Moving out of sell-side research

First of all, I feel immensely lucky I snuck myself into equity research without graduating from a non-target school (I did work in auditing for two years and have a CPA, working on CFA lvl 3 now). I started a month ago at MM brokerage firm doing transportation research. The sector is very interesting for me because it is not a hot sector and I figure that if I am good at picking good stocks in a capital intensive industry,

However one month into the job, I feel that I am just an excel/powerpoint monkey. There are so much to the job on a day to day basis that are either client
based or compliance-based. For example, every time the analysts go on trips I
had to update the marketing book. Also, every time the analysts speak with a buy-side guy or media or go on a trip it has to be filed to compliance. Basically, what I want from the job is the research/modeling aspect to it, but the BS part of job, which can take up hours at a time, doesn't seem to go away b/c experienced associate analysts are doing them too. I feel that I can probably learn more about
stocks if I am just paid to read 10-k's all day and write a
report on the company once a week.

For now, since I just started a month ago, I am holding out the hope that the goodies will come later. At the same time, I want to educate myself about the exit opportunities so I can adequately plan for them. My goal is to learn every stock we cover (45 so far) by heart within two years, make my own picks, and use them as stock pitches when a buy-side shop is interested in my service. I don't mind the hours, but I want to use my time meaningfully.

I am wondering if I have the right mentality.

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Comments (4)

Sep 18, 2012 - 8:54am

You don't have the right mentality. This is a good job out of college. Just learn as much as you can. They're paying you to accomplish certain tasks. You can do what you need to in order to learn as much as possible....usually, that is not spoon-fed to you.

Everybody starting out has to do a bunch of shit work. At least you are in an environment where knowing more is valuable. Try to develop some independent insights and share then with the senior analyst. Start with small things and see how receptive the analyst is to your insights. You might want to give that some time though until you understand things better. Often, insights are best expressed as questions when you are young.

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