4 Tips for Making a Career in Investing
What keeps people interested in making a career in investing? What deters people from it? The answers we find, respectively, are big cash, and big risk/long hours.
There are huge rewards in successful investment careers, but a lot can go wrong, and you can end up working yourself to death (hopefully not literally).
The job, though, can feel like a 24/7 job, and not everybody can handle that. If you find yourself pretty certain you want this career, follow these tips for making it in the industry.
1. Don't Do it for the Money
Investment banking proves itself as one of the hardest lifestyles of any career. You can't be in it just for the cash; you have to actually enjoy what you're doing on some level to survive in the industry. This means having the research ability of a skilled journalist, surgeon-level focus, and grueling physical endurance.
You need these skills on top of all the typical money and finance skills you'd assume for a career in investing. Investment banking used to be considered a top career choice, but in recent years hasn't been considered as much so. The industry has collapsed in recent years, and the jobs only get more difficult as time goes by.
2. Understand the Industry
First things first, you need to understand how rigidly companies can act about recruiting in this field. When it comes to investing, you won't often find it like those cool, younger tech-oriented or start up companies. You'll probably apply to conservative, traditional organizations that want to stick to what's been working for them for decades. That's usually where most of the money lies in investing.
You may also find that banks and other investment companies strongly prefer undergraduates and business school students from the most well-recognized universities. Unfortunately, you will have more trouble breaking into the industry if you don't have credentials from a top school. Banks assume that you don't want to sacrifice everything for work unless you've been trained that way at a school that requires you to work like that. They also assume that you just might not have the brains or the drive they expect for the position. Plus, banks have relationships with many of these schools
3. Meet the Requirements
You have to get an undergraduate degree, of course. Next you need to get an internship where you learn about everything (even something as simple as being able to hunt down a tax calculator for virtually any purpose), as it's the best way to make sure that you'll eventually receive an offer. College recruiters usually get sent from the most prestigious firms, and not the smaller kinds of niche firms. You'll find different requirements depending on what kind of bank you want to work for. You should do some research about the different types of banks before deciding which one you think you'll fit in with best.
You'll find that the bigger firms have higher turnover rates. Small firms might put a little more effort into nurturing you since they've already invested in you. You can get an MBA to have more appeal to firms, but it's not always the most appealing to businesses as MBA's demand more pay. Again, this depends on where you want to work, but it's hard to say you'd go wrong with acquiring an MBA. But even an MBA doesn't trump experience; get an internship above all else.
4. Find a Path
You should decide what direction you want to take with this career, as it can help make the rest of the process a lot easier. You don't want to dilly-dally around for too long end not make any moves. Here are a few possible career paths. You can also visit this website for investment careers.
- Investment Banker: You basically act as a financial consultant for corporations. This job entails underwriting equity and debt, helping firms come up with financial strategies, analyze their finances, and work with sales and trading departments.
- Mergers and Acquisitions: You'll provide information and advice to companies who are either in the middle of getting bought by another company, or have bought a company and plan to merge. This job takes an incredible amount of financial skills to make the big bucks.
- Public Finance: Similar to corporate finance, you work with public entities like city and state governments and agencies, airport and bridge authorities, hospitals, and housing authorities.
Hopefully these tips can help you in your path to finding a career in finance. Good luck!