile so will get to the other two questions from home because they need longer responses.

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Apr 9, 2013

Great interview, I found it very informative.

What sort of characteristics/accomplishments do you believe differentiate students from the rest of the massess trying to break in?

Apr 9, 2013

Extremely helpful--thanks a lot.

Quick question: what is research hiring like out of MBA programs? My understanding is that post-MBA opportunities for ER tend to be ad-hoc and not nearly as common as standard sell-side IB jobs.

Is this accurate? Do you have any experience hiring MBAs in to ER? What are the prospects like for someone in an MBA program with strong financial modeling/research experience but NOT from a traditional finance background (think restructuring consulting, economic consulting, transaction advisory work at a Big 4, etc.)

Apr 9, 2013
Hayek:

Extremely helpful--thanks a lot.

Quick question: what is research hiring like out of MBA programs? My understanding is that post-MBA opportunities for ER tend to be ad-hoc and not nearly as common as standard sell-side IB jobs.

Is this accurate? Do you have any experience hiring MBAs in to ER? What are the prospects like for someone in an MBA program with strong financial modeling/research experience but NOT from a traditional finance background (think restructuring consulting, economic consulting, transaction advisory work at a Big 4, etc.)

For equity research you would want to have industry experience and finance experience. Hence why an IBD job in say medical banking would be a easier sell into covering medical stocks.

With an MBA it is much less structured to get into research. The reason why is this: if I just hired an associate and he is doing great work why would I fire him and replace him with a new face? No reason at all.

Overall your best slots to get into ER as a lower end higher is as follows:

1. Out of undergrad
2. 1-2 years of experience in a front office role (banking, sales and trading, other research firm of course)
3. Industry - maybe investor relations wih a background in finance ex: if you worked for company X and I cover company X and 7 related companies to company X you are likely a good hire if you have been pitching the stock for years and know the competitors (likely another 5+ firms) so you would join and hit the ground running (this is more mid level)
4. Experience in ECM/DCM is messy, but possible, if you raised money for nothing but oil and gas companies and I cover that same space you're likely well connected and would also be a good hire.

I have worked/helped some MBA's get hired and they usually fit inbetween category 2 and 3. Example a guy who worked in Investor relations at company X then got his MBA (focusing on finance) then interviewed then received a job offer.

So as you can see the three key assets are 1) financial modeling/basic skills 2) knowing the space 3) having connections to the space if you're older.

    • 1
Apr 9, 2013

Excellent insight. Thanks for doing this!

As an incoming undergraduate summer ER intern, do you have any suggestions on how to best prepare? Also, any tips on how to get a full-time offer once I start working?

"My dear, descended from the apes! Let us hope it is not true, but if it is, let us pray that it will not become generally known."

Apr 9, 2013
Illuminate:

Excellent insight. Thanks for doing this!

As an incoming undergraduate summer ER intern, do you have any suggestions on how to best prepare? Also, any tips on how to get a full-time offer once I start working?

This one is easy.

1. Don't complain
2. Show up early
3. Don't complain
4. Choose accuracy over speed at first
5. Don't complain
6. If you know the companies you will be covering or helping cover, go through their earnings release 8-K filings in jan/apr/July/October for calendar year companies so you know exactly what line items to copy paste in. Notice I said copy paste because it prevents errors simply replace the comma with a decimal to get to billions, millions etc.
7. Don't complain
8. When you have questions put them all into a single email, do not waste anyone's time by cmgoingover every five minute, write it all down at once then ask
9. Get an idea for trading multiples, does your space trade at 1x book normally? 4x ebitda? 6-10x earnings? This will help you spot check work.
10. Don't complain
11. When you email people order them in order of importance, ex Managing director, Vice President, associate.
12. Spell check, triple check work with a highlighter.
13. You will make a lot of mistakes, write them down and then make sure they occur less frequently, ideally never but that is not possible.
14. Don't complain.

See a trend?

    • 1
Apr 9, 2013

How flexible are the hours? What I mean is I know often there are long hours on the sell-side. But I'm unsure as to when the 'notes' have to be sent out. So is it possible to balance work/family life by being home for dinner and spend an hour or two at home, and then going back to the office and/or working from home late into the night? Also, depending on the answer, how does this 'flexibility' change in terms of seniority (early / mid level of your career vs being established)

Best Response
Apr 9, 2013
globalmacro:

How flexible are the hours? What I mean is I know often there are long hours on the sell-side. But I'm unsure as to when the 'notes' have to be sent out. So is it possible to balance work/family life by being home for dinner and spend an hour or two at home, and then going back to the office and/or working from home late into the night? Also, depending on the answer, how does this 'flexibility' change in terms of seniority (early / mid level of your career vs being established)

This is another one of those it depends answers in a word yes.

