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Terrible education record - career in Finance possible? Need advice and opinions.

deano2727 wrote:

Getting to know people won’t be a problem. I have great social/people skills and I am easily likeable.

Become an advisor. There are always shops that will hire you. If you’re good with people and want to invest, advising is probably your best bet.

infinitybenzo wrote:

nothing wrong with fixed income. In reality, fixed income is where the most money is made at the hedge fund level. you got plain corp fixed income then you have cmbs, mbs, whole loan, sovereign bond then naturally comes the swaps trading all in one shop. 

Clearly, that’s why I said “investment grade” fixed income, but maybe I should have specified that I’m talking about pretty vanilla stuff. I just don’t think of picking agencies, treasuries and IG corporates (PG, KO, etc.) for fund with a tracking error focus of 1.5% as particularly glamorous. But, that’s why I said “to each their own.” I guess my point is ”front office” can mean very different things and it probably doesn’t make sense to focus solely on that.

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

- AF hivemind

brain_wash_your_face wrote:

infinitybenzo wrote:

nothing wrong with fixed income. In reality, fixed income is where the most money is made at the hedge fund level. you got plain corp fixed income then you have cmbs, mbs, whole loan, sovereign bond then naturally comes the swaps trading all in one shop. 

Clearly, that’s why I said “investment grade” fixed income, but maybe I should have specified that I’m talking about pretty vanilla stuff. I just don’t think of picking agencies, treasuries and IG corporates (PG, KO, etc.) for fund with a tracking error focus of 1.5% as particularly glamorous. But, that’s why I said “to each their own.” I guess my point is ”front office” can mean very different things and it probably doesn’t make sense to focus solely on that.

All the things he said can take place in IG fixed income.  If you’re at Doubleline or PIMCO you’re probably doing some pretty advanced stuff.  Mentioning tracking error is kind of a false dichotomy.  Like saying managing an equity portfolio for Vanguard makes equity investing vanilla.  I just think your characterization of IG investing is anchored in passive and insurance portfolios which is not representative of the competitive total return industry where you have to worry about a lot of things that equity guys don’t. Just seems like you’re trying hard to make a point that’s not really grounded in reality.  For every grey hair picking KO in a portfolio you have an equity guy managing a sleepy pension equity portfolio with no idea what they’re doing.

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

Right, I don’t consider Vanguard glamorous whatsoever. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good job. And I understand PIMCO total return is tons of derivatives (all derivatives?) and many people that work there are smarter than me. But the OP is not working at a top tier shop any time soon. In my clarification I said “pretty vanilla stuff,” which what I was referencing in the original one sentence comment. From my perspective there is so much more out there, but aspirational analysts focus on what mutual fund investing was like twenty years ago because they’re unaware of what’s available….but “to each their own.” 

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

- AF hivemind

ohai wrote:

hpracing007 wrote:

I switched into a finance path when I was about your age using the CFA with a poor education record, failed a class or 2 myself. I only had a call back after passing level 2 from a very, very small firm for below market pay, and had to relocate at my expense. These days, I’m doing better. I figured, I have to probably work 40 more years or so, no harm in trying, just $1k or so and a couple months to feel out level 1.

I don’t know, brah. I can hardly imagine anyone making this kind of switch. Clearly you have some kind of special juice or something. Still not sure how you did it. 

me neither, maybe I’ll flame out soon and fall back in the shallows or end up launching my own hedge fund and become a BSD or both, no one knows, tune in to find out!

We’re gonna win so much, you may even get tired of winning. And you’ll say, 'Please, please. It’s too much winning. We can’t take it anymore. Mr. President, it’s too much.' And I’ll say, 'No, it isn’t!' We have to keep winning!

Sweep the Leg wrote:

deano2727 wrote:

Getting to know people won’t be a problem. I have great social/people skills and I am easily likeable.

Become an advisor. There are always shops that will hire you. If you’re good with people and want to invest, advising is probably your best bet.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Any suggestions on how achievable this route is given my circumstances? What is the best way to go about achieving this? 

Most insurance based advisor groups will hire you commission only. They will pay for or subsidize your securities licensing.  I believe bank based shops might be the next easiest. You can try places like Morgan Stanley or Merrill Lynch but the hurdle is higher since they pay part salary to begin and you need to prove you have the market before you get hired.  Their investment minimums and sales qouats are painful for beginners. Thier (Merrill) recruitment process is very enlightening though. You should try it just to learn and see what they do.

