asset management jobs with decent pay and good hours (~40 a week)

I've been working in Asset Management for over a year now at one of the large asset managers in New York. I'm honestly getting tired of the finance hours but do enjoy making a nice paycheck. I'm on my way to getting my CFA and after I've finished that I'm thinking of making a move to a job with better hours/flexibility for taking time off. I'd like to work 40-50 hours or even less if possible.

I was thinking options might be Private Banking, PWM, corporate job at F500 company or maybe something at a hedge fund/PE firm like investor relations. I'd like to stay in investment management if possible but am wondering if anyone has any good career ideas with good work/life balance. Although I never thought I'd say it in college, money isn't everything. Time is even more valuable and I'd gladly trade down my paycheck a little bit for a lot more free time

Region: 
France
United States - Northeast

Comments (16)

Mar 7, 2011

Is there any particular reason you want to work so little?

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Mar 7, 2011

Edward Jones. j/k

Corporate work would probably give you the best work/life balance.

Mar 7, 2011

Even a CF stint at a F500 would not allow you to do those hours but honestly, I doubt you'll be able to bring in a comparable pay check anywhere.

May I ask as to why you want to work fewer hours?

Mar 7, 2011

I'm not the type of person who lives to work.......I work to live. If I won the lottery today I'd never work another day in my life (aside from starting my own business doing something I like or doing charitable work). I think a lot of my friends feel kind of the same way as me.....finance isn't as exciting as you think it is when you are looking for a job in college. Obviously the entry level stuff isn't the most exciting either, but I have friends/connections in ibanking, pe, hedge funds, pwm, corporate finance, etc. Honestly the ones that are happiest overall don't make the most money but like what they are doing or work about 40 hours a week and have a good life outside work

    • 1
Mar 8, 2011
kenny powers 55:

I'm not the type of person who lives to work.......I work to live. If I won the lottery today I'd never work another day in my life (aside from starting my own business doing something I like or doing charitable work). I think a lot of my friends feel kind of the same way as me.....finance isn't as exciting as you think it is when you are looking for a job in college. Obviously the entry level stuff isn't the most exciting either, but I have friends/connections in ibanking, pe, hedge funds, pwm, corporate finance, etc. Honestly the ones that are happiest overall don't make the most money but like what they are doing or work about 40 hours a week and have a good life outside work

Have you considered looking outside of Finance? Maybe something like Marketing or advertising? Those guys don't get paid as well as Financiers but the work is more creative and you actually have a good work-life balance.

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Mar 8, 2011

Can I ask why everyone in this thread wonders why the op wants to work fewer hours?

Mar 8, 2011
Babyj18777:

Can I ask why everyone in this thread wonders why the op wants to work fewer hours?

I know...seems like a pretty logical "want" to me. The original question could have been better though as similar questions have been asked before.

Mar 8, 2011

The thing is achieving nice hours takes time, in any industry. If you want nice hours PLUS that big pay check and a relatively comfortable life, you need to persevere and stick to something persistently. Only the survivors will win in the end.

One of my best friends/mentors works for a wealth management firm. He started 9 years ago out of college. When he first began, the hours were horrific, pay check was terrible, and even a secure pay check was hard to come by as everything was performance based. He literally got the very low end clients that others didn't want. But he persisted and built his client base literally out of scratch. Slowly, his newest clients' net worth began to increase, and long with it his income. 9 years into the job, his annual income is roughly $1 mm and very flexible hours (he only goes to office 2 days a week and vacations with his top clients 4-6 times a year around the world). He admitted that PWM still wasn't his first choice. He would very much prefer a teaching job in a university. However, he's gotten used to it and even started to enjoy it. I know he may not be some top notch multi-million dollar, globe trotting investment banker, but he has surely carved out a very balanced and rewarding life for himself over the past 9 years. That in itself is an achievement. Even though I'm still in college, I feel really proud of him.

Best Response
Mar 8, 2011

get a job in Europe - they have a great work life balance there. I am being serious the management in Europe will literally kick you out of the office past the 40hour mark, from what I have heard. feel free to pm me

    • 2
Mar 8, 2011

jameshaha, if you work hard at it in PWN it is relatively "common" to get $1 mm deal books

investment bankers aren't "multi-millionaires"... that kind of money is only on the buy side of finance. unless you're in C-level management

Mar 8, 2011

Work on the West Coast.

Mar 8, 2011

lifesgreatmystery: does it matter what the figures are? I'm only offering a true story of someone with a life style that the OP would want to have.

Mar 8, 2011

no.. i agree with what you were saying! just wanted to point out that investment bankers are not usually the multi-millionaires

Mar 8, 2011

Actually the senior MDs at bulge brackets and elite boutiques are generally multi-millionaires (that is, technically, a net worth of $2mm+). There are also plenty of senior people at smaller firms that would fall into the multi-millionaire category.

Mar 8, 2011

jameshaha, would you mind sharing what firm your friend works at? From what you described it sounds like he was more on the private wealth side at a retail firm like ML or MSSB. Do you know if those firms are flexible as far as letting you create your own schedule? I don't mind building my book from scratch if I do pwm or private banking but I'd like to work more on investments than sales (cold calling) since my background is in investments. Maybe I'd be able to start as an associate since I have experience and have help with the sales part from analysts/interns? Is that the way it works at the larger PWM shops (Northern Trust, JPM, Goldman, DB, CS, etc)?

I definitely don't want to work in Europe but wouldn't mind moving to the west coast. What is so special about the hours on the west coast? What kinds of jobs? I'm not aiming to pull in 1 million a year, more like a few hundred thousand after 5-10 years. What are some corporate jobs that would value investment experience and a CFA?

Mar 12, 2011
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