(Also funny you talk about marriage given the screen name and signature)

But more importantly back to your questions.

1. Notes: these can be time stamped for distribution, so not a big deal
2. Some analysts and associates work 100% from home so yes it is doable however...
3. Most ranked analysts do not work from home, they are out at meetings and likely are very well tied in with the company

Here is the idea with a well run team (opinion)
1. You work more than most groups
2. Your analyst wants to train future analysts hence why you are getting worked a bit harder
3. You are paid sizably above un-ranked analysts, a senior associate on a ranked team is going to make much more than an unranked team (10-40% more all in, being vague on purpose) and your associates trust your long-term guidance so they don't disclose pay to peers or how you run your operations.
4. Hours are about 60 a week for an associate and 80+ in earnings season (again depends entirely on your analyst)
5. As you get up higher yes you have more leeway, you can show up later, but you have to keep running the ship tightly. This is also why I promote up, if you are good I will let you do the morning call on my names while I get ready for marketing, if you do well, sales likes you, I am going to give you more of that to practice while I spend my time talking to important clients, eventually you carve out a few names and we move on from there

That's the basics. As always, if you're not growing you're dying so unless you run $10B in funds at a long-only you still won't be working 30 hours a week, that's a pipe dream, unless of course you're getting ready to retire and hand your franchise over.

    • 2
Apr 9, 2013

Awesome read. Thanks Playboy!

Apr 9, 2013

What do you look for in a research associate. What in your view, makes a rockstar associate versus a good, or average one?

Apr 9, 2013
newfirstyear:

What do you look for in a research associate. What in your view, makes a rockstar associate versus a good, or average one?

Appropriate networking and how moving up the ladder works will be covered in part 2.

Apr 9, 2013

Thanks for sharing these information with us. I have a question that may be irrelevant to recruiting: what makes /when will you feel most achieved? I asked this question because every now and then I would be confused about what I am doing if I don't find the meaning of this job/work.

Apr 9, 2013
lizgym:

Thanks for sharing these information with us. I have a question that may be irrelevant to recruiting: what makes /when will you feel most achieved? I asked this question because every now and then I would be confused about what I am doing if I don't find the meaning of this job/work.

So in terms of finding "meaningful work" this is usually an issue for younger people. I would take a stab in the dark and say you're in between 21-25 years old.

With that said the work gets more meaningful as you go up the ladder. The truth about finance and life in general is you need to pay your dues for a good amount of time before you are handed items that require more cognitive work and insight. So for example spread 100 foreign comps or updating a model for earnings season is about 1/100 on the list of important things to do in finance.

When you move up the better feelings of accomplishment are the following:
1. Getting stock calls correct, this is important but of course 100x more important on the buyside
2. Coming up with interesting research views so your clients now have more respect for you
3. Helping people make money, this is a serious point, if you don't enjoy helping people and also being okay with being reamed out for making wrong calls this job is not for you.

From a work perspective the two basic things will make you feel good.

1. Making a non-consensus call and being right (upgrading a neutral to buy when everyone else is neutral and being correct for example)
2. Creating interesting though pieces on a specific space. Example if you are a PM and think i am wrong about a stock (short versus long) and i can call you and give you a different way to think about it, even if you still think i am incorrect you'll at least value the opposite end view if it is well researched, thought out and different.

Notice #2 allows for more wiggle room, which is why it is more "safe" in terms of a job relative to a hedge fund where if you're wrong... well go have a nice walk.

More on buyside vs sell side in part 2

Apr 10, 2013

you are so right...

Apr 9, 2013

how do you usually train the incoming associates with no direct experience in your coverage space. assume the newbie knew enough finance to get through an interview and was assigned to you from a general pool of graduating students.

start with analyzing comps? or read through every 10k in the industry? how long until the associate should be able to add value

Apr 9, 2013
couchy:

how do you usually train the incoming associates with no direct experience in your coverage space. assume the newbie knew enough finance to get through an interview and was assigned to you from a general pool of graduating students.

start with analyzing comps? or read through every 10k in the industry? how long until the associate should be able to add value

As mentioned above in part 2 I will chat on associate duties and buy vs. sell side and how to network. If it still doesnt answer the questions please post up on Thursday.

