From past month or two I am brainstorming as to what career move I should take. I haven’t ended up with any solid goal yet.
My brief professional background:
CFA charterholder (Aug 2014). 5 years of work experience in Transaction advisory (feasibility studies, business plans, valuations, private placements).
I am unemployed. But what I do now, relevant to my background, is write for Investopedia and manage my personal investments in stocks.
30 years old married female, no kids right now. Stuck in a racist male dominated country. Legal hassles have increased for non citizen females to get a job locally. Thus, I am not even trying much for a full time job. Yes, best thing is to leave the country but I can’t as my husband has a solid job here.
I am thinking along the lines of setting up an online business. Based on my background, although I feel there are options - equity advisory, research reports etc. But very limited scope as either I lack that level or type of experience or legal issues might arise. I am not even sure whether such thing can work.
My father has a good local reputation for good stocks investment advisory although his profession is completely different. He gives investment advice based on his personal investment experience of 15 years. I am trying to brainstorm an idea that can use my father’s reputation and expertise as well my own experience and education. I haven’t talked to my father yet as I have nothing concrete in my head!
As I mentioned legal hassles have increased for non citizens females to get a job. Starting a full fledged investment practice firm in local country is out of question.
Should I look at this situation from a different angle? Is web-based advisory any doable idea? Any piece of advice will be helpful.
Sumz, the others here are only joking but these are clearly not helpful replies to your serious issue (except for the teaching idea). I’m sorry for you that your talent development and labor mobility is limited by the restrictions inherent in your country. In my opinion, such backwards-thinking should not be causing women these problems in this day and age.
Nonetheless – one thing I might suggest is to look at your having to work from home as an opportunity to focus on a very specific thing that could be applied to the investment management or risk management process. I’m thinking, learn a computer language that you can use to create a standalone program or application that you could develop and distribute. Think of a specific problem that needs solving and try to develop something that would help managers deal with this problem. C++, MATLAB, and VBA are good for developing proprietary solutions, but robust, saleable end user interfaces typically are constructed with a language like Java on the front end.
The other poster suggested teaching CFA, and I don’t think that this is a bad idea, but I’m not sure what kinds of restrictions you may also face doing this where you are. Perhaps doing something in an online capacity that involves leveraging your writing or knowledge, for other people that are trying to learn? Instruction videos? This might be risky too; just not sure of what kind of limitations you might face.
Research reports are a good idea, except that you are correct, one typically needs to build a track record before people would find a random source credible or intriguing. This sounds much harder to do in your situation.
I would echo the suggestion of learning a programming language(s). Why? Because with this you can build some kind of service utilizing your CFA knowledge. It could be targeted towards the retail investor or the institutional investor. There are many examples of websites built by engineers/CFA’s who have written algorithms for auto investment-rebalancing based on stock/bond allocation, tax loss harvesting, and other optimizations and packaged into an easy to use interface. Google a bit on this. You could also look to partner up with an experienced programmer.
In reality, it may be difficult to get off the ground on your own with a finance operated website. The area is just very saturated. And, no employer is going to look at some (probably buggy, no offense) program you built in C# and hire you as a developer. Unless it turns out that you are a genius programmer, going your own way with a program would likely be even harder.
I think you should do two things, one of which may help with using your CFA experience and the other of which will help with setting up an online business:
Reach out to various financial websites. You are probably a somewhat unique talent, being a female charterholder in Saudi looking for work. I would recommend writing for sites like Investopedia (as you have been), Seeking Alpha, anyting where they freelance content. I would also reach out to online companies that are open to having a remote office model. The one that is hiring that sticks out in my mind here is The Motley Fool.
Learn some web development skills. This will help you build your online presence and it will be viewed as a major positive for online companies looking to hire. You can become proficient in web development in a relatively short amount of time ( a few months). A language like C, while you can learn a lot of it, really isn’t attuned to what it sounds like you are trying to do and for the level of experience hiring managers want…don’t take this the wrong way, but it is very unlikely that you get there on your own.
So, try to freelance for some financial websites and reach out to companies like The Motley Fool to see if you can generate conversations with them. Learn web development. Thos are first steps that will educate you about your options. Let us know how it goes.
Edit: I, personally, am interested in the Saudi market, especially if it truly liberalizes and we see new liquidity. There is not a lot of good info from people on the ground there.
