Accounting + Tech start-up to IB/Portfolio Management

After reading Market Wizards and Against the Gods my senior year of college I became interested in portfolio management. It was too late to turn myself into a typical IB recruitment candidate because I was already graduating from my regional school with a degree in accounting. I masochistically accepted an offer to do tax at a Big 4 working on hedge fund clients. Soon I realized wasn't gaining the skills or exposure that I wanted and left after a year.

Shortly after I found myself helping a friend with a VR start-up. He does architectural drafting through a modified video game engine, which he uses to give real estate developers a walk-through on the Oculus. I managed to set up operations and get a few clients while he continued to expand the services offered. He's able to run it at a comfortable level now and I find myself still thinking about pursuing portfolio management.

I haven't seen any WSO articles on how a former fund accountant now working in tech can land an entry-level investment analyst role. I know teaching myself the basics of Security Analysis and finding my own financial news sources doesn't translate into three years of writing pitch books.

I've gotten to know a few recruiters that have been brutally honest but have also given me advice. The general consensus is that I should ace the GMAT and find a way to get into Columbia or Wharton for an MBA. After that, with a little bit of luck, I just may be able to pull off an unpaid internship.

I wouldn't start school until 2017/2018 and I need to do something in the meantime. I'd like to apply my analytical abilities to focus on risk, market direction, and valuation but that is seeming like a dream at this point. What is reasonable for me to look for?

Comments (3)

Jun 30, 2016

I have nothing to add, but I just wanted to say that your friends startup sounds awesome.

Jun 30, 2016

Yea, my friend is an interesting guy. He reminds me of an absent minded professor - brilliant but terribly organized. I doubt he can claim ownership of any underlying IP but it's what he was able to do with it that was incredible.

His business is primarily service oriented and plenty of work has come in now. Enough to pay drafting interns but not enough to justify a full-time business manager. I'll definitely be available when he needs help but I have flexibility now and want to attempt a path to portfolio management.

If that doesn't work I guess I could learn how to draft myself. Or be one of those guys at a home design expo trying to sell you on our services. Or get my CPA; god help me.

Jul 6, 2016

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there" - Will Rogers