With that said, if you have zero finance experience and are entirely fresh (college graduate). The first thing to do would be to ready the 10-K, 1) company overview, 2) main customers and product segments, 3) go look at the last two call transcripts (figure out what the analysts are focusing in on and why) 4) look at guidance versus actual results (do they typically beat? all over the map? always miss?) 5) operating profile (revenue growth and margin profile) and multiples relative to its peers

In terms of adding value that's pretty much day one, if you're a fast learner, creating a model from scratch for an initiation is great. If you mean adding value as in starting to call clients/coverage/get on the morning call etc etc. That's a broad range stretching from mid twenties to early thirties (general range always exceptions).

Apr 9, 2013

All of this was great, thank you.

Apr 10, 2013

Can you elaborate on 'get laid, get paid'? Thanks

''You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you need to concentrate on.'' -- President George W. Bush
0.5 bb

Apr 10, 2013
Dubya:

Can you elaborate on 'get laid, get paid'? Thanks

Simply put if you are a man I believe these are your only interests in life. Surround yourself with friends, real friends, who are interested in those two goals.

(Health and real family members of course comes first, but you guys should get the idea)

Apr 11, 2013
WallStreetPlayboys:
Dubya:

Can you elaborate on 'get laid, get paid'? Thanks

Simply put if you are a man I believe these are your only interests in life. Surround yourself with friends, real friends, who are interested in those two goals.

(Health and real family members of course comes first, but you guys should get the idea)

Got it, thanks.

I browsed your website a little bit and had another question for you. I always thought banks didn't really let you have outside businesses or jobs while you are working for them. How did you get around that restriction?

''You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you need to concentrate on.'' -- President George W. Bush
0.5 bb

Apr 10, 2013

I can elaborate on that, and he can correct me if I'm wrong. I think he means if whatever you're doing in your life isn't getting you either then go back to the drawing board and try again.

To WSPlayboys:

What happens when you go to a target school, know your shit, interviewed thinking you nailed each one and don't get a single call back? I haven't the foggiest, I smiled, kept eye contact, was even able to keep the interview conversational, asking questions back and forth. Kept my cool the whole time.

Then I see guys who are socially inept, but just have been padding their resumes longer than I have. Suggestions? I still don't know what I'm doing for this Summer.

"On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero."
- Zerohedge.com

Apr 10, 2013
Ketelwon:

I can elaborate on that, and he can correct me if I'm wrong. I think he means if whatever you're doing in your life isn't getting you either then go back to the drawing board and try again.

To WSPlayboys:

What happens when you go to a target school, know your shit, interviewed thinking you nailed each one and don't get a single call back? I haven't the foggiest, I smiled, kept eye contact, was even able to keep the interview conversational, asking questions back and forth. Kept my cool the whole time.

Then I see guys who are socially inept, but just have been padding their resumes longer than I have. Suggestions? I still don't know what I'm doing for this Summer.

Two likely reasons:
1. Coming off as too socialiable = unprofessional
2. You need to pad your resume more, work more internships in finance. Your resume is a reflection of what you have accomplished

Beyond that, would have to take it offline and see your answers to the important questions such as why XYz job, why this bank, also making sure you're not making technical mistakes.

If you know other people have better resumes, go out and get another internship, why do they have better resumes is the question to ask yourself, likely because they are applying for more of them.

It sounds like you have enough time to position for full time offers next year still.

Apr 10, 2013

You touched on this briefly, but what is your advice for non-traditional (i.e. no finance experience) candidates looking to break into ER (specifically science guys/PhDs looking into biotech/healthcare/industrials/etc). Relevant internships seem to be the major driver but that could be difficult as most advisors will not allow grad students to take summers off from research. Would it be beneficial to simply work in the industry of interest for several years and try to become as knowledgeable about the business as possible (while doing CFA Level 1)? Or is this a get into a top MBA and re-brand kind of situation?

Apr 10, 2013
Ipso facto:

You touched on this briefly, but what is your advice for non-traditional (i.e. no finance experience) candidates looking to break into ER (specifically science guys/PhDs looking into biotech/healthcare/industrials/etc). Relevant internships seem to be the major driver but that could be difficult as most advisors will not allow grad students to take summers off from research. Would it be beneficial to simply work in the industry of interest for several years and try to become as knowledgeable about the business as possible (while doing CFA Level 1)? Or is this a get into a top MBA and re-brand kind of situation?

If you mean obtaining a PHD that is overkill and will make it hard to move straight to research with no experience and a PHD.

You would have to use your PHD to get into a corporate side job in the field and then network in.

Same emphasis on getting experience that ties directly to the job. Teaching classes on biology is not going to help an analyst. Experience updating models would be more beneficial (in the beginning) than any PHD.

