Breaking into portfolio management.

Hi everyone!

I will be giving my CFA L1 attempt this December’12. For past 1 and half year i have been working in one of the big 4 accounting firms as an associate in assurance/audit. I have a graduation degree in accounting and also pursuing my CPA, now i am interested in a carrear change and breaking into finance industry. My work involves preparation of analytical review i.e. analysing financial statements of companies but that’s just a minor part of it and lately i am developing an interest in doing analytical stuff so now, my question is with this background is it possible for me to enter as a sell side analyst in a company or firm. I am even prepared for an internship for few months (if required).

I am planning to get few years of experience as a sell side analyst and with the help of networking, transferring into buy side and subsequently becoming portfolio manager.

Please guide me in this context.

With less then two years of experience you’re probably not going to get a sell side analyst position unless your a star and can really sell yourself. The reality is that you and every other level 1 candidate and recent finance graduate wants these positions. Not to mention experienced professionals who you will also be competing against. You should focus on trying to get an internship to get some useful experience and meet some people in the industry.

I just recently broke into the buyside so I know where you coming from. It took me over five years to get in the door. I did not have the opportunity to do internships when I was doing my undergrad and do not have an MBA from a top school. I had to put in my time working as an Investment Analyst for an Insurance company. Not my ideal job but I did gain some valuable experience and met some good contacts. During that time I completed my MBA and the CFA program which ultimately led to me being refered over to a hedge fund where I was hired as a fixed income analyst.

Put in your time and work hard and good things will happen but don’t expect to just walk in the door get an Analyst position just becasue you can read financial statements.

Buyside investment management is very very tough to break into, while I have seen plenty of idiots get into accounting audit. That’s the nature of hiring right now.

Yeah i agree to you, even i feel i dont stand a chance against those coming from a finance background and having a MBA degree with them. So i must probably look for an internship, is it possible for me get an internship with this backgroud i mean what are their requirements for it and how should i move about getting an internship??

I will really appreciate if you can provide me a helpful advice.

SS Research will usually target a industry, do you have a sector you like? Try to learn all you can about that industry, and pitch your accounting background and proven interest, and if an opportunity arises, you may have a slim chance

Most of my clients are from Infrastructure/Real estate industry and i have detailed knowledge of their business model and accounting methdology as during my work i am in constant touch with their CFO and other personnels in accounting and finance department so i am quite aware about their future prospects and operations.

I hope it can help me during my internship interviews.