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Feb 7, 2016 9:37 am


I'm going to be a little vague just in case firms are reading this, but I'm going through the HR process with ML, just took the FIAT and expect / hope to hear more next week. Anyway, I know tons of peoples stories are already on here, but I still have some Qs I was hoping to get some fair and honest advice about..... As for me, I'm nearing 30, have about 5 years on the institutional side of the industry with a MM Bank as an analyst dealing mostly with $20-$80mm portfolios. I was not the salesman or PM and rarely attended meetings, but honestly did the vast majority of manager due-diligence, portfolio construction and ad-hoc research and would communicate that info with clients. I feel confident about understanding the investment side of things, and I am not scared to talk to people; however, I know no one with $250k that doesn't work in finance themselves. Plenty of friends who will be there one day, but, like me they aren't even 30 yet. Anyway, I made this fact overwhelmingly clear to multiple senior FAs and was completely honest about everything I thought I could bring to the table. They seemed pretty eager and confident in me anyway. I literally said (and I know this is a "bad" answer, fyi) "I'm from the other side of the tracks, and I don't know anyone that would meet that minimum." when asked about if I had any contacts in mind. All that said, I'm not scared to work, understand what a stressful career in finance is like but don't know where to begin as far as client acquisition... My biggest fear is that I still am too "young" to be trusted. What do you guys think - is 5 years of "solid" experience and passing L1 of the CFA enough to be given credibility? To be honest, I totally understand why someone wouldn't hand a 22 year old their money. I'm not sure where I fall on that spectrum so I would be grateful to hear. Also, I'm used to communicating and presenting info to other investment professionals, and less to people outside of the industry.. That said, Do you think it will be hard to adjust the conversation to a basic level, yet still sound intelligent?

Lastly, after a few years or when you get a book, do you get to focus on more research etc. or is it always just looking for new clients. I am passionate about the markets and don't want to totally lose that aspect of my job but do want to work with and help people more and help with their future. Next steps on the Institutional side was too politically driven, tons of inconvenient overnight travel every quarter and really no more $ than you could make as a broker.

PS if anyone had insight on starting comp, like everyone I would like to know what to expect, if I should try to negotiate etc. and also what I could reasonably expect to make in 3-5 years assuming I made it that far. Everything I read seems inconsistence. I'm guessing $60k starting is wishful thinking in an avg cost of living city? Book recommendations very much appreciated as well.

Sorry for setting the site record for questions on a single forum ahead of time. Just trying to get use to asking for things in situations that dont always feel totally comfortable. Plus, life all comes down to a few moments and this may be one of 'em.

Thanks guys