T O P
p_giggles

I'm in equity research and I like it because I like financial topics (obviously), how companies function is generally interesting to me, I absolutely love writing, and it's never boring. I'm at an independent research shop because I got lucky so my experience is different than a BB. My WLB is definitely better. But in essence our job is to know shit and I've always enjoyed learning and then helping people (clients) understand it. It also teaches you a lot of very transferable skills so even though ER isn't as prestigious as IB or PE, it still opens plenty of doors. Edit: typo


14159548210

I'm in ER, and I could've written this. Exactly how I feel. I stumbled into this gig after leaving academia, and I was surprised that the kind of job I wanted doing deep research is in fact easier to do in the financial world than at a university.


p_giggles

Yeah there's a ton of freedom whereas in my head I imagine academia research is very vertical and isolated. I like the freedom - it can be too much sometimes (for my first full solo initiation, it was a wildly complex company, in a new, complex sector) but once I figure out the gist of what I want to do I feel better. You really get a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day when you put out a big piece.


14159548210

Very isolated. You can't stray much from your specialism, especially before tenure, and then there are extreme hurdles to publishing, many of them arbitrary or counterproductive to the research. Besides compliance I can pretty much publish anything.


nutmegger189

About to enter SS ER and this is the description I hear from most people who have long tenure in it. Especially that they love writing. The issue is I've never been a big writer which is why I know I won't last long term in this field haha


p_giggles

There is a specific style you'll need to write in, so in some ways it will actually be better because you won't have to unlearn anything. However if you still don't enjoy writing once you've gotten the feel for it... good luck with initiations lol


TheeGameChanger95

Bruh how do I get such a job??


p_giggles

Networking, start trading/investing and doing very in depth research. I don't want to glorify it too much as it can be a slog, especially during earnings and initiations, and travel is beginning to ramp back up so it can be a lot at times. But for certain people (you may be one, who knows!) It's a very fitting job.


TheeGameChanger95

I've been looking for something in equity research for a few years with no luck. Hard to even find jobs to apply for sometimes. My networking is not great. But I do already do in depth research on stocks and post it online with a very sizable following and a lot of successful picks. My experience seems to be that it matters who you know much more than what you know and unfortunately I suck at networking.


p_giggles

ER is difficult to get into because there just aren't that many seats in the entire industry. Teams of 2-4 will cover 15-30 stocks at a bank and that's it, there aren't really support functions for associates and analysts (because associates are the support function lol). I was looking for ER jobs for about six months before one actually opened up in my state which is why I got lucky - ER is rare outside of NY and SF. Hiring at some smaller places has also been pressured by MIFID 2 - the impact on large banks hasn't been as bad and is even positive in some ways, but industry-wide headcount has been declining relatively substantially for a few years.


BitCoinjester

Came here to say almost exactly this.


the3ptsniper3

Hi, I’m very interested in ER and was wondering how client-facing your work is. Are you constantly waiting for calls/meetings? Also, would pursuing the CFA charter be worth the time/money to break in to ER? Thank you!


p_giggles

There's a lot of client facing work, they'll reach out to us to set up a call (or just call us) which can he anywhere from 15mins to 1.5hrs. It's honestly fun talking to clients because buy siders in general are quite smart. I've heard the CFA can help but by no means is it necessary for ER. I think some other research-only firms might even require it.


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p_giggles

That's a fair point! I've only covered one sector but I could totally see biotechnology and something like CPG leading to vastly different opportunities.


Boneyg001

buy side or sell side


p_giggles

Sell side


Boneyg001

Do you ever get worried that you are dependent on sales? Like ever feel the quota to get enough people to buy your content vs algorithms that are slowