For the past 6 years after finishing my undergraduate, I have been working in the manufacturing company my father founded. At first I didn’t know what I wanted to do (got a degree in pure/applied mathematics), so I didn’t think too much when he asked me to help him. However, it didn’t take me long to realize that stuff about steel, machine, alloy is not my cup of tea. I started doing MBA to open up my chances and found finance to my liking. After finishing MBA, I landed a job as an equity analyst in a not-so-bad brokerage. But just before I started, my father fell sick. At that point I couldn’t abandon him and the company for my own selfish goal. So I continued on and started preparing for CFA. Fast forward one and a half years later. My father passed away shortly before my level 3 exam. Hell, I didn’t think I would make it at the exam, but I did. My uncle came in to take the helm. The timing seemed right, so I started applying again. This time I got an offer for an energy analyst at a leading brokerage. But the same thing happened again. The family needed me and it dawned that I’ll never be able to leave. This was Hotel California. Basically I am stuck for life. And I’m wondering if anyone here has been in a similar situation. How do you deal with it? Just accept and wake up every day to do what you don’t like? FYI I am 28, so I will probably be around for another 30-40 years.
Sometimes the family biz is the best option. Do you really want to deal with all the BS in the corporate world? I just left my job after 2.5 years to go back to school and my previous company left a sour taste in my mouth. BTW, is this your immediate family? If not, just sell the company and start something you like.
There was a guy I knew named Harry Bailey. He talked about traveling the world. I don’t think he ever left his job at the Old Bailey Savings and Loan. Just kidding. But as Homie said finance is not all fun and games. I would love to be able to work in a family business. Grass is greener I suppose. But if you are miserable you have to look out for yourself. If no one is able to continue with the business it should be sold.
I read a post similar to yours on these boards, maybe a year ago or so, from someone whose father had founded a business manufacturing wine gum, candy or whatever. He hated it, broke up with his family (in another country) to earn a living in the US with the ultimate aim of becoming a CFA charterholder. Couldn’t you just hire someone interested in alloys to take up “your” role in the family firm? While you aim to sit on its bored… sorry… board of directors? If you become a skilled equity analyst and quant you might both have the qualifications for that director’s role and might like it too, while still keeping in touch with the company should you ever want to get more involved in the /distant/ future.
If you hate it, GET OUT!!! You have one chance to live your life. Do not waste it by doing something you hate, if you have any options. You’re family business is not worth your personal sufering.
Or you could just be one of those whiney 20somethings who has to burn through a few perfectly good careers. I was like that. I had the coolest job on the planet when I was 24 but the grass is always greener…
You guys don’t understand what this dude is saying. He’s not some lost kid looking looking for greener grass - he HATES the job. He only ended up there to honor his dying father and his family. It’s not even remotely related to what he wants to do. He’s gotta walk.
he doesn’t have a ‘job’. he owns the business. he is more fortunate than practically everybody on this board, depending on how much his business is worth, and his stake in it. if he enjoys equity analysis, why not cash out, set up a family fund, and manage it himself? or is he into the analysis thing, but not really confident about being a skilled alpha generator, which is why he may be hesitating. these are uncomfortable questions no doubt, but he needs to introspect and come to terms with the answers. thats where his breakthrough will come. for a trained CFA, at around $10million in your own funds, the opportunity cost of working a job becomes pretty hard to ignore.
Inert, I am in a similar situation. My great grandfather started a manufacturing business that has been around since 1916. It has grown nicely, but is now in a declining industry. Anywho, I went to work for my father after I finished my undergraduate degree. I really did not enjoy it, so I went back to school (MBA). I fell in love with finance, which I felt was a legitimate compromise: This way I will be able to handle any of the family assets. Long story short, I now work as an equity analyst in a small buyside shop, but I still feel the pressure to return to the family business. I probably will at some point, but hopefully I will be managing assets rather than dealing with the operations of the business. I can say that I understand the pressures, but you should probably do what you want to do. My family has always been understanding of my own ambitions, but nevertheless the pressure is always there. I don’t know what the right thing to do is: work for the family business and feel like you made the responsible decision, or enjoy doing what you want to do with the guilt of not working in the family business. Good luck, and let us know what your decision was.
I come from a small but stable family business in a somewhat declining industry, at least at $126 bbl it is, anyways, I think I would have lived a happy life staying around and grinding it and doing the work there, it was honest even if stressful. Still, too adventerous, now I hate my BO job and am trying to swing for the FO fences. It will work out eventually though…I hope…
rohufish Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > breakthrough will come. for a trained CFA, at > around $10million in your own funds, the > opportunity cost of working a job becomes pretty > hard to ignore. the “opportunity cost” of working a job? that’s a new one… CFA does way more as a credential for your earning power in the industry than it does for your ability to make money in the markets .
i meant oppy cost of investing your proprietary money $X mm. at some X, your job is a waste of your time, even if you’re a PM pulling in 500k a year for example. you could do much better researching and investing your own funds full time, and raising a fund to invest alongside your money.
