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Question to all forum members - Suggestions needed please


Buckeye
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Hello all,

 

This is my first post although I have spent many, many hours reading the posts on this forum.

 

Here is my situation:

 

My name is Brady.  I recently left the business that I helped found and run for the past nine years.  The business we were in designed and manufactured life-size animated monsters and characters for theme parks and haunted houses. 

 

About three years ago I picked up Lowenstein's "Making of an American Capitalist" and the rest was history.  I have always been entrepreneurial and something clicked when I read Buffett's story.  Please note: that I know that I am no Buffett:)  However, once

I discovered investing my world was opened to the thousands of companies that I could take partial ownership in through equities.

Like many of you I am sure, I have spent every waking hour of the last three years to learn everything I can about financial markets, equity analysis, qualitative and quantitative business fundamentals.

 

That brings me to now:  I decided to leave my business to pursue a career in the financial industry.  For the last couple of months I have been trying to decide which career path I should follow.  Although I love the analysis the most I know that I need to "walk before I run."  I do have a college degree in Communications and Business though no formal experience in finance (besides running the financial side of things in the business I just left.

 

So my question to you all is: What type of career would you recommend for me to "get my foot in the door."  The options that I have come up with thus far are: Financial Advisor, Retail Banking, Commercial Banking, Analyst, Investments on the Banking Side, Insurance Investments.

 

I do not have any close friends that are into investing like the members on this board which is why I thought I would pose this question here.  Although no of you know me personally I feel you all would offer the best information.

 

I am looking for any comments or suggestions.  Feel free to be honest.  Thank you for you time and I appreciate any responses!

 

Brady

 

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Do you feel confident enough as an investor?

Do you have any person/firm in mind who you want to work for?

Do you have enough financial cushion to lead a normal life without any income for few years?

You did mention that you spent last three years learning about everything, how about practicing?

Have you thought about managing money for others directly? If yes, have you done it for your friends or family members?

 

I know I am throwing more questions rather than answering.  Given that this is your first post, without knowing more about your situation it's difficult to give even decent suggestion. Mine or some one else's suggestion might be way off the target but at least it will be bit more informed.

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Do you feel confident enough as an investor?

Do you have any person/firm in mind who you want to work for?

Do you have enough financial cushion to lead a normal life without any income for few years?

You did mention that you spent last three years learning about everything, how about practicing?

Have you thought about managing money for others directly? If yes, have you done it for your friends or family members?

 

I know I am throwing more questions rather than answering.  Given that this is your first post, without knowing more about your situation it's difficult to give even decent suggestion. Mine or some one else's suggestion might be way off the target but at least it will be bit more informed.

 

-Confidence - probably not enough to ask everyone I know for their money to invest, I feel I need to learn a LOT more

 

-I do have enough of a cushion to live without income for a couple of years.  I do have savings outside of my current equities, however I wouldn't be able to continue to contribute to my investment portfolio.

 

-I have been investing for myself for the past two and a half years which I know is only a drop in the bucket. I opened my brokerage account on April 8 2009 :), of all times.  Therefore my returns have been great so far, but I feel it is more of an anomaly because of my timing

 

- I am 33 years old, no kids, not married (yet:)), with a very supportive girlfriend,

 

-Net worth- not enough to live on with 10-20% returns. 

 

-If it is very hard to break into the business working for someone else in your 30's to 40's do most just start out on their own from the very beginning?  I thought maybe there are some types of careers that could lead future investing opportunities.  I have met with Merrill Lynch for financial advising but wonder if that would take me down the wrong path.  Not really sure what to think, hence why I posed this question here.

 

Thanks again to all for any comments or suggestions.  Feel free to ask and additional questions.

 

 

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I can not tell you exactly what to do in this situation but I will try addresing few things.

 

1 - First of all, great timing to start a brokerage account and it's good that you realize it.

 

2 - Two years in mostly going up market is very little time in my opinion to feel comfortable with anything.

 

3 - Not being married and no kids is good for trying to do something different than your usual job.

 

4 - You mentioned that you have savings for couple of years but not enough to live with on it for long time even after 10-20% returns. I don't know how to interpret it without having more information but there is huge difference in 10% and 20% annulized returns in long term. If you can not live with even 20% returns then I think you don't have enough savings or your expenses are two high.

 

5- Joining Lynch or Edward jones as financial advisor might work for selected few but for most people it will be very dissapointing experience. If you want to learn anything about investment then I don't think you will really get time/oppurtunity to do so. If you are sales person then you are more likely to succeed in that set up.

 

For whatever it's worth, I will suggest spending more time with your personal investment to see how you do/feel when tide is not helping you. Aty the same time, you should continue doing some job to not use your savings. That way, You will make better decision down the line whatever it might be.

 

I started with thinking that I can not tell you exactly what to do but ended with telling you few things. It's just my opinion and you don't need to necessarily follow it. I was simply telling you what I would have done if I was in your shoe( based on what I understood)

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If you can find a local investment management firm that uses value investing methodology, you can intern there for free, possibly it could turn into a full time gig.

 

or

 

  Get an MBA and try to network and do investment management internships or find a job in another area in the financial services industry.

 

Where are you located?

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Is there a way you can consult or work part time in your prevous field and then spend time on learning investment stuff?  Since most of this stuff is cumulative, over time you can accumulate the knowledge you need but you probably want some income coming in the interim.  You may also want to (maybe you already have) informationally interview folks in the asset managment field and/or hook up with the local CFA group in your area.  There are probably folks on this board you can also interview if you ask.  You may also want to look into if thier are any jobs in areas that can combine finance with the area you have experience in to get your feet in the door.  I started out wanting to do asset management but I am now doing valuation services consulting and have been able to combine generating a nice income, savings and the opportunity to invest money unconstainted (in niches that others may not be able to).  The last item is important because that is where I have been able to find the most inefficiencies.  Just some ideas.

 

Packer

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If you can find a local investment management firm that uses value investing methodology, you can intern there for free, possibly it could turn into a full time gig.

 

or

 

  Get an MBA and try to network and do investment management internships or find a job in another area in the financial services industry.

 

Where are you located?

 

This is probably the best advice.  Still, without an MBA from a top school, it will be difficult to break into investment management at a paying position at your age.  I also completely agree that joining a retail brokerage is not the way to go. 

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What about institutional (not retail) Sales & Trading? The prestige doesn't compare to, say, i-banking or research, but it allows direct exposure to security analysts on both side of the table (Street analysts and buy-side analysts/PMs of various backgrounds). You used to run your own business (plus a Communications degree), so maintaining and developing business relationships could very well be your forte. The lifestyle is manageable if you don't mind getting up well before dawn for morning calls*, the heavy traveling / socializing etc. I've seen folks break into investments mid-career through this path. It's probably not easy, but what is.

 

With some industry experience under your belt, you can then embark on the CFA program. The ROI is likely better than getting a top MBA education at this stage.

 

* a great way to learn, since you pretty much have to grasp 30 second stock pitches well enough to later relay them (intelligently) to clients.

 

 

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