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Next Step In My Career

Hello everyone, this is my first time posting. I would like some input as I’m looking of taking CFA level I in June 2018. CFA interests me because I have an interest in equites, I have a numbers mind, and I’d like to advanced my career in finance.

I have a B.S. degree in math and physics and a Master’s in biomedical engineering. I worked in medical research and have two published pieces of work that I did as a PhD candidate. I withdrew from my PhD program because of lack of funding from my principal investigator. 

I’m a native New Yorker, and have always had a passion for business, reading company news, and the stock market. I bought my first stock through my mother when I was in the 7th grade ‘LU’. After withdrawing from my PhD program I decided that I wanted to work in finance. At the time the job market was not so good so I took one of the first jobs I applied to. I got that job, and been here for the past 5 years. I’m a stock broker and it’s been a great experience but I’d like to advance my career. 

Skills I’ve learned on the job for the past 5 years. Cold calling, relationship building, raising assets from clients, trading stock/options, researching stocks, and being aware of current events. Most of my business is done over the phone but local clients I meet. I’m talented at what I do. I’m very good at the sales, I leverage my medical research background, and I’m very good at client acquisition and raising assets.

So why do I want a change? I’m currently frustrated because I feel like I’m not growing as a person. I’m also not happy with the culture that surrounds typical BD’s and stockbrokers. I like being around like minded people - educated, intelligent. 

What I do like about my job? The compensation, raising money from my clients, client acquisition, fast pace environment, the hustle, entrepreneurial, the dream of making it big. I deal with just stock and I like that. 

So right now I’m at a crossroads of where I take my career next. It has been suggested that I take a cfp and focus on comprehensive planning for my clients. Seems like a very logical career advancement but the thought of planning seems a bit boring. I think I’m looking something to leverage more of my geeky type of mind. I also like more of a fast pace, aggressive type of hustle. I also like reading about companies and I’m passionate about the market. Overall I’m happy with my work but just looking to kick it up a notch and have some sophistication.

Any advice would be much appreciated. 


Are you suggesting that I look at equity research for the Fintech industry?

now a defunt ( I think) hedge fund that focused on pharma and medical stocks called Visium had bunch of guys like yourself….Masters in biomed degrees or phds in that area or even MDs. Of course, they don’t do modeling or any BBG terminal BS….they are mainly strategists and senior managers guiding and advising where the firm should invest on a macro view.

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

^Yeah, but the Visium guys killed themselves or went to prison and the FDA informant was recently convicted as well, if memory serves. Tough break. Founder Jake Gottlieb is supposedly going to attempt a comeback…

you basically need to come from a target school pedigree/work at prestigious firm in the US/have a really good connection.

- AF hivemind

5 years as a stockbroker is going to weigh heavier on the background than some MS you got years ago. 

“Visit the Water Cooler forum on Analyst Forum. It is the best forum.”
- Everyone

brain_wash_your_face wrote:

^Yeah, but the Visium guys killed themselves or went to prison and the FDA informant was recently convicted as well, if memory serves. Tough break. Founder Jake Gottlieb is supposedly going to attempt a comeback…

yes, the guy will comeback…wall street is nothing without resilience. 

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

I know stockbroker has a bad stigma associated with it but I can honestly say that the experience I gained as a stockbroker is the best education that I have had. The skills, relationships, and even what I learned about myself are very valuable. I hear constantly from my clients, that I’m nice person to work with. 

I recently met up with some old grad school mates after not seeing them last working in the labs. I felt like I was talking to the same people from years ago compared to me, where I matured to a completely different person. Not to sound pompous, but I’m running circles around those guys. The traditional career path is nice but I went out of my own, rogue. I’m experienced, battle tested, and I know my worth. 

I didn’t say it was bad or good. I meant that people will think you’re a stockbroker now, not some biology grad student. A lot of people in my work have engineering or physics undergraduate or MS degrees. However, we’re all bankers - we’re not going to get hired by Google at this point to write code. 

“Visit the Water Cooler forum on Analyst Forum. It is the best forum.”
- Everyone

Well I officially became a CFA Level I candidate today by registering for the June 2019 exam. Update my CV to show this as well.

ChFC and CFP are what you make of them.  The type of clients you bring on determine the intensity of your work. It also depends on the firm you work for.  You should spend a week with a busy and successful planner to see what they do. You will work with more than equities as a planner though. You work with insurance including property and casualty, annuities, life insurance,  long term care and disability. You work on risk management for Businessesand families. I have a client looking to start an enterprise risk management program in thier company. I have another who ask about a security system for her house.  You’ll deal with real estate and advise on transactions.  You’ll deal with debt management, funding education. You assist attorneys with funding and managing trusts. You’ll help clients with career planning, vacation planning, healthcare planning.  Yes you’ll help clients with their investments but some may be farmers as business owners and need help managing risk through business planning. You’ll assist start-up businesses and thier owners preparing for fundraising, building credit, or diversifying thier service or product offerings. You’ll help choose nursery schools, credit cards, cars. You’ll be a counselor helping clients manage losses, death in the family, layoffs, and divorce. You’ll deal with special needs children, problem kids, and derelict family members. Marriage, blended families, and so on…

The business isn’t as fast paced as what you’re accustomed to but it can be very challenging. You have to be prepared to be out of your comfort zone often and you need to be prepared to learn new skills just to serve your clients. You can bill by the hour or by the case and service level. You get investment management fees, insurance commissions, and trails as well. 

Financial Planner
BBA (Finance & International Business) 1998,
MBA (With a Global Perspecytive) 2011,
ChFC® 2018, CLU® 2019
Owns an Independent RIA/Insurance Agency
Series 65, Life, Annuities, Health (Expired 6,63)