Could the grass be much greener for me?


As far as context goes, I have 4 YoE and a master's degree. My first two years I spent at an asset manager as an investment risk analyst, and the last two I spent at a fintech startup focused on credit analytics (both in the bay area). Here is what's on my mind:

• The last 10 years have been tremendously good for tech, and definitely carried fintech. I am not super confident on the fintech business models of these companies when the market goes down. I also think that the opportunity cost for fintech was less great than that of just traditional tech comparatively.
• While my emphasis is on credit, it didn't match my expectations. Credit problems focused on consumers are usually related to identification & fraud, and less so about investing. This also alludes to my previous point since there's no actual way to hedge against the business model when the market goes down
• I really enjoy investment concepts at lot more. Fintech is less so about investing and markets and more about distribution and marketing. I hope to be more involved with public markets, but it doesn't seem apparent at these startups.
• I left my first job because of the lack of opportunity to move up the later for the next 5 years. At my current role, there is definite opportunity to move up. Again, there plays a risk in not doing something I like as well as the company not performing well in a more stressed market environment

I've been thinking a lot more heavily about 1) moving to NY and 2) moving back to investment management in the capacity of a risk or quant analyst. My hours are 9-7 and I make 175k (some of it is illiquid). I think the compensation is fair but not lavish, and would probably rival my salary expectations at an asset management firm.

Am I right to think that:

• The compensation as a risk/quant analyst is greater at a hedge fund and presents better growth? Even in stressed market conditions?
• It's still worth it to move to NY for an asset management firm? Would the salary be similar to what I'm making now, and could the hours/work be more stressful? If so, should I rather just look out for data science positions at tech companies?

I'm mainly asking these questions because:

1) I felt that the bay area is okay, while I've always had a great time visiting NY. I am a little worried about the expectation of hours in NY as well as the confrontational aspect (work culture in SF is pretty PC), which for an experienced hire may be stressful to get acclimated to.
2) I'm content with my work right now but I feel like i could be more excited about topics I like. Though at my first job, I was not content about career viability at the same firm (VP was a stupidly political thing). I don't know if different investment firms come at it differently. I know that if I go to another position in finance, I have to reset at an associate level so I want to make sure that moving up to VP can be definitively possible.
3) if don't know if I'm placing such a high premium to work in finance again. I was pretty disgruntled near the end before leaving to the startup, but now I appreciate some aspects of the work I was doing. I think it could also just be a better play to move to NY and work for a traditional technology company doing ads if I'm going to hate something about work anyways.
4) Headhunters and recruiters used to call me at my prior job (brand name helped) to interview at different funds, but now at a startup I'm not getting any reach outs really. I'm wondering if it's still possible to make the switch to finance again altogether.

If anyone had any inputs on their perspective, that would be much appreciated as I've been entertaining these thoughts for a while

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