I am looking to transition into a career path in the financial services sector. My biggest passion is in investing and trading, but am openly interested in any type of employment. With the various paths towards a career, what would you recommend to make myself applicable to employers and recruiters?
The world of Trading has changed rapidly. It's not like the days of The Pit with people yelling at each other in close proximity. A lot of Trader roles in financial institutions have dwindled, mostly replaced by technology. The competition for the few Trader positions remaining is fierce. A lot of finance firms now care about people with a Technology background, like Data Science or other advanced tech degrees.
Recommend checking out the Veteran programs offered by financial institutions, or other rotational programs that can give you the experience to start your new career. Speak with people in the industry, especially Vets, learn everything you can about it and see how you can bring value to an organization. Looking into Investment Management would be a good start. From there, potential employers can be Asset Managers, Wealth Management Firms, Mutual Funds, Hedge Funds.
Thank you for your service and its great your interested in financial services. May I suggest something from past interactions that can provide you ownership, relationships and the opportunity for a good future. Edward Jones- Well respected company and works with new folks looking to enter the business. https://careers.edwardjones.com/built-differently/
I’d suggest that you network at the target company or industry. Use LinkedIn to find people already working there and reach out to them. Ask them the process they used to get hired and ask them to help you navigate the hiring process and if they are willing, ask them to submit you as a referral. These activities require much more time on your part but in my opinion would greatly increase your chances for success. Good luck!
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I am writing from the perspective of the larger, traditional Investment Managers. Traditionally an entry level investment person came with an MBA, spent some years an an equity analyst and then was promoted into a portfolio management role. Equity Traders usually did not need an MBA, but there are only a small number of traders, so there are fewer openings. And the industry is clustered in Boston, NYC, Chicago and CA. You likely will have to live in one of those areas. These firms are very stratified so it is difficult to take a client facing job and hope to leap the barrier into investment management at some future time. You need to start in the "correct silo"!
If you do not want to live in one of the "clusters", it may be possible to find an entry level position with a smaller, regional financial planner or financial adviser. A smaller firm may not be so rigidly divided into silos, but confirm this before accepting a customer service position.
Many people believe that Artificial Intelligence will replace portfolio managers in the intermediate future. I'm not so certain, but it is a risk.
Without an MBA, I fear you have a steep hill to climb!
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