To be a portfolio manager, which is a better option? MFE (top 3) + CFA or MBA (top 10)?
There are PMs out there with just a BA. What is it with people thinking that its all about letters and degrees?
CommStudent, You misunderstood my question. It is great if somebody could make it PM with a BA. My question is: to break into the field, which is a better route.
“CommStudent, You misunderstood my question. It is great if somebody could make it PM with a BA. My question is: to break into the field, which is a better route.” Then he perfectly answered your question…the best way to break in would be to get a Bachelor’s degree then get a job as a junior PM/analyst. Start working, get registered, have good returns and boom, you’re a PM. Easy as that.
Well, I guess I am the type that didn’t break into the field with BA, so have to take the high way to get a master and certification to get there.
“Well, I guess I am the type that didn’t break into the field with BA, so have to take the high way to get a master and certification to get there.” Still no guarantee, unfortunately. If you really want to up your chances, go with the Ivy League education, then forget the charter.
The best way in with an unrelated background is a top MBA.
What about leveraging quant background with MFE and starts as a quant analyst for a portfolio manager?
MFE would probably be the best bet.
What about a CFA+MFE? How does that sound?
Sure hope that works…finishing up my MFE right now, and level 2 is this June. I’ll let you know in about a year.
I would say that the MFE would probably be better for investment mgmt, whereas an MBA would be better for banking. Really depends on your situation and background. An MBA ain’t bad though–it would help a lot more with the non-investment duties of being a PM, things like pitching to clients, managing a team of analysts, and making strategic decisions for your firm. Some of those math finance masters programs are tough as nails to get into–you often need a ton of undergrad math, some programming exp, quant work exp, and sometimes even a rec from a math prof from undergrad.
MFE or MBA - I think it does not really matter. What matters is that it is from the top school/program
Assuming both the MFE and MBA schools are top programs… it would depend on your background. If career switcher, then MBA would be better. If not, then MFE would be better. I think the biggest distinction between the 2 is the recruiting. Full-time MBAs get the luxury of smoozing and networking with the best recruiters. I’m not sure about the MFE portion. It seems like these programs are less focused on recruiting and more on education.
From what I understand, at the top MFE programs, the peeps do enjoy good recruiting chances too?
I think that the “quality” of an MBA program is very important for recruiting purposes, but not so much for MFE programs. I have been told by numerous people in the business of quants that your performance at the school overall, and relative to your peers, is what really sets you apart for quant type jobs. They don’t seem to put quite so much emphasis on the school name as they do for MBA programs.
wyantjs, Where are you doing your MFE? I recently got accepted into a London MFE and wondering how tough the maths actually is (I have an actuarial degree) and also how easy is it to get into investment banking with it if I decided I didn’t want to go down the quant route?