Advice Please

Hey guys, I’ve been reading these posts for quite a while now and I finally decided to join. I had a few questions and I figured this would be the best place to ask. I graduated this year (may) from a competitive university program in the boston area with a degree in Economics and am waiting for the results for the level I cfa exam. Right now my job is in operations and I want to get out of operations asap and perhaps work under an equity analyst/ pm as an associate and then work my way up. If you were in my position, how would you go about your job search etc. Any adivce? Does the CFA help a lot? Would passing level I help a lot? I know you guys have years of valuable experience so your imput would be greatly appreciated.

cosign. i need some advice for this too.

From what I have heard here, and from charterholders, passing Level I looks great, especially right out of school, but will not open up a ton of doors yet. The big hump is Level 2, which I’ve heard is more of a distinguisher than just L1. Regardless, if you want research, start researching companies on your own so you have “experience” you can discuss in interviews and samples to send with your resume. I’m like you, just graduated with L1 passed and taking L2 this June. I look at it as what can I do now to make myself more apealing after L2 in 6mos. Keep sending resumes, but don’t settle with waiting for results or L2 in June. You don’t have to work at GS, MER, MS, etc. to be able to come up with great research that you can use 6mos-a year or to down the road. Unless you have an undeserving “I went to Harvard so I must know how to pick companies” title, show people that you can pick companies/research. Functional knowledge is alot better than book knowledge down the line. Good luck.

Also, send me an email if you’d be interested in a place to post you individual research online. I have a site made and concept but am trying to gather “starting” content. Matt

Thanks a lot Matt, I really appreciate the advice. I am just awaiting the results for my L1 that come out at the end of Jan, in the mean time, im just trying to look for some entry level positions just so i can get closer to what I really want to do. Are there any websites you can recommend that simulate the market? I do stuff on and motley fool and also my own personal portfolio. I am trying to create a model portfolio which is what I use investopedia for. If there are any other websites you recommend, i’d love to hear about them.

Boston can be tough since it is predominantly buy-side which tends to prefer analyst with specific industry experience, or prior buy-side experience. Although, don’t be totally discouraged. It is a very small investment community and building a network of contacts can happen quickly (everyone seems to know everyone in Beantown). Review, Boston area firms frequently use the site for entry level positions. Once you pass Level I, join the local CFA Society Chapter and attend meetings (more networking)… persistence and an open attitude will get your foot in the door. Oh yeah and if your not a sports fan, at least know how the local favorites are doing (i.e. Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Celtics), where the rest of the world often begins conversations about the weather, Bostonians begin every conversation about last nights game! Pats 31 - Giants 10

what if you currently do back office for a big firm like Merrill and want to transition to research? *cough*