Series 9/10 Supervisory Principal

Would obtaining a Series 9/10 and potentially becoming a manager in the financial services industry - say a branch manager of a discount broker like Schwab or TD - while pursuing a CFA and pre-graduate school put a stigma/label on a person’s background as being a “manager of operations”?

Reason I ask is because I have an opportunity to advance my career and make more $ now by doing so, even though ultimately I’m pursuing the CFA to try to get into ER.

Numi, you would be of great help on this one!

Thanks in advance.

I started off working in sales for a brokerage office like what you describe. I somehow managed to make the jump to research, but that is extremely uncommon.

If I was coming from an operations background - even a manager position - I imagine you’d have trouble even getting an interview. Series 9/10 supervisory duties are just so, so, so, so unrelated to research. You’re essentially doing transaction and paperwork review and making sure that all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed as far as compliance. Heck, all branch positions, including sales positions like my former gig, are pretty damned unrelated to research. I’m pretty sure that the only reason I made the jump was basically a ton of hustle mixed with a lot of luck.

If it was me, I would think twice about taking this job. You are probably looking at a nice bump in pay (I would guess around $70-$95k, depending on your number of direct reports, experience, and city - as well as stuff you can’t control, like how great your branch is doing), reasonable hours, and a very limited set of exit options. My old ops manager used to chat with me on slow days about career troubles - basically, moving out of the role is very hard. You can either wait and wait and wait and then be one of the 20 people who tries to become a regional ops manager (supervising many branches), but these positions come up once in a blue moon. Alternately, you can try to become a branch manager, but this is something that you can almost never get without outstanding sales experience (i.e. you are a former F.A. at a branch office who killed it for 10 years).

I don’t mean to depress you - just being honest about what I know of the position.

No that’s fine I appreciate the honesty. That’s why I’m asking.

So you think that even if I did that and then went back to school after 2 years for the on-campus networking/recruiting in say a masters of finance or mba, that i would STILL be “labeled” ? Or do u think that the only way to break the label is to keep working on self-improvement and put yourself in the university recruiting realm?

Mind you, I’m not looking for NYC. More-so regional ER like Raymond James in St. Pete.

Hrmmm. I don’t know about this, mainly because I don’t know about those kinds of firms and what their recruitment channels are like.

Frankly, if I were you, my plan of attack would be to find someone in HR at the company/companies you want to work for. With linkedIn and facebook and some stalker tendancies know-how, this shouldn’t be too hard. See if you can get in touch with them and find out what their recruiting channels are for analysts. If you’re looking at trying to make the jump to ER at some regional firm in a few years, that gives you plenty of time to try and fit the mold for these firms as best you can.

It is far better to formulate a plan of attack/development for landing these jobs than to just kinda ‘wing it’. Can you imagine if a college freshman came onto AF and said, “I want to work in ER at _____________, what do I need to do over the next 4 years to make that happen” and then actually followed up on the good advice that emerged? It wouldn’t be guaranteed that they could immediately go do ER at the place of their choice, but they’d probably be a pretty strong candidate.

So yeah. Get in touch with someone at the place(s) you want to work in a few years. Find out where the typical candidate pool is drawn from, and what they look like as far as previous jobs. Then just, um, make yourself as close to that as you can (obviously, you cannot go back to college and change your school/major, but you can certainly focus intensely on modifying your career path from here on). Again, I don’t mean for this to be flippant sounding - that is what I would do if I were in your shoes.

Definitely good advice that I probably should have considered on my own. I’ve kinda been thinking about it as I’m nowhere near ready to be considered for a role like that, so I don’t want to put myself out there and blow it. However, if I ask now and then come back and say hey, I’ve done everything you’ve asked, that’s a pretty good strategy.

Thank you for the insight.

I am in this exact same situation right now. Someone please help :slight_smile: Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated…

I just took the CFA L2 exam on june 7, 2014 (obviously still waiting for results). I work at a regional broker/dealer branch, primarily for a high producer, and assist one other broker with funds and research ideas, opening accounts, etc. I would say my day is 80% operations and 20% my own thinking/research. I would love if the percentages were swapped.

However…my producer does not see my value as much as other brokers in the area who would like to steal me including my direct branch manager. My manager has asked me to think about the series 9/10 because he could really use someone to sign off on various compliance items for our growing area etc etc and thinks i can more than handle it. Stuck in the middle…not sure i’m smart enough to be a full time analyst, but i think i would like the work. Really don’t want to get stuck in the operations world and never get to do anymore research. I like the work i’m doing now but just wish there was more of the 20%. Do you think taking the 9/10 would continue to push my career down an operations path that is even harder to turn around from than where i am now?

Anybody have any advice or have a similar situation? Thanks!!