Difficulty to make a career out of AM

Anonymous Monkey's picture
Anonymous Monkey

I'm a sophomore student at a, what I'd say, is a lower level target, high semi-target, and I'm still trying to figure out what I'm interested in besides just business in general. I have an accounting internship this summer and while I don't think that's what I want to do for the rest of my life, I figure it'll be good experience, a nice resume booster, and at best, it helps set me apart from other students in some way (besides being a veteran). Lately, I've been taking a look into asset management, and a few months ago I had the opportunity to have coffee with a fellow veteran currently working at Citi Private Banking who told me that it's incredibly hard to make it in AM due to the fact that often, you don't get much time to build up your book before you're either in or out/most new individuals inherit their book or already have connections and that just isn't the situation I'm in. I'm not gonna lie, I'm partially drawn to the income potential, but I also like the better work/life balance compared to IB and the actual job trading as well as working directly with clients, but the information he gave me is worrying me as I don't mind working hard, but I also want to have stability in my career. I wanted to get an idea if that information I was given was accurate at all or if it's still something worth considering.


Comments (12)

Feb 4, 2020

I think even for AM, there are a lot of different potential directions within AM. You have only explored one sector (the private banking sector) through your coffee chat. would definitely recommend you to explore more about this and chat with people from different sectors of AM. go chat more, learn more, explore more and find your niche.

Life is a non-stopping journey.

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Most Helpful
Feb 4, 2020

You're saying AM, but I think that you mean WM. I hate that they combine them here, as they are incredibly different fields. My Parents FA does WM, advising them about where to put their half million dollars in retirement savings (poorly IMO) and collecting a fee for that. Getting in there is all about building a 'book' of clients as you said. With a big enough book you can even strike out on your own as an RIA.

AM is a different animal. I design and build investment products, and then let my staff convince FAs to use them. (I'll hop on home office calls) I could never do their job, but I love what I do.

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Feb 10, 2020

Ok, so AM is less about building a book and more about designing an actual investment product then, more about your actual performance rather than your ability to sell? Both sound intriguing to me, but the idea of having to build a book makes me somewhat nervous. Thanks for the clarification


Feb 5, 2020

I think AM should be banned as a career label. Despite having one job that clearly falls under the AM label, and a 2nd job (my current one) that may or may not fall under the label, I still don't even know what the fuck AM is.

I seriously don't. Like I read OP's post, and have no idea what job he even has in mind. From the way he describes it, its almost like wealth management is AM, and S&T is AM. And its not his fault because I've been watching this confusion for the few years I've been on WSO.

What the fuck is AM? Do wealth managers work in AM? How about hedge fund managers? If your answer is yes to both, how can you square two entirely different careers getting the same industry label? And how about allocators at pensions? And investment consultants?

The only certainty I have what qualifies as AM is that if you work at Vanguard, you work in AM. That much I know. The rest is all vague as fuck.

Everyone should be clearer about what they do for a living and/or what they want to do for a living. I'll go first. I analyze business. Some private, some public. I spend my days reading 10-K's and other commentary, and sorting through different opinions to determine whether a business is overvalued or undervalued. Is that AM? I don't know. I don't care. But if someone has questions about my job, now they know what I do. Everyone should just cut out the vague labels and be clear.

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Feb 6, 2020

I agree that it is over-used and way too broadly applied. I do not agree with banning it's use however. I can walk 20 feet and talk to the lead PM for a $2B mutual fund. (and do several times a week) We work together and share ideas. What do I call what I do if not AM?

My rule is that you either need to work for a company in the S&P AM index (BlackRock, Legg, etc.) or be able to say what funds you support, or it's not AM.

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Feb 6, 2020
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