Need a Little Advice

Not serious about college as a freshman, I got thrown out, but then managed to graduate Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. with average grades (2.8) and a BS in Management. I ran my own successful business for 6 years and then got crushed by a crumbling economy. Since then I’ve been a truck driver, quickly promoted to transportation manager of a major foodservice distributer, general manager of a transportation company, started in banking as a branch manager at Fleet Bank in 2001, became a Premier RM at Bank of America and currently I’m a Mass Affluent Relationship Manager at PNC Bank. I have Series 7, 63 and 65 and now I’m determined to earn a CFA. My current position does not meet the work requirements for CFA. I’m not worried about the tests, I’m curious about my potential employment prospects during and after passing all the levels of CFA. Can anyone give me some advice about where I should be looking right now? I need to get out of retail banking. PS: I’m 41 years old.

Two words: Wealth Management.

I think you should be worried about the exams and job opportunities even after maybe passing them. Series [blah] and CFA exams are not similar in any way. How is it that despite a 33% pass rate among some really well-educated people (I know Ivy league professors who have failed these exams) that a guy with undistinguished education at an undistinguished university 20 years in the rear view mirror and a truck driving career thinks that these exams are no problem?

I agree with Danteshek, why dont you look into Private Wealth Management? Sure it is “retail” in a way I guess, but you could actually use both the client-facing skills you have along with the actual money mgmt skills you are developing. I don’t see anything wrong with managing $500million of individuals monies…but agree your Series licenses dont mean jack, and thats coming from someone who has them too.

those who cant do, teach

guess a good point would be worth noting that even if you do somehow complete the program (20% do) and if you somehow pass all 3 levels concurrently (10% do I have heard) then I guess your predicament still has at a minimum of 3 years until you need to worry about it. I am not gonna knock your education or whatever, but saying that you arent at all worried about the exam leads me to believe there is a good chance that you will be in for a 5+yr ride to finish…and to mimic Joey just cuz you have a charter doesnt mean people will look past the fact that you have absolutely zero experience managing real money…if I were you I would try to get into a financial shop now, get some experience while I worked towards the CFA, so that when I got it at least I had 3+yrs experience to tout…that and I wouldnt discount the difficulty, I know it isn’t impossible but I am plenty worried and I haven’t been a truckdriver for 20yrs. Good luck.

Thanks for the suggestions guys. Just for the record I’ve not been a truck driver for 20 years. I was simply trying to demonstrate the rebuilding of my career. I took that job out of desperation when I lost my business. Within a year I was promoted to a management position and was in charge of 60 people. I’m now a banker approaching $100K annual earnings, but I’m terribly bored. I don’t take these exams lightly at all. I know the huge commitment required. That’s why I’m debating whether it would be worth it. I don’t want to invest that kind of effort if at the end it’s not going to do anything for me. Thanks again.

frank, it sounds like you have an interesting background, and I certaintly respect the value of being able to rebound in life as it seems you have (DISCLOUSE: My family has long been in the trucking industry, so I am certaintly not trying to be condescending). I think it would be interesting to an interviewer to hear your life story. Listen to what the folks on her are saying in terms of A) Studying your ass for CFA B) Do tons of networking and C) Try and get a job at an investment shop