Hi Guys, I am 1 month into the job search and looking for entry level position in the industry. I am getting offers for either an IR position or Fund accountant position…considering that i have no previous finance experience and I am in Toronto !! …which one of these two positions have more growth potentials ??.. also, can any of these two positions have slightest possibility to lead me in equity research in future??
I would say FA hands down. Willy
i say IR. if you make the most out of your time as an IR, you can get more out of it then FA. withFA, you’re exposed to mutual funds and accounting. with IR, exposed to talking a lot of crap to clients but you get to see the range of investments out there. both are essentially easy, but IR i think allows you to participate a bit more. hands down IR for me.
Thanks for yr comment guys…I am also bit more inclined toward the IR position …specially caz I’ll be working with one of the big 5 in canada, and I hv been told that there are lot of internal opportunities…however Fund Accountant sounds like a more respectable job…also, any comments on the later part of my question??
FA all the way IR you actually learn nothing lots of people moving from IR to FA
but are there any chances of moving from IR to IA to PM??
cfalombok Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > FA all the way > > IR you actually learn nothing > > lots of people moving from IR to FA I agree, I’m a FA now b/c of this reason…I eventually want to move into equity research-> analyst-> PM. I thought about being an IR b/c it’s easier, more fun, etc., but in an IR role you’re honestly just peddling products and servicing clients. In an FA role you get more of an understanding of the actual products. Need more convincing? In a FA role, you understand financial products from the firm’s point of view of actually creating the product and servicing it. In an IR role your job is to understand the financial products from a consumer/client’s point of view…your job is to make the decision for the customer as to which one is the best for them. I thought about being a fin advisor after college b/c yeah it’s hard starting out, but if you stick it out and you’re good- you can make good money. Then I realized most financial advisors don’t know shit about analyzing companies or the actual development of these products…they’re just educated consumers- not producers. The majority of them can’t pick a decent stock to save their ass and shove clients into Mutual Funds that they "research"on Morningstar.com to see how many “stars” they have. Although as a FA it’s still not a guaranteed path to equity research, I think it’s more reliable than an IR. What’s your situation, are you in college? Already in the workforce? What do you do?
TPain88 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > > What’s your situation, are you in college? Already > in the workforce? What do you do? Nevermind- I missed that info the first time around.
This is anecdotal, but everyone I know who started in FA is still in some sort of FA type job 3-5 years later. I started in IR and I know of at least 3 other people that have made it to front office jobs.
XSellSide Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > This is anecdotal, but everyone I know who started > in FA is still in some sort of FA type job 3-5 > years later. I started in IR and I know of at > least 3 other people that have made it to front > office jobs. I agree with that as well…well at least the first part about people staying in roles. People get comfortable…I think this is true for many roles, not only FA. You have to be disciplined and KNOW that when you go in you’re getting out in 1 year…1.5-2 years MAX. The job can def pigeon-hole you.
I would never, ever recommend a person become a fund accountant…even if I hated them. Do you have a 3rd option?
i’m an IR right now, salary 40k base. total bonus so far 2k. so pay is crap and we get made fun of by the cool kids. i think you can learn a lot from the IR position if you’re serious. you get two main benefits, 1)talking to millionaires(i think this helps in the futue if you’re looking to deal with them) 2) product and market knowledge. the thing is, if you want to learn in an IR role, you certainly can. think about all the products you’re peddling (options, bonds, stocks, international equities). you migiht think its just putting orders through, but it isn’t always just about that. of course you don’t have to calculate convexity or do research analysis, but i don’t htink FA does that either. as to opps, i woul dhave to say giong from IR to IA is a lot easier. why? cause you have spoken to a lot of these clients and second, you know where to buy the stuff and what to buy and how to look for stuff. i personally feel that going from IR to IA is more of a natural progression, or at least that’s how it feels like. the worst part about IR is you have to talk to a bunch of people the whole day. it gets tiring. but the benefit is, you’re close to the market. ask yourself this question, would you ask an IR or an FA for investment advice, all else equal?
Turkish Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I would never, ever recommend a person become a > fund accountant…even if I hated them. > > Do you have a 3rd option? I seriously think there is no other 3rd option if you are in Toronto and without any industry exp. …unless I go for a mba, which i dont think i am ready for. As per my understanding, getting a job in both these positions is comparatively easy and salary is more or less same. The guy who interviewed me for IR position admitted that usually IR’s move up the ladder in 1-2 year however I’ll need to complete atleast one year in IR position (caz they will be paying for all the industry courses and licensing…I guess they need to break even??) . I have to admit that the thought of working for one whole year taking crap from customers really scares me however as Franky said, I feel I’ll me much closer to the marker than in a FA role…also, I felf that for a FA role, CGA/CMA are given more preference rather than a CFA??
If you’re interested in the financial services industry, go with the IR position. Get experience, get the charter and learn the industry. Could lead a lot more places, investment counsellor, broker, network you way into a buyside firm… Avoid fund accounting unless you are really interested in calculating NAVs.
XSellSide Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > This is anecdotal, but everyone I know who started > in FA is still in some sort of FA type job 3-5 > years later. I started in IR and I know of at > least 3 other people that have made it to front > office jobs. IMO, it depends on the company (and culture). at a custodian bank that is a lot more true than if you work for a MF or even a HF. try to find a place where the ratio of FA to FO folks is in your favor (reason its more difficult at custodians). where i work, FA is used as a sort of feeder pond for the rest of the company. people put in their time and then typically move into a different role w/in 2-3 yrs. gotta be proactive though. and i think its easier to have interaction w/ FO if you are a FA… trade verification and prices are both done directly w/ traders/brokers. the job sucks, but its not as hard to move up and get out as some of these posters are making it seem (i was able to make a move out of FA at least!)
Best thing is to get out of Toronto. Try Calgary or the US. But if you enjoy punishment and want to stay in Toronto try to get a hedge fund accounting role. You will be exposed to different products like swaps, options, etc. IR is ok but depends what exactly you will be doing but it is damn boring after a while.
I’m not following you on the leave Toronto thing…is it smog related?
there is hope…
The skills you learn in either role are critical to moving upwards to a FA or PM role. If you don’t know accounting you won’t have the technical skills to be an analyst. However if you don’t know how to talk to millionaires i.e. sell them your ideas and assuage their fears you have no chance of being an analyst or pm becuase thats 70% of the job. I asked a every Analyst and PM I have ever met about the trade off between technical skills and people skills. Every last one emphasized you need both, but the people skills are the most critical. Bottom line, look at your strengths and weaknesses and do whatever will benefit your package more. However, if your a steller seller go with the IR position. Being a star who brings in assets coupled with CFA is a more valuable than being steller accountant with CFA, IMO. IR puts you in the position to be a profit center, which is what FO is about anyways.
Id say FA at an asset manager > IR > FA at a citco/ss/custodian. IR is good if you want to be in retail sales eventually as they support all those lame CSI courses that you need and you can develop that thick skin that you will need when you start smiling and dailing later on. Niether job produces marketable skills but theyre both 40 hours a week so you can study. Both jobs have a high turnover as well, especially FA.