Exits as an Financial Advisor?

Hey y'all.

I recently started as a financial advisor at a large broker-dealer (Vanguard/Schwab), and I am starting to wonder what else may be out there for me to do in the world of finance. I decided to go down the advisor route because I love people, but recently I have just haven't felt satisfied in my role. I know responsibilities can be a lot different between firms but the role at my company basically just entails "behavioral coaching" and selecting an allocation consisting of a few different ETFs for the client. There's nothing inherently bad about the job and I can see the value in what I am doing, but after thinking about it for a while I have decided I want to do something that's more technical and mentally stimulating. Id like to remain in the financial industry, and I think that my desire to work with people can be satisfied by working in a strong team environment.

What other roles would you guys suggest looking into within finance?

Just for context, graduated pretty recently from a pretty big state school in the southeast known for their sports (UNC/Georgia/Clemson).

ps I don't want an MBA, and thank you in advance for your help!

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Comments (15)

Dec 6, 2021 - 11:38am

I have a few connections and a couple of smaller RIAs that I am thinking about using. I don't want to do that unless I'm 100% sure my future is with them because I really like the people. Also the HNW division where I work is reserved for people with a CFP, which I am thinking about pursuing, but again I'm not 100% sure I want to commit to being a FA long term

Dec 6, 2021 - 11:44am

I would look at your bigger banks:  JPM, GSBOFA, ETC. and see if you can find a way in there.  The name will help you break into your next venture more easily. Without an MBA you are a few steps away from Banking or a Corp fin position and you will need to take small steps to get there.  

Dec 6, 2021 - 2:11pm

If you don't want to do an MBA, you could maybe pass a few CFA exams and try to get into asset management.

Disclosure: I really hated studying for the CFA exams and think they are difficult and you have no social life when studying for them. Overall an MBA would be more of a game changer, so you should consider it.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Dec 7, 2021 - 2:49pm

True 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Dec 6, 2021 - 7:58pm

I guess I'm proof you don't need an advanced degree/certification to move out of Wealth Management (WM), but in the few years I was in WM, I only know of one person who did what I did without a degree/certification. Even in that case they made more of a lateral move.

Doesn't have to be full MBA, although that's usually a very effective route, but just know it can be hard to the sort of role you're looking for without proof of the hard skills that job would require. After all most of WM isn't truly analytical and propel in finance know that.

It's not impossible, but it may take time finding the job you want.

Feel free to PM with any specific questions.

Dec 7, 2021 - 2:28pm

When people say FA I usually think of financial analyst. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Dec 7, 2021 - 3:57pm

Oh ok makes sense 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Most Helpful
Dec 7, 2021 - 8:52pm

Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎

Oh ok makes sense 

Around here FA is also short for financial advisor.  We don't normally use it as a positive term however.  Generally the implication is that it's a small-dollar client/prospect with a very rudimentary knowledge of investing.  Even more derogatory would be 'retail FA' which implies that the FA gets by on crumbs collected from middle-class investors and can't even land HNW clients.  I think the last time I used the term was something along the lines of: "I don't want to pull that data for him.  He got the request from a retail FA who doesn't know what he's talking about and just wants to show that he cares to make the sale. It's implications would be completely lost on the both of them."

Just for context, I'm at a big AM shop and am almost as likely to get a data request from a sovereign wealth fund we're working on getting a mandate from as a retail FA.

The only difference between Asset Management and Investment Research is assets. I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
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Dec 7, 2021 - 6:45pm

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