Firstly, I would like to thank all the people who take the time to dole out good advice on this forum. I posted on this forum couple of years ago and got some very good advice. A little bit about myself - I’m almost 75% done with a part-time MBA in finance from a top-20 university (current GPA - 3.8). My goal is to enter the equity research field by getting an internship and then a full-time job next year. I have taken all the relevant courses such as Financial Statement Analysis, Equity Research, Fixed Income Research, Portfolio Management, Futures/Option/Derivative Analysis, Financial Modeling and Corporate Finance. In addition to my ongoing studies in the MBA program, I’m enrolled for the CFA Level 1 in June. I’m primarily a Computer Engineer/Scientist looking to leverage my experience in the software industry in investment research into software companies. Currently, I own my consulting company (an S-corp) in the software field which brings in approximately $150K to $200K every year from a couple of clients. I have also previously worked for a software startup, an established fortune 100 software product company, a supply chain software product company (competitor of SAP and Oracle), a software research and development company (military research) and of course my own consulting company. Btw, I’m 30 years old and will be done with my part-time MBA next year. With this being my background in finance and software - 1.) Would investment banks be interested in my background. Since I don’t have a previous finance background, will this work against me? 2.) What are the salaries in equity research? Can a first year MBA associate make approximately $100K a year. 3.) I’m primarily looking to leverage my experience in the software industry (as a customer as well as someone with an MBA in finance/CFA level 1) to make the jump into the investment research industry. Has anyone encountered a research analyst with this kind of background. I mostly hear of equity research analysts with primarily a finance background. Thanks, Ezekeil
wow u’ve accomplished a lot for a 30 year old. i think you have a very interesting background and ibanks would definitely be interested in you. An MBA associate makes > $100k a year. Have you applied to any sumer internships yet?
Ezekiel, wouldn’t you know alot of the answers to those questions if you are who you say you are? I’m actually one to try to give people the benefit of the doubt for the most part, but c’mon dude…you get an internship at B-school through networking, campus recruiting, and talking to your career placement office. However, I’ll try to answer, assuming you are who you say are…a superstar…(sorry, couldn’t resist, that shit is catchy)… 1) No, they wouldn’t. They like smart people who come from good MBA programs, but they could care less that you’re basically a senior-level Geek Squad member. They have their own massive IT departments.* *This answer changes if you can code at all or have any expertise/experience in developing models…the most common language is C++, although that’s falling out of favor by the day… 2) Salaries in ER, like everything else in life, depend. Anywhere from $250K all-in (first year with an MBA from a good school) to $1,000,000,000,000/yr. 3) I don’t meet many IT guys turned Equity Researchers where I work. The most common transition for a former IT guy (from my experience) is to leverage their code-writing prowess to work as a junior quant tweaking models for traders and senior quants - they’re called “code monkeys”. Hours suck and life sucks, but there’s always the hope that you’ll get on the desk one day. Hope you derived some utility from this post.
Skillionaire, I appreciate the response. I don’t think I’m a superstar - I just like to try new things and do a good job of whatever I take on. I know several people who have achieved more than me in their very successful lives. And yes, I can code in Java, C++ and SAS… But I’m not all that interested in quant roles. I realize that these roles have better salaries but my interest is in fundamental equity research. As long as I can make $100K+, I will be happy. Hence, I’m not in the field just for money. I like the idea of fundamental research and have great respect for Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffet. Therefore, my interest is primarily in fundamental research and in understanding the whole equity research space especially for software companies from the inside out.
ezekeil Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Skillionaire, > > I appreciate the response. > > I don’t think I’m a superstar - I just like to try > new things and do a good job of whatever I take > on. I know several people who have achieved more > than me in their very successful lives. > > And yes, I can code in Java, C++ and SAS… But > I’m not all that interested in quant roles. I > realize that these roles have better salaries but > my interest is in fundamental equity research. As > long as I can make $100K+, I will be happy. > > Hence, I’m not in the field just for money. I like > the idea of fundamental research and have great > respect for Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffet. > Therefore, my interest is primarily in fundamental > research and in understanding the whole equity > research space especially for software companies > from the inside out. ^ I really like that last paragraph. You idolize Warren Buffet, a god father of value investing. Yet you want to understand software companies’ fundamentals which are primarily driven by top line and earnings growth.
Buddha, I think software is becoming an increasingly mature industry where the value is mostly in the codebase, intellectual property, R&D efforts and the technical people who come up with new ideas for diversification and new product. For instance, the consolidation in the supply chain, business intelligence and enterprise software space is particularly reflective of how Oracle and SAP are buying smaller companies and integrating the different codebases and branding it all under one umbrella. I think top line growth in many of these companies will increasingly be driven by the acquisition of smaller players and how well these companies can integrate these developers/products/codebases within their own. So, it is my opinion that the value investing principles could potentially be applied to all these software companies now and in the future. billwest, I haven’t applied to any internships yet. I think I will be applying to a couple tomorrow. I think I’m late on this front.
Buffett invests in simple businesses. I don’t know how tech companies in general are simple. Technology changes too often. One minute you can be hot and the next you’re not. I thought Motorola was going to be king for a long time and Nokia would always try to dethrone them but I was wrong. I am not knocking you, just making an observation. I’m sure you can find an ideal job but it would take time.
wow mate, you have really achieved a lot at 30. I am also aspiring to start my financial career with ER (covering IT companies), presently working as a Programmer Analyst/ Business Analyst for a I-bank on Wall Street. I am currently preparing for my CFA-L2-June-08 Can I shoot you an email? or could you drop me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
With your tech background, I think you should try to get into a quant-oriented fund. Something like axa rosenberg. btw, I was recently in a similar position: top 20 mba looking for a summer internship in investment research. was offered equity research positions at tiny hedge funds and a fixed income (high yield) position at a pretty good mutual fund, which I think I’ll take. Unless this pipe hedge fund comes through. But it’s tough. It’s really all about setting up informational interviews with alumni and trying to network as best you can. a lot of good funds don’t have internship programs.
Willchan, I beleive you might be misguided when you say Buffett only invests in “simple businesses”. I think it is more accurate to say that he invests in businesses that he fundementally understands. With Ezekiel’s background, under Buffetts philosphy it would make sense for him to seek invesment oppurtunities in the software industry as he appearently has a fundemental understanding for what drives value and growth and that particular market segment I am not in ER but when snooping around for jobs in that area I have noticed job postings often seek individuals who have worked in the industry they are covering. In this respect I think EZ could leverage his prior experience. To what extent… I have no clue GenY