You can go and get your insurance licenses (Life, Annuities,  and Health) and your 65 before you apply. That will improve your chances of getting hired everywhere. With a 65 you can apply to RIAs and small asset management companies. Apply everywhere though. Don’t pass on an opportunity because your self esteem is low.  Many companies will train you.  Bad grades aren’t always relevant. Its about what you can do now.  Advisor jobs are always about your ability to produce (sell). Sales sucks but its good training and you learn how all the investment products help real people.  Most of the time you pick who you market to. So of you want to sell to corporate clients, you can.   Most of my clients come to me now for financial plans and I close 90%.  That takes time to get like that.  In the beginning you need to be prepared to work very hard 6 days a week prospecting. 

The pay can  be good. I know advisors who barely graduated college and are making around $300k. $40k - 50k is More likely.

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)

deano2727 wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

deano2727 wrote:

Getting to know people won’t be a problem. I have great social/people skills and I am easily likeable.

Become an advisor. There are always shops that will hire you. If you’re good with people and want to invest, advising is probably your best bet.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Any suggestions on how achievable this route is given my circumstances? What is the best way to go about achieving this? 

I would suggest that if you want to become and Advisor that you start out at an RIA firm as an Associate, get to learn all aspects of the business from a senior advisor and then go from there (spend at least 2-3 years in this role). You would likely get a base salary, which may not be too much, but certainly less risky than going balls deep out on your own straight out of the gate. 

Mike79 wrote:

deano2727 wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

deano2727 wrote:

Getting to know people won’t be a problem. I have great social/people skills and I am easily likeable.

Become an advisor. There are always shops that will hire you. If you’re good with people and want to invest, advising is probably your best bet.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Any suggestions on how achievable this route is given my circumstances? What is the best way to go about achieving this? 

I would suggest that if you want to become and Advisor that you start out at an RIA firm as an Associate, get to learn all aspects of the business from a senior advisor and then go from there (spend at least 2-3 years in this role). You would likely get a base salary, which may not be too much, but certainly less risky than going balls deep out on your own straight out of the gate. 

No offense to OP, but I doubt he’s getting hired at even a semi-decent RIA. Those are pretty competitive jobs. 

To OP, I’d stay away from the wires (Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, UBS, Wells Fargo {ok, Wells might be okay}) because they generally require you meet certain AUM thresholds in your first year, or maybe it’s your third year…it’s been a while since I worked with the wires. Anyway, I’d go with an independent shop like LPL, Raymond James, or even Ameriprise. They get **** on a lot here but they’ll hire you and there are good advisors there. Look into Cetera, Cambridge, and Northwestern Mutual as well (more insurance based but they do a fair amount of investments too).

Being a bank rep is okay because you generally don’t have to prospect as much, but those jobs are harder to get than the ones I mentioned above.

I would suggest that he just finish his degree in CS and go from there. If I could do it all over again, I would actually get a degree in CS - specialize in software engineering and the sky is the limit. Tech is the future; finance isn’t what it used to be (IMO). In finance, there is so much competition, downward pressure on fees, increased compliance (cost and time); the whole industry is in decline.  

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Mike79 wrote:

deano2727 wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

deano2727 wrote:

Getting to know people won’t be a problem. I have great social/people skills and I am easily likeable.

Become an advisor. There are always shops that will hire you. If you’re good with people and want to invest, advising is probably your best bet.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Any suggestions on how achievable this route is given my circumstances? What is the best way to go about achieving this? 

I would suggest that if you want to become and Advisor that you start out at an RIA firm as an Associate, get to learn all aspects of the business from a senior advisor and then go from there (spend at least 2-3 years in this role). You would likely get a base salary, which may not be too much, but certainly less risky than going balls deep out on your own straight out of the gate. 

No offense to OP, but I doubt he’s getting hired at even a semi-decent RIA. Those are pretty competitive jobs. 

To OP, I’d stay away from the wires (Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, UBS, Wells Fargo {ok, Wells might be okay}) because they generally require you meet certain AUM thresholds in your first year, or maybe it’s your third year…it’s been a while since I worked with the wires. Anyway, I’d go with an independent shop like LPL, Raymond James, or even Ameriprise. They get **** on a lot here but they’ll hire you and there are good advisors there. Look into Cetera, Cambridge, and Northwestern Mutual as well (more insurance based but they do a fair amount of investments too).