Will cover breaking in during part 2, if it doesn't answer your questions feel free to comment again.

Apr 10, 2013

[blockquote]If you mean obtaining a PHD that is overkill and will make it hard to move straight to research with no experience and a PHD.

You would have to use your PHD to get into a corporate side job in the field and then network in.

Same emphasis on getting experience that ties directly to the job. Teaching classes on biology is not going to help an analyst. Experience updating models would be more beneficial (in the beginning) than any PHD.

Will cover breaking in during part 2, if it doesn't answer your questions feel free to comment again.[/blockquote]

Thanks so much for your response. I didn't mean obtaining a PhD for the purposes of breaking into ER--I realize that wouldn't be more helpful than obtaining directly relevant experience. Rather, the question was geared towards those who are already knee-deep in a program (and will be finishing in 1-2 years), have reconsidered academia as a career, and are looking at other options like ER. In effect, career changers. I presume your advice holds all the same--get that relevant model experience anyway, anyhow.

Apr 10, 2013

How old are you? Range is fine. Mid 30s? Older?

Apr 10, 2013
yeahright:

How old are you? Range is fine. Mid 30s? Older?

Left vague on purpose in OP, trust WSO to never reveal identity due to content of blog + work reasons.

Apr 10, 2013
WallStreetPlayboys:
yeahright:

How old are you? Range is fine. Mid 30s? Older?

Left vague on purpose in OP, trust WSO to never reveal identity due to content of blog + work reasons.

Ahh decade of experience, skimmed past that note. That's enough to get an idea, thanks again. Looking forward to Part 2.

Apr 10, 2013

Thank you so much for the interview and answering all these questions!

Apr 10, 2013

how do you figure out what drives a stock? what are the typical catalysts one should look out for?

Apr 10, 2013
couchy:

how do you figure out what drives a stock? what are the typical catalysts one should look out for?

That was a pretty neat way to figure out what sector... Jokes aside here is what you can look at since I'm assuming you are asking for help in interviews to pick stocks.

1. Management team - have they been consistent with wall street? Apple is always an easy example since everyone knows the story, so they always "exceed" their guidance by a wide margin. This worked for a while but it made Street numbers all over the map heading into earnings. With that said a good example of a strong management team would be the following:
- Setting expectations well, IE: saying $100M in revs as guidance but printing slightly above maybe 103 and consistently beating expectations.
- Higher gross and operating margins than peers, IE: if you are in X sector and average gross and operating margins are 50% and 10% for the sector, but the company consistently hits 55% and 15%, you can say that is likely due to management/better operations

2. Valuation, this of course matters, if you have a company with said higher margins but is trading in-line with peers, you can argue it deserves a premium if consistently beating markets

3. Products can drive stocks as well (will leave it at that), again can use apple as an example with all the hype surrounding product launches

4. Some companies do not issue guidance then you can look at where expectations go and look for growth rates revenue/EPS compared to peers

That should be a good start for the basics (Management, valuation, products, consistency and growth) and would apply to the vast majority of sectors for an interview.

    • 1
Apr 11, 2013

I see you have a view point of cynicism. If that is how you feel that is fine.

The goal is to help **you** make readers get paid and get laid.

Feel free to go through all posts on here and you'll see quickly we only want to help. If you need help with anything let us know.

Good luck.

Apr 15, 2013
WallStreetPlayboys:

I see you have a view point of cynicism. If that is how you feel that is fine.

The goal is to help **you** make readers get paid and get laid.

Feel free to go through all posts on here and you'll see quickly we only want to help. If you need help with anything let us know.

Good luck.

A cow feels that a cowboy is most benevolent right before they are led to the slaughterhouse.

''You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you need to concentrate on.'' -- President George W. Bush
0.5 bb

Apr 15, 2013
Dubya:
WallStreetPlayboys:

I see you have a view point of cynicism. If that is how you feel that is fine.

The goal is to help **you** make readers get paid and get laid.

Feel free to go through all posts on here and you'll see quickly we only want to help. If you need help with anything let us know.

Good luck.

A cow feels that a cowboy is most benevolent right before they are led to the slaughterhouse.

I already placed one person into an internship and have helped with several resumes on WSO, again read the posts, so I'm not sure how your argument makes any sense. If the posts are not helpful to you that is fine, good luck in your future.

Apr 13, 2013

What happened to part 2

Apr 13, 2013

I have a question. Why does your website read like something that comfortablysmug wrote?

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

Apr 13, 2013
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