Hi everyone, I am considering a career change and would like to get some general feedback regarding my situation. I’ve looked through a lot of past posts and would like to get some fresh ideas on a somewhat common topic here. Some background: I have a BS in Applied Math/Econ (GPA 3.62). I currently work in an actuarial consulting firm and am completely bored out of my mind with the work. I’ve been there a year now and I’m positive that I don’t want to be an actuary anymore. I’ve passed 2 actuarial exams and I took the level I CFA back in December 06. [Didn’t pass the CFA because I was taking an actuarial exam at the same time and was just way overloaded. In hindsight it was a terrible idea but it did give me at least the benefit of seeing what a different program the CFA is from the actuarial credentials.] Upon graduation, I decided I would abandon CFA studies and focus on being an actuary, with the CFA as a possiblility in the future to add value to the other credentials I was working towards. A year later, I find myself really wishing I had focused on the CFA and started off in the investment field instead. I have decided to sit for the December 08 L1 CFA exam. I am currently looking for a new job in finance and I am wondering where I should focus my efforts. I’ve applied for several credit analyst jobs and I’m also applying for some other jobs in risk management. Are these good routes to eventually end up in asset management? Should I be applying directly to asset management firms? Is being a credit analyst a dead end? Any comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Any thoughts from anyone? Just trying to figure out my next move. Would appreciate some feedback as I am struggling. Thanks!
It sounds like you’ve gone pretty far down the actuary path? are there only 2 actuary exams? is there more ground to cover there? IMHO, go ahead and finish what you started with the actuary thing. when things get easy there (sounds like it is cuz you’re bored) then start doing cfa related stuff. Based on what you tell us you’re decent at math, you failed level 1 (with good reason) and you have actuary skills… i don’t think that is enough to make you employable in an analyst role unless it’s really boring stuff. Why do you want to do boring stuff? Haven’t you learned your lesson from the actuary gig? Young people these days need to take more valium or something.
I learned geography in elementary school
Thanks for the input. virginCFAhooker Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > It sounds like you’ve gone pretty far down the > actuary path? are there only 2 actuary exams? is > there more ground to cover there? There are ~8 exams to become an FSA (fellow of the society of actuaries). So yes, there’s quite a bit of ground left to cover, especially for someone who wants to change career paths. > IMHO, go ahead and finish what you started with > the actuary thing. when things get easy there > (sounds like it is cuz you’re bored) then start > doing cfa related stuff. But why should I waste my time on something that I no longer want to pursue and give up time where i could be building experience in a CFA related field? And how exactly do I start doing CFA stuff? That’s the main point in my post. > Based on what you tell us you’re decent at math, > you failed level 1 (with good reason) and you have > actuary skills… i don’t think that is enough to > make you employable in an analyst role unless it’s > really boring stuff. Why do you want to do boring > stuff? Haven’t you learned your lesson from the > actuary gig? Young people these days need to take > more valium or something. I have learned my lesson, which is why I’m looking to do something less boring. Anyone else?
Pox, I have similar background as you - BA Math / Econ minor, 5+ years with an actuarial consulting firm (P&C side). If your office is anything like mine was, the majority of your co-workers live and breathe for all things actuarial. If you don’t share that same passion, it might be time to leave. One thing you might want to consider (since you are on the life track) is sticking around long enough to get your ASA (3 more exams). An ASA could lead to some risk management and financial engineering positions. If you buckle down, you might be able to bang out your ASA even faster than the CFA exams. Here are some interesting jobs from DW Simpson: http://www.dwsimpson.com/lifejobs.html http://www.dwsimpson.com/otherjobs.html Good luck!
How do you get into acturial work, i reckon its something id enjoy to be honest. Seems like a tough field to break into, many people would love to be in your shoes, so don’t feel too bad about it lads
I work with many actuaries. I would say to focus on “quant” managers. They love math-oriented candidates. Asset consultants also appreciate your actuary background and strong numerical ability. Exotic option pricing can also be something good. Risk analyst may also be a good fit. IMO, jobs you apply are very different and hard for me to gauge what your real interest are. Finance is a big world, a broad term for many different thing…
Actanalyst, Thanks for the comments. > One thing you might want to consider (since you > are on the life track) is sticking around long > enough to get your ASA (3 more exams). An ASA > could lead to some risk management and financial > engineering positions. Key word there is could. I feel like ASA would be a somewhat roundabout way of getting into the field and still not necessarily having any applicable investment experience. I was considering going for the new CERA (Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst) credential but it’s new and seems very geared towards risk management in an insurance company context. CFA seems to be the industry standard and also seems like it would open more doors. Plus the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any dominant RM credential out there…some people hire PRM/FRM/CFA folks, others ASA/FSAs, others ACAS/FCAS. Here are some interesting > jobs from DW Simpson: > http://www.dwsimpson.com/lifejobs.html > http://www.dwsimpson.com/otherjobs.html > > Good luck! Thanks for the links - I’m currently talking with a DWS recruiter but nothing promising so far. Do you know of any recruiters that focus more on investment roles? Takumi, Thanks for your input too. You mention that risk analyst might be a good fit…any ideas on where to look for these kinds of positions? What kinds of companies? Risk analyst seems like a pretty broad job definition…what are some specific areas where risk analysts work at the junior level?
For searches within the actuarial field, DW Simpson is by far the best. For non-actuarial searches, you might be best off on your own. I had five separate recruiters working for me when I was looking. I don’t think they knew how to sell my resume and, as such, I didn’t get any interviews. I had much more success with indeed.com and networking. I would suggest broadening your search (location and type). You’ll find something. It may not be your dream job but your goal should be to make the transition. Good luck.
Credit analyst job can be fairly boring: compile data about firms, ABS, etc. and watch ratios. But no doubt you’ll learn things about financial statements and financial analysis… at least during your first time there. I don’t think the recruitment process is very selective but you’ll probably need to know something about financial statements. I don’t really know for exits and what the practice is. Maybe could you move to a financial analyst role after? I don’t know what the practice is. Anyone else some ideas? Risk management: as mentionned above, math skills can be appreciated. It can be a front door for front office positions but probably directly related to those you would have supervised before. Hours are usually good. If you work for an asset management firm, you could move latter to a FO position. If you want to work as close as possible of an asset manager, you can try to apply to an assistant manager role. My 0.02’s