Has anyone landed an analyst/associate role in Asset Mgmt or Equity Research with no experience? How?

TrumpNChase's picture
Rank: Baboon | 108

Economics grad. No internships. CFA level 1 candidate, awaiting results. Itching to land a career in research in Asset Management, equity research, with a long-term goal of being a portfolio manager.

Those that have been in similar situation, how did you do it?

Comments (31)

Jul 6, 2017

About to be in your shoes. I'm currently networking and so far they said they will get me an interview when a position opens up. (Generally late summer and fall) get on it asap or you'll get fucked.

Jul 7, 2017

What is your approach for contacting firms and people?

Jul 7, 2017

First off, connect with people not companies. Show your interest, be sincere. I used LinkedIn.

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Jul 7, 2017

Demonstrate your interest in investing. Nothing impresses a potential hiring manager/colleague more than you showing them interesting work. I used to write reports with investment recommendations and send them to my network to get their thoughts.

This is how you demonstrate experience without an internship.

Also you need to build that network. Blast emails and ask to set up coffee meetings.

    • 1
Jul 7, 2017

Is there any other ways I can show my interest for investing?

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Jul 11, 2017

Showing your interest in investing in ways other than investing? No

Jul 12, 2017

The best (and most expensive) way to learn is actually putting your own money into the market. Doesn't have to be a lot, just own a few names and have a well thought out thesis for owning them that you could discuss in an interview.

Jul 7, 2017

Smaller AM's will always need junior folks. I started on a 10-person firm out of college with very little experience.

Make a list of local smaller AM's and start calling away. PM me with specific Q's.

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Jul 11, 2017

Agreed - this is basically the same as my experience, though I will warn that smaller AMs may have more specialized/niche strategies/processes that limit the transferable skills you can bring with you to other jobs. On the flip side these small firms are ripe for you to learn about markets and investing because the people making important decisions tend to be very accessible.

Jul 9, 2017

Yes it is possible, but more difficult in your case since you have zero internships (what did you do in your summers??). Have you already graduated? If not, you should definitely reach out to your career services office and see what contacts they have in the field and start networking now.

If you've already graduated, which it sounds like you have, then you're much further behind and probably need to shoot for some type of mid or back-office role first. As mentioned, personal connections will also help a lot. Just keep an open mind on what type of position you will start at.

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Jul 9, 2017

Yes, I have graduated. I worked for the family business which was a construction company during my summers. I had some health problems that required weekly visits so I needed to be able to take time off. Unfortunate to be honest. I have done some networking, but stopped to focus on CFA, so I am hoping to get started again.

Aug 3, 2017

Out of interest, how difficult would it be for someone who has had finance experience, though not directly in AM, to land a full-time AM role? My experiences to date (totalling around 12 months) have been in IBD at (albeit well known) middle market firms. Am I right in thinking that I'd be at a disadvantage to guys who've had more markets-related experience? Or would they still look at my existing experience favourably? Thanks!

Jul 11, 2017

started in ER while in undergrad and then moved to HF - while still in undergrad. It is half luck and half dedication. No one in undergrad has skills so you have to be lucky enough to apply to the right place and then be dedicated enough to learn quickly.

Jul 11, 2017

ER associate here
went to non target (STEM degree), got first job in middle office at a BB, applied for other roles the whole time and networked like crazy, got a few interviews, eventually interviewed for my current ER role at a smaller firm but where my degree was relevant to the sector I cover
I'd suggest you keep an eye out for ER associate roles covering financial institutions or any related sectors and apply at mid market or boutique shops

    • 1
Jul 11, 2017

I am currently in the same position and trying to get into AM and ER roles. Is a good track record required in your personal portfolio to demonstrate your investing ability?

Jul 11, 2017

no, but you definitely need to be able to demonstrate your interest in stocks/the sector you'd be covering
most important thing is that your analyst likes you, since you'll be spending a lot of time with each other

Best Response
Jul 11, 2017

I came from an absolute garbage school (70% acceptance rate, one investment class, went for a sport) so I really had no chance of going direct out of undergrad. So my strategy was to take jobs that each got me one step closer.

My path:
Started at an insurance company where I got my 7, 66 (all commission, joke job for someone out of college but sponsored me for the licenses), then went into a client facing role at a one of the larger brokerages and passed CFA level 1 while I was there. From there I went to my current company researching funds for the Asset Management arm of an insurance company. After a year of that I jumped onto the equity team and now I cover a sector and we run a full active value fund internally.

