MBA, CFA, MS Finance value added?

Hey guys,

I was hoping you more experience people could give me your input with how certain degrees can add value / opportunity to different careers. I know I should focus on level 3 first and I’ve gather a lot of great information from bchad, numi, cfavsmba, etc…

i’m a few years working at a consultant firm. Many agree that getting an MBA next would help with getting into the buy-side research side. I also recall bchad saying MBA teaches you how to get things done which is a great value add to be a PM. Also a lot of people who are PM’s also came from buy-side research position. Also from my observation a lot of people have their MBA and CFA in this investment/fund management industry. I also understand great track records and experience will be much more valuable then all those fancy letters.

  1. So if I don’t plan to go back to get my MBA anytime soon (because it’s so expensive without a company sponsoring you) what other options do you have?

  2. Though I may not fully understand it, getting an MBA seems to give you a fresh start to switching careers (it’s like they see fresh meat they can mold so the hire you to build you to their ideal employee) Which i’d like to say I feel like if someone wanted to hire me to be an PM associate vs a right out of MBA grade I feel like I would do just as well short and long term (my opinion of course)

  3. Do people look at MS Finance and MBA value added the same? I know the MS Finance has been picking up in popularity and growing every year. I guess most MBA focus on running a business, but if those MBA grads can learn the analytical part of Investments can’t someone who learned the analytical part first (CFA/MS Finance) pick up the running the business part later?

  4. Would writing things for seeking alpha help on the buy-side? I recall numi stating you have to basically show your conviction and how you generate good ideas to seperate yourself. I feel like posting things is a way to proves the way you think (for better or worse)?

  5. Consultant’s dont become PM because lack of that same knowledge but they may have a better chance to get into a FoF because manager due diligence is a main expertise in the consultant business. So how can someone who has already put in lets say 10-15 years in the consultant side make that switch to become a PM for a fundamental equity fund?

My end goal, I would like to become a PM for an equity growth fund, I think the best ways to get their would probably be Portfolio Associate or Buy-Side Analyst. I see a lot of people start out in the backoffice get their CFAs but they never seem to get that chance to move in those positions. maybe MBA is the best way and i’m just being stubborn trying to find another way.

Thanks again for all those who provide feedback.

In my opinion, MS Finance and CFA are redundant, whereas the MBA is different.

In most jobs in this industry, you don’t need anything else than MBA and CFA.

See my thoughts above yo!

In hindsight, I would have rather got an MS in Finance than an MBA. Thus, doing CFA.

A few years from now, I’ll have another ‘in hindsight’ I suppose.

MS Finance programs differ a lot. Some are very quant focused, some are light versions of MBAs, some are identical to the CFA curriculum. So a lot of it depends on what you want to do.


I may vary will not understand fully what a PM does since i’ve actually never asked them and have only read about what they do and know what they do from a consultant perspective.

ER is something i’d do to get to be a PM. ER isn’t really an end goal of mine.

I think what a PM does is a lot of sucking up/sales of their fund and picking the stocks they think would be best for their optimal portfolio. Using their own data or using what the ER analyst has provided. that’s what I think they do? I wouldn’t be opposed to FoF PM since consulting is in a way FoF analyst type due diligence. I like the consulting side. I think if I could become a CIO of a major endowment that would be awesome but despite not getting much love those guys are sure pretty smart.

So you want to be a PM, but you don’t know what a PM does? Perhaps step one is clarify what a PM does.

well I know what I think is what they do (form reading and conversation) which is why im interested. Isn’t that for most people how they get into a certain field? But most of the time when people actually start working it’s different then what they expected because of business culture difference between companies or for other reasons.

If you can provide additional clarity or input please do contribute.

Oh the endless debate of MBAvCFA group think chatter. If you’re company is going to pay for a MBA and is required to move up than go for it but if MBA is required but company is not paying for it than find a new job.