Actually there is another fact about the company which I am reluctant to mention at first(out of embarassment, I suppose). As a result of the 1997 financial crisis, it became heavily indebted. D/E is aroud 7. My father was the guarantor of that debt. And even though he has passed away, legally the bank is still able to take away anything he owned before he died, i.e. our inheritance (substantial in our country’s standard) can be confiscated. I could leave my uncle to bring the company back to life on his own (and it’s possible, but it will probably take 7-10 years judging from its current performance). But I don’t think that is the right thing to do. Ties to one’s family is a really important thing in our culture. Another possibility is to do both things at the same time. For reason unbeknownst to me, the Head of Research seemed determined to have me on board. After telling him my situation, he suggested that I didn’t need to come in to the office every day, but could work from anywhere as long as I can produce report on time. Do you think the dual job is mangeable? My work at the company is manily supervisory and I could squeeze a few hours (during office hours) out of it, but I am not quite how much time does an analyst have to devote.
rohufish Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > i meant oppy cost of investing your proprietary > money $X mm. at some X, your job is a waste of > your time, even if you’re a PM pulling in 500k a > year for example. you could do much better > researching and investing your own funds full > time, and raising a fund to invest alongside your > money. there are two problems with your logic. 1) being a “trained CFA” as you call it in no way implies that you will be able to make money in the markets, in which case there is no foregone oppty cost. 2) even if you’re profitable, as a a PM manging X $B its way more lucrative and less risky to manage other people’s money… the whole hedge fund/ prop trading structure is essentially one big free call. there are plenty of PMs worth much more than $10mm (and they make well over 500k – that’s easily attainable even on the sell-side), and i don’t think any of them would say that their job is a waste of their time. i’m guessing you don’t work in finance in any capacity, or you’d see how this entire game is rigged entirely in our favor.
Inert, I am in a similar position. Although I am a full-time working professional, my dad is the founder of a small manufacturing company, and there is this “pressure” that you mention that possibly I should take the helm when he steps down or passes away or whatever. However, this is not necessarily the best thing to do. It depends on a lot of things that you have already mentioned, e.g. what is most profitable, what do you enjoy doing etc. My advice to you would be: - Change your perception from “having a job” to that of “you are the business owner”. - Remove yourself from the company operations if possible and put yourself on the board - If this is not immediately possible, put for example a 2 year plan in place and start drafting up succession plans - If it isnt already a limited or incorporated company, make it one - Bring in more stakeholders, e.g. other board members / investors, people who will support you etc, this doesnt necessarily have to cost anything, some people work for free because they enjoy it - Gradually train other people up to do your job, and/or hire new staff to manage the operations - In summary, just because this is a family business, it doesnt mean that your whole family has to physically work there. The ownership % share is what counts!
stylemog Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > > there are two problems with your logic. > 1) being a “trained CFA” as you call it in no way > implies that you will be able to make money in the > markets, in which case there is no foregone oppty > cost. > > 2) even if you’re profitable, as a a PM manging X > $B its way more lucrative and less risky to manage > other people’s money… the whole hedge fund/ prop > trading structure is essentially one big free > call. there are plenty of PMs worth much more than > $10mm (and they make well over 500k – that’s > easily attainable even on the sell-side), and i > don’t think any of them would say that their job > is a waste of their time. > > i’m guessing you don’t work in finance in any > capacity, or you’d see how this entire game is > rigged entirely in our favor. you have inserted assumptions and context into my simple logic that i never intended. if you just look at the basic logic, all i am saying is that at some $Xmm personal wealth figure, for someone who is trained (and not underconfident in their skills like you) in portfolio management but working in some other job, the opportunity cost of continuing to work in that job, and giving some diffident CFA like you money for nothing to manage your wealth, becomes too high to ignore. this gentleman is an owner of a small/midsize private business, for heaven’s sake, he is not simons or soros or lampert. he is speaking of being a research analyst at a small brokerage, not negotiating a 50% carry structure. give him advice that is relevant for him. and btw, i am very tempted to take a shovel and dig into your obvious lack of confidence (and skills i would wager) as a finance professional. the glee with which you proclaim how we are all useless schmucks earning money for nothing while fleecing other people out of their money is not cute in the least. heck, my LPs could be reading this, so i’d appreciate if you were a bit more discreet about letting our secrets out. see if you can at least pretend to have a chunk of your net worth tied up in your own fund, so others fall for your trick a bit more easily.
hm…being stuck in a hated job for your lifetime seems like a pretty long time…
CFA_Halifax Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I come from a small but stable family business in > a somewhat declining industry, at least at $126 > bbl it is, anyways, I think I would have lived a > happy life staying around and grinding it and > doing the work there, it was honest even if > stressful. Still, too adventerous, now I hate my > BO job and am trying to swing for the FO fences. > It will work out eventually though…I hope… thats cuz you live in the maritimes and probably blaze with ricky, julian and bubbles everyday. Living in a fairly relaxed environment is a value you don’t recognize until you’ve had the opposite. honestly, if halifax was in the tropics and had alot of fly persian/asian women id never leave, as long as I had a decent income.
I’d love to work for the family business (entertainment industry) but my dad and I agreed a long time ago that if we want to continue getting along as well as we do we should NEVER work together!!
SeanC Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > CFA_Halifax Wrote: > -------------------------------------------------- > ----- > > I come from a small but stable family business > in > > a somewhat declining industry, at least at $126 > > bbl it is, anyways, I think I would have lived > a > > happy life staying around and grinding it and > > doing the work there, it was honest even if > > stressful. Still, too adventerous, now I hate > my > > BO job and am trying to swing for the FO > fences. > > It will work out eventually though…I hope… > > thats cuz you live in the maritimes and probably > blaze with ricky, julian and bubbles everyday. > Living in a fairly relaxed environment is a value > you don’t recognize until you’ve had the > opposite. > > honestly, if halifax was in the tropics and had > alot of fly persian/asian women id never leave, as > long as I had a decent income. No question, maritimes/ nfld is the most relaxed place to live in North America