I wasn’t joking. A woman reading the financial news while disrobing would be a hit. If it’s not possible in your particular situation - husband wouldn’t approve, worried your kids would find out one day, the fact your (apparently) from SA so maybe too conservative for such an idea - that makes sense.
But, I really do think my idea has legs. I’m too lazy to get this off the ground, but someone should. I’d subscribe.
^Yeah, but NakedNews does sports pretty well already. Hell, they do the actual news pretty well already.
Think about this specific situation. A woman from Saudi Arabia so we have the exotic thing going on, well versed in finance so she could speak intelligently about current events, and for added effect she could even wear one of those mask-things women have to wear in SA thereby keeping her identity a secret.
It would work and it would work well. I’m a little insulted OP isn’t taking this more seriously. It might take a while to gain a following, but there’s no reason she couldn’t pull a grand a day.
Sorry if my awesome idea that’s right up your alley that would make you a ton of money offended your sensibilities OP.
Sumz- if your father is supportive, perhaps it’s better to include him in the brainstorming process? If you’re not a citizen I’m assuming your father isn’t either, but is there any way you can bypass legal hassles if your father (or husband) is involved?
It’s frustrating to have to live in a country with a backwards system. Best of luck.
Thank you for constructive suggestions! Below are my thoughts.
Teaching - I thought of teaching CFA but timings are very off. There is only one location where the classes are held and it is very far from my place. But of logistics issue. And honestly not my passion to teach. Thus, I am not putting any extra efforts there.
Programming - It is a new idea but can’t see myself doing it. I am wondering whether any high level language will do me much good. Isn’t that area saturated? And I will be no genius programmer.
Free lance writing - Yes I am doing it and yes I should probably seek more online companies to hire me. Any more names? Motely Fool is something I will look into.
Back to my advisory business idea :
What is it? Providing investment advisory services to individual clients locally and all institutional and individual investors overseas.
How and why? Build a wesbite. Capture the market who are not that aware about Saudi Stock Exchange. Honestly, there is a big lag of information. My father is handling his investments himself for the past ten years, no broker ever advised or helped. They don’t care about small individual clients. Plus, not all reports are ever translated into English. I just thought I can capture a big overseas market who wants to invest in Saudi but have no clue about what to do.
The question is, if any of you was a potential client of my business idea, will you buy into it? I want to be a rational calculative entrepreneur, not someone who is passionate and lost in their business idea and can’t see the reality.
Imagine if someone had same business idea in USA or any country you reside in, what are the legalities one has to go through? Are there any to start with? This is something unique in here thus I have no clue about this area.
I honestly think that this is a brilliant idea. I don’t believe that I have ever even thought of the notion of Saudi stocks.
I believe that many people might be interested in finding out very basic info about the Saudi stock market :
How many firms, with how much Market Cap, liquidity and volatility ?
Which segments (obviously, O&G will be huge) are represented ?
What’s the typical valuation in terms of P/E ?
What kind of market is it ? Is it a dealer / order-driven ?
What are the reporting standards to be listed in Saudi Arabia ? Saudi GAAP (lol) ? IFRS ?
Then you might want to start picking stocks or making your own screen.
IMO, before you think about monetising your idea, start developing your product : how exactly can you add value and to whom ? Gain a following first IMO, Seeking Alpha might be a great place to start… Eventually you can link a blog / your website.
Lastly, inform yourself of eventual legal consequences. You don’t want to have your hand chopped-off because some ape decides that your website is haram or whatever.
I respect your ambition ; it must be hard being an ambitious woman in that shit-hole.
I agree with you, and this is an area I am monitoring carefully to see how the market’s liberalization progresses. However, most are not going to do this, because right now foreigners cannot access the market except through swaps. Obviously, this limits the interest from the retail investing masses. However, if the market liberalization continues, we will likely see a bonanza similar to when Qatar & UAE moved into the MSCI EM or when the Shanghai market was opened.
SUMZ I’m glad you got something constructive in response beyond the noise of the few knuckleheads…good luck having spent some time myself in the “Kingdom” I can only imagine the scope of your challenge. You can really freak them out and become a UBER Driver lol.
When I was there they even tamped down internet freedoms too don’t know what its like now.
I would seek opportunities needing your background “behind the wall” in Western commercial and residential compounds…