How to become a great investor?; Finance PhD vs. Finance MBASubscribe
My long term goal is to become a great investor - a great stock picker. I'm a recent graduate of a prestigious liberal arts school. I had about a 3.3 gpa, I majored in History, I did my senior thesis in Psychology, I played varsity football, and most of my serious work experience to date is in the context of k-12 schools as a tutor/counselor. There are two approaches that I'm considering to reaching my long term goal...
1) get a starting position at an investment bank or investment management firm (and i might need to get a more relevant graduate degree in order to do this?)...get my pre-mba work experience there...get my mba...and then (hopefully) get a fund manager-track position somewhere...or...#2) get a masters degree in finance...get a phd in finance...and then (hopefully) get a fund manager-track position somewhere.
My question here is, which route should I chose?
Beleive me or not, I don't care, but it's not money that's attracting me to investment management. It's the theories, the strategies, the competition, the almost game-like atmosphere of the profession (/lifestyle, lol). I want to learn absolutely everything there is to learn about investment strategies, I want to cultivate my own personal strategy, and then I want to get out there and compete against the best minds on the planet.
The generic answer to this question seems to be something along the lines of - "Don't get a PhD unless you want to become a professor." Well, eventually, I think that I'd like to be a professor. But after getting my degree, I'd like to work for a fund for at least a decade or so, build up a nice bank account to invest with, and then sort of live off of that. I don't really NEED to be THAT rich. I'd like to be reasonably wealthy - have a nice house in a nice location, send my kids to good schools, take vacations, etc - but that's about it.
It's the strategy behind investment management that really attracts me to the field, not the money, that's really just a nice little bonus. So I don't think I'd mind being a professor that researches those strategies, not at all. I'd also still be able to make about 100k a year, have summers off to travel, maybe do some consulting on the side, and, if I'm really lucky, get tenure and have the ultimate job security.
But the real key here, the bottom line, is that I WANT TO BECOME THE BEST INVESTOR I CAN BE. I don't necessarily want to be the guy that makes the most money. I want to be the guy that is the best at his job. I want to be the guy that really, really knows how to pick the winners. It seems like I'd sort of be wasting my time as a low-level pre-MBA employee at an investment bank or investment management firm. It seems like I'd just be doing busy work, kissing ass, making connections, and building up a resume - not learning about the science behind it all. But as a PhD student in the right program, under the right mentors, it seems like I'd really be able to master the science behind it all.
I'd really appreciate any thoughts any of you have after reading this!