What is the most satisfying career in finance? Most satisfying role?


So I graduated not too long ago and don’t have much experience in the industry. I love investment analysis, researching companies and making investment decisions. That is what I enjoyed in undergrad. I want to know what is the reality of actually being in a financial analyst role. Is it exciting? Stable? Work life? Stress? I would like to know so I can plan my career path more accurately in the near future. Thank you for any experienced insights that you can give.

“Is it exciting? Stable? Work life? Stress? I would like to know so I can plan my career path more accurately in the near future. Thank you for any experienced insights that you can give.”

You’re going to be finding entry level roles. None of them are exciting, a lot are stable, you’ll be doing really boring stuff for the first couple of years and most of your stress will be from trying to keep your career from sinking while pushing your career to the next level without stepping on your associate’s heels.

I’d suggest asking yourself what jobs do you really think you can actually land. I.E., don’t apply for IB roles at GS if you went to a state school in N. Dakota.

After you narrow on potential roles, try finding these roles at firms with a really good brand and apply with zero expectations of salary or work-life balance. Get in, bust your ass and move onto something more enjoyable within a max of 4-years. The first 2-4 years suck the most by far but if you do it right your late 20’s have potential to be very rewarding with pay and a career you’re proud of.

Additionally, don’t focus on your first role pay. Find something with excellent exist opportunities instead, that’s invaluable.

Thank you Galli,

I have thought about the exit strategy part. Good point. I’m actually in my late 20s now because I wasted some years in a completely different field of study. I’m also in Canada, so pay is much lower than the States in banking. If I can make 65k-75k a year, have good work life balance and potential for future career growth that would be great. I don’t know what to expect but I guess any type of analyst experience at this point would probably be good. I can’t see myself sticking in a role for 3-4 years if I find the work boring. I’d hate to waste my life in a role I find no fulfillment. What if I went into financial advisory first, and then decide to go into the analyst role later after completing the CFA. Would that impede my career growth opportunity as an analyst? Currently, theres quite a few good financial advisory positions with major banking institutions I can fill a lot easier than analyst roles.

^ If that’s all you’re targeting for pay, that’s what I pay my analysts on the corporate finance side with a year or two experience. That’s pretty bare bones, even in Canada. Treasury will pay that no problem. Same with planning or corporate development. Basic 2-3 year experience salary.

Most satisfying job is the one you enjoy the most, which you can’t tell unless you try some out.

I would say strip club operator. The cash flow is great. Side benefits are good too. You will need to be good with cash flow in small denominations. These businesses make a mint, you can’t lose. Work life balance is solid.

It’s what I would be satisfied with for living needs. Studies shows that after a certain income level happiness doesn’t really increase. :slight_smile: After 5 years of experience I’d probably start expecting higher.

^ Then you’re in the ballpark for any finance job on the corporate side in Canada. I also agree with those stats. Eventually you just start stockpiling money beyond what you could possibly need to retire (or have your lifestyle continue to inflate to the point where you’re still broke…).

The most rewarding job is one that makes direct investment decisions with appropriate incentives

That’s called running my own investment account! :wink:

For a job I like analyst. Sit in the back of the class, think, model some stuff, think, tell the decision makers what’s up, maybe they screw that up, maybe not, not my problem, I just analyze yo!

what jobs require ypu to do alot of financial modeling? currently work in wealth management and have a hard time getting into something realted more to investments. i might plan on mba if cfa dont help. currently only with 1.5 years of exp in mid 20s

Does ‘a lot’ mean deep or time consuming.

ER and AM would be the former, and IBD the latter. PE both,

Financial modeling is the pen and paper for finance work, higher positions need you to make decisions, think on your feet, and be creative. Financial modeling oriented roles are a dead-end prospect while they last.

Commercial banks do a lot of modeling to make decisions. So do other types of lenders. But it wouldn’t be related to investments, it would either be asset allocation, capital allocation, underwriting modeling, interest rate risk modeling, etc.

Most satisfying = not finance

is this a trick question??

most satisfying = being an entrepreneur, capitalizing on the fruit of your labor.

^ There is lots of truth in that. Unless you enjoy office politics, nothing beats being the big boss.

Ehh, being the boss is a lot harder than you think. You have to deal with and direct with a variety of personalities every day, make all of the major business decisions, raise capital and interface with investors, etc. It’s not that easy. I think it’s easier to work for a good boss.

Nobody enjoys IBD for the work that it requires. you “enjoy” it bec of the money. assuming you don’t get shafted by whatever big bank you work at.

If you enjoy IBD type work, you work in PE.

It’s alot easier to flip burgers at McDicks too, we aren’t talking easy, we are talking most satisfying.

I really needed to hear that. Thank you.

I would imagine that buy side sort of portolio management would be fulfilling intellectually and in terms of money - provided that you are successful. The stress seems pretty bad though.

Other than that, I’ve heard of a lot of wealth managers who work 4 days a week and spend half this time playing golf or being entertained by people selling them products. Of course, you must build a sizeable account first, and this probably requires a lot of initial hard work or connections.

I think sales and trading for a bank is an ok middle ground. Upside is not as great as buy side, but I have ok job stability, work 9-6 and get paid ok.

IBD is not for everyone, but you use it as a stepping stone to a different job.