Many people wonder what is the best Wall Street job right out of college and there's no simple answer to this question. But former took a swing at it a few days ago on LinkedIn and she raises a lot of good points as to why sell side might be the sweet spot.Lynch president Sallie Krawcheck
She makes the point that you need to be really sharp and stay quick on your feet. You need to be able to articulate your ideas well and you need to be able to deal with people smarter than yourself. You must be a self starter and your very reputation is determined by your accuracy. All of these things lead to great exit ops.
You have to make lots of decisions based on imperfect information. By no means do you ever have all the information needed to make a stock recommendation. But you do have (mostly) the same information as your competitors, and your job is to pull together that information in a coherent way. And then based on that, you have to determine if the stock of the company is a Buy or a Sell. (Forget about Hold's; they translate into "I have nothing to say.")
I'll be honest. We never had much respect for research analysts back in the day. Now I realize it's because the analysts we had greatest access to were there to talk our book - and our book sucked ass, frankly. It's no wonder everything they told us to buy went down.
But a good research analyst is worth his weight in gold. Just look at Mike Mayo or, on the flip side of the coin, Muddy Waters. Both move the market in their own way with their proclamations. And if I'm a college kid looking to start on the Street, that's a pretty cool thing to shoot for.
Equity research makes up a significant portion of my time these days (more than I would prefer, actually), but I know I wouldn't have had the head for it in my early 20's. Krawcheck definitely makes a compelling case for considering that side of the house.
I'm curious. Those of you who plan to get into: what's the motivation? Are you particularly good at writing reports? Do you have a background in a particular market segment going in? Or do you just dream of becoming a rock star analyst and seeing your mug on CNBC?