As my manager in that first job used to say, "just another spoke on the wheel" (when talking about selling different things to people) but I took that idea and applied it to creating a background for myself. By getting the 7/66 and passing level 1 it showed that I was committed to breaking in and had a real interest. By jumping to the big brokerage, even though it wasn't direct experience, it was still a solid brand name on the resume and public equity market exposure. Then jumping to fund research I added that research piece to my puzzle even though I still wasn't researching companies like I wanted to be, it was just another spoke on the wheel. I made sure that I expressed up front what I wanted to be doing long term and when the position opened up I was in there. It was really good timing/luck that I joined when I did and that the guy who covered my sector before me left when he did, but I put my self in the position to be able to capitalize on that opportunity, it didn't just fall into my lap.

If you come from the kind of school I came from its absolutely an uphill battle but its doable if you stay committed and keep adding to your wheel. Every time I jumped to a new position I never stopped applying to things and I was putting applications in every night besides the period of time that I studied for level 1. Its a numbers game, you just gotta keep grinding out applications, making contacts on linkedin, and keep your eyes open. The way it worked with my company was that they had posted the job and I applied same day because literally there wasn't anything getting posted that I wasn't seeing right away because I was constantly checking for new posts on linkedin, the job boards, specific company portals that I was interested in. I applied on a Monday, phone screen Tuesday, in person Wed, offer on Thurs and then two weeks later I was working there. I got in there first before they had a chance to interview anyone else and it was just a good fit and I said all the right things, but again, I wouldn't have been in that position to jump on it had I not been so active in my pursuit. You just have to be opportunistic like that and if you have your eyes open you'll find something. I went on a bunch of interviews and had tons of phone screens that went no where but every time I added a spoke I would get more of them and I would get further in the process. Its really demoralizing to get rejected so many times but you gotta keep going, when I was in that first sales job they would say go out and get your "no's" for the day, the more "no's" you get the closer you are to a yes. Also the more interviews and phone screens you have and go on, the better you get at them, so I would really just recommend to grind it out. It's a straight up numbers game for guys from no name schools. I would also say that if you come from a background like I did and want to try my approach, you should target accounting positions. Accounting is directly applicable and every time I went on an interview for a research position they would ask me about an accounting internship I had while in school as much, if not more than whatever my current position at the time was. It also seemed to me that it was easier to get interviews for those types of positions.

Now I'm doing my dream job, love the company, and I'm actually paid surprisingly well. I'll finish up the CFA and take the GMAT to see if I can jump to a bigger fund doing the same thing for more money. I honestly might not leave though because I've been told they'll keep moving me along pay wise and it should compound nicely over time. There's also very low turnover here and performance has been good over the longer term.

That's my story anyways and my advice. Feel free to ask me anything, good luck!

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Jul 11, 2017

This is really inspiring man, congrats.

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Jul 11, 2017

Thanks man, I literally had 0 advantage over other people for the jobs that I was applying to so if I can do it, anyone can.

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Jul 11, 2017

Congrats thats amazing. Inspiring for sure.

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Jul 25, 2017

SB to you. Really inspiring and relatable story.

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Jul 25, 2017

If you want it you just have to go out and get it

Jul 11, 2017

Im in the same boat, currently studying for level 1 in December then hoping to jump into some type of junior position. November marks a year at my current company (first year out of undergrad). Hoping that along with my financial advising internship it will be enough to land somewhere in finance.

If you read enough of forums on WSO you'll eventually convince yourself you have no shot. This thread gave me a little confidence which was much needed after finishing the income tax portion of FRA... so thanks lol.

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Aug 5, 2017

I feel like I'm watching myself in the 3rd person sometimes on here. I literally just started income tax in FRA, coming from a non-target with minimal experience. I'll be seeing ya in December mate. Cheers.

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Jul 11, 2017

It's possible but extremely hard- unless you went to a target your best bet is banking on alums from linkedin/cold emailing banks to hope that someone will give you a shot at an inform interview and recommend you. The only problem is that most full time offers for those positions are given out fall/late fall or in spring so you might be early/way late depending on the bank/AM.

if you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful

Jul 12, 2017
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Aug 5, 2017
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