Being a bank rep is okay because you generally don’t have to prospect as much, but those jobs are harder to get than the ones I mentioned above.

Ya unless OP is really well connected with rich friends, COI etc, then trying to start in this business from the ground up would be a very difficult hill to climb. In Canada, @ RBC (our top bank) they hire about 100 new advisors each year. After about 3 years, maybe 20 are still in the business as advisors. 

^It’s essentially the same here. If you work at an independent firm, you’re basically on an island so you have to do it yourself. But, those that make it to the 3 year mark tend to become pretty successful. It can be a lean three years though.

Thanks for all the help guys. I’ve decided against going this route. 

I’d be much better focusing my attentions on Programming at this stage. After posing a similar question in regards to my grades and a future coding, I’ve received much more positive replies. Get my coding up to scratch, build a good portfolio, get an internship under my belt, interview well and jobs will come no problem. Not one “No chance”, kind of reply.  More room for progression too. 

Thanks, guys. The rude awakening was exactly what I needed. Better to find out now, than a year down the line.

deano2727 wrote:

Thanks for all the help guys. I’ve decided against going this route. 

I’d be much better focusing my attentions on Programming at this stage. After posing a similar question in regards to my grades and a future coding, I’ve received much more positive replies. Get my coding up to scratch, build a good portfolio, get an internship under my belt, interview well and jobs will come no problem. Not one “No chance”, kind of reply.  More room for progression too. 

Thanks, guys. The rude awakening was exactly what I needed. Better to find out now, than a year down the line.

I 100% think that is the best choice.  Programming is in high demand and you already have some groundwork laid.

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

Yeah I’m learning programming because this finance thing seems like it won’t be a good future unless I can also command the machines. CS seems to be more based on skillset and not pedigree 

rawraw wrote:

Yeah I’m learning programming because this finance thing seems like it won’t be a good future unless I can also command the machines. CS seems to be more based on skillset and not pedigree 

yeah i agree with that. you can make really good money with online do it yourself cs programming and getting a certificate. seen plenty of people who end up working for tech or other big firms in their big data or programming dept making solid money (base salary higher than entry IB comp pack).

however, getting a coding job at hedge funds is a diff story. you need the skillset and pedigree as well. and they love grad degrees from fancy schools. but money is obviously much better. and very long hours that almost but not quite rival IB.

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

Hi OP, I don’t have much experience in Finance as I am just as young as you (a few years older), so i see things in a different perspective compare to the ppl that has already been at the top of the industry. I mean i dont disagree with what they said, but i think they’re looking at things from the top of the pyramid. The competition is nuts up there, so they’ll scrutinize ppl based on every possible aspects, so you’ll most likely to get washed off by not having solid academic record. But i wouldn’t say getting there is impossible, (50 years ago ppl think going onto the moon is impossible). Its really up to how much risk you’re willing to take and how determined you’re.

With that being said, i can relate to your story, cuz i have a very similar one of my own. I was like you, not doing good in school, managed to just pass every course with a mediocre grade, no internship, no Co op, basically no experience at all). And probably far tougher, (International student from a different country, wife was pregnant at my last year of University). I didn’t have a vision when i was in Uni, I wasn’t  even sure what I wanted for a career. But that vision came later to me after i graduated, however i was just like you struggling to find a place that will hire me and hopefully help with my immigration cause. I started my career as an insurance advisor working on full commission(cuz that’s all i can get), and my boss was ripping me off at the same time, so the first year was pretty tough, i made just enough to meet my end needs. And later on i used that one year of exp to get a job in the bank and switched around couple other places until my current role( an analytical role). There was a lot of tough time in between and ups and downs in life. I realized what i lack after graduation, and took action to make up for it, CFA for example, I know i dont have a strong academic background, and with my Undergrad GPA, i probably wont be accepted to a good business school for master either, nor do i had the money for it. So I studied CFA like there’s no tmr, cuz i know if i want to keep my vision or my dream alive, this is the only way.  

To sum it up, what i am trying to tell you and tell myself is, it’s ok to start late. (Donald Trump didnt become a president until he’s 70 whereas most of other president started when they were 50s.) But you have to be prepared to try extra harder to make up for the time you missed. At the end of the day you might still be judged for your past once you’ve reached the top of the pyramid. But anything before that, you should be just fine to get by with hard working. Overall finance is highly competitive, but with high competition also comes with more opportunities. Hope this helps.

Cheers