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Need to Get Out of Fund Accounting Job


porcupine
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Hi Thelads,

 

Thanks for the response.  I majored in finance and graduated in 2013.  I've been in fund accounting for about 2.5 years.  I'm Currently awaiting CFA level II results (which come out july 25th... patience is wearing thin).  My ideal role would be an investment research analyst. 

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Hi - it's a long journey.  My advise would be to stay flexible (in terms of your geography).  Make a list of the skills you need to be a professional investor and pursue jobs and will help to check some of these boxes.  Obviously networking is crucial also.

 

I have the charter, which has certainly opened doors, but isn't a golden ticket.  Sell side continues to contract and outflows in active are reducing new seats.

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I agree with Scott. As to being an investment analyst...what do they do that you cannot do from your couch? The answer is not much.

 

I took the investment knowledge, applied it to the modeling space. Helped that I had a background in some heavy math and stats. But overall a very useful skill set: my peers are math nerds without an understanding of the final implications. Have that understanding makes it easier to back into whatever problem we are facing.

 

Also the ancillary skills are useful: communicating a thesis, distilling data points into what is coherent and important. These are useful anywhere.

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Always have a 2-3 investment thesis that is well research and extremely compelling... it should be differentiated...recommending Apple is hard because you're not adding any additional insight there

 

Try to provide more value - If you're the type that can pick up the phone can booking meetings with CEOs and wealthy investors, that type of skill set will be useful.  We recently hired someone who is very strong in this aspect.  People, myself at least, will be willing to invest in your research/analytical skills if you can bring these skill sets to the table

 

Passion/Grit/Willing to Do Everything Type of Attitude - If you can exhibit a "I'm willing to take a huge pay cut to take on this job to gain the experience."  That kind of passion is very important.  Talent takes you so far, passion and grit can help you overcome a lot of short comings. 

 

Scuttlebutt abilities - If you can pick up the phone and track down people on LinkedIn, Corner of Berkshire etc and pick their brain, these are very important skills. 

 

Network - This one is a bit personal and up to you to decide.  If you has a network of wealthy contacts, you can leverage that into getting an investment analyst position especially for a younger scrappy start up hedge fund. 

 

All those skills and willingness may not land you at Greenlight, but it may land you at a scrappy younger fund where you can work closely with the founder/CIO.  We recently went this route and hired people this way.  Frankly, I think there's a Harvard/Greenlight/Carlyle way of recruiting talent and then there's the Moneyball/Oakland A's way of recruiting talent. 

 

As to others who mentioned that there is no need to go the fund analyst route.  I think it's each to their own.  I was a former mechanical/Aerospace engineering undergraduate.  I got lucky in 2006 and pivoted into investment banking.  It was a combination of me busting my rear end and asking everyone that I know for a job interview and having the right timing.  The 2 weeks of intense IBD training did wonders for me.  It taught me accounting concepts and some short cuts in Excel/Powerpoint that I still use to this day.  Some of us are self starters, some of us require a bit of structure. Those that can self start, more power to you.  Those that need a bit more structure can probably learn more by working for someone else. 

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If you have a passion for this stuff go out & do some analysis and build up a portfolio of ideas that you can share with other.  Start with an area that interests you & research stocks in that area.  Find out what makes firms tick.  This will also provide you some interesting topics of conversation for networking with others.  If you have something to provide someone else it always is a good conversation starter.  IMO if you are truly interested in this field & can speak intelligently (because you have done some due diligence beforehand) then you can do some pretty good networking.  As LC has stated you can do alot of the analysis from your couch using frameworks from other value investors.  I am always amazed at how much of a paper trail exists today with the internet.  Also as BG2008 has stated there are two ways to build an investment team, the Billy Bean way or the expensive B-School route.  I think the Billy Bean's will win in the end.

 

Also, you may want to attend one of the yearly investor get togethers at Daily Journal, Fairfax, Berkshire, Premier Diagnostics or Sitestar.  These are great opportunities to meet a self-selected group of folks who have a common interest of value investing.  I would also try to be flexible in where you end up.  In my case & many others here, we work in other fields (outside asset management - IMO because it is easier to find a job using a similar skill set) but use funds generated from those fields to invest.  The advantage with this approach is you can develop your own investment style & be less constrained.  If you work for someone else, you are going to be constrained by their investment mandate. 

 

Packer 

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I wholeheartedly agree with Packer's advice. If you have passion for investing, just start doing it. Assuming you have a logical value investing mind set, strong analytical abilities and good background in accounting, I really don't think you need business school background or a CFA designation to be successful.

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