Transitioning from financial advisory to ER

JulianRobertson's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,065

My story: I graduated May 2009 from a target with an economics major, and my initial goal was to get into equity research and ultimately use that experience to make the jump to a hedge fund or the Asset Management space. Unfortunately, the short story is I wasn't able to get a position so I eventually picked up a job as a financial advisor since 1) I wanted some kind of experience that was still in the financial industry, and 2) I needed to pay the bills. Longer story: didn't realize the value of networking back then, and I also was overconfident with my interview skills and wasn't able to close the deal on the interviews that I did get. Got the WSO interview guide since then and it has been very informative...really wish I had something like that sooner, but you live and you learn.

Obviously being a retail advisor isn't optimal, but I've tried to make sure that I'm making as much as I can of the opportunity. I work for a smaller regional independent firm, so I was able to pick up some of the (limited) research opportunities here over time. I do manager searches, and I also do some due diligence on equity positions and putting together new individual stock ideas, although that is more of a legacy business now for a variety of reasons. I'm also now on our committee that oversees our model portfolios, and I get to work with designing the macro allocations. We also have a weekly newsletter with market commentary that we put out for clients, and I've been ghostwriting some of those stories and helping with the research on them. I'm also now a Level III CFA Candidate.

I've been looking at associate positions, but part of me feels that I'm in awkward spot where I'm not really "entry level" any more with 2+ years of experience, but I also don't have the experience to go straight for an analyst role either. Have you seen guys make the jump from being financial advisors to research?

Any advice would be most appreciated.

Comments (4)

Sep 10, 2012

Have you thought about an MBA program? Get into a good enough program and you can go straight to the buyside.

Sep 11, 2012
bearing:

Have you thought about an MBA program? Get into a good enough program and you can go straight to the buyside.

Very much so actually. I got Manhattan GMAT books now, and my original plan was to take the GMAT in November/December and then finish Level III, but I think that might be pushing it time wise. I might wait until after the next CFA exam to get started on that, but yes, MBA has definitely crossed my mind.

Sep 11, 2012

PMed you

Sep 11, 2012
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