CFA Jobline -- need opinion

Hey guys, I’m looking to relocate to NYC and look for jobs in equity research. Has anyone signed up (and paid) for the CFA Jobline? If so, do you have any feedback for someone thinking about it? It’s a big investment – like everything is with the CFAI – but in a tough job market, I need all the help I can get. Thanks, PD

Kind of depends on where you are in your career. The vast majority of posts on Jobline are recruiting for experienced candidates (3 years and up in the particular area of expertise being looked for) or for pre-MBA types with 2 years of IB analyst experience. Jobline is not a very useful resource for those looking to make a career shift or for entry level positions. If you don’t already have experince in equity research or particular industry expertise, your chance of finding something on Jobline is close to zero. In terms of the cost, it might be worth it as a place to explore what types of careers are out there or hunt for contacts that you might be able to approach.

Thanks stromey, that’s great advice. I have just over 2 years of work experience as a portfolio management associate. In essence, I’m looking to shift into an equity research role as a precursor for portfolio management in the future. My experience has been solid – helping construct portfolios, discuss port mgmt and wealth management services – but light on research. I’m a Level 3 candidate w/ Series 7 and 66 licenses. I’m not entry level, but I’m not far above it when it comes to research in an area of expertise, and so in an ideal world I’d find a smaller (even boutique) firm where I wouldn’t get lost in a low-level position. I’m curious to know too if the Jobline would help in locating these types of firms, or if better resources are available. Thanks again.

One thing I forgot to mention is that 90% or more of the posts on the CFA jobline, are also cross listed on eFinancial (, which is free. Padircks, are you interested in a particular sector or industry within equity research? Also are you looking for sell-side or buy-side?

Beggars can’t be choosers, especially in a tough job market such as the one we’re in now, but I’d go for buy-side before sell-side. The team I work with now is structured and operates like a small buy-side firm, leveraging the research of several different sell-side outlets to make stock selections. The specialty is true customized portfolio management, and so a great coverage of the stock universe is a must, and something I’ve been fortunate to absorb. I’m certainly not closed off to particular sectors or industries, but I figure the transition into equity research for someone not immersed in it already would be easiest for non-technical industries – i.e., IT, biotech, E&P, mining. I have an Economics/Political Science background, with more experience in large caps over small caps and value investing over growth. An ideal job puts me on a buy-side research team where my exposure to just about all sectors and industries and an opportunity to work hard and prove my worth will be rewarded in several years’ time. I really appreciate your feedback on the eFinancial website, and if you have any other tips for a first time job-seeker, please feel free to share. I’ll need to pull out all stops to make a move like mine at a time like this.

A lot of the CFA Jobline items are indeed cross listed on eFinancial careers, which is free. However the CFA selections are more geared toward the stuff that CFA prepares you for, so there is some value in that screen. If you have the charter, you have to be a member of the CFA Society and get access for free as a member. I believe if you are a candidate and an affiliate member, you also get access to it, so if you are thinking about being an affiliate member anyway the cost may not be an issue. padircks, if you have an economics and political science background, you might think about currency stuff too. Currency markets tend to react strongly to political events, possibly more so than any other asset class.

bchadwick, thanks a lot, that’s good insight too. I’m not worried about paying for the subscription, just whether or not it’s worth it. Anyone else have insight on the Jobline? Are there any other sites that are perhaps even better for the equity research space?

I signed up recently and paid $42 for three months’ access. I’d recommend you sign up as well and see for yourself whether you think it’s useful. efinancialcareers is a very good site and I’m not aware of any other really useful finance job sites (which doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t any). Even if there are other sites you want to use, I think the CFAI jobline is worth $14 a month.

I signed up for three months…and probably won’t again… Sad truth is, unless you know someone or have some sort of “in” (through a friend, family, or Business School job placement), your probably wasting your time. I’m not sure what the job opportunities are like in your local area, but there are a surplus of highly qualified finance people who just got sh1tcanned from GS, MER, MS, and LEH…relocating w/out having something already lined up might not be such a great idea right now.

Yeah, regarding relocating to NYC - it may vary some depending on the role in question, but this is probably literally the worst time in history to be looking for a finance job there.

Also, there was an interesting piece in a supplement (I think, or in one of the main sections) to the Financial Times this morning suggesting that equity research in its present form may not be as viable going forward as it has been. But, assuming you’re not looking for a position that’s in danger of dying out in a place where it’s impossible to find any finance job at all, I think the CFA jobline is a pretty good resource.

Awesome feedback guys, I really appreciate it. And I totally agree – this is the worst time in history to be looking for a finance job there. The move is for both career and personal reasons (NYC is the only option), and where I live now, there is a dearth of finance jobs no matter what the market is like. My experience is in portfolio management (equities, fixed income), but primarily in a marketing/operations/support role, and so I am itching to gain experience in fundamental analysis and put my knowledge from studying the CFA cirriculum to work. While I certainly agree that equity research, especially on the sell-side, may face headwinds moving forward, I feel as if it’s the best step I can take toward realizing my career goal years down the road – to become a portfolio manager. I’m certainly not going to make any sort of move hastily, but to make a move in the next 6-9 months, I’m out now on a fact-finding mission. You’re right, contacts and patience are going to be paramount, but so is gaining insight from you guys to help point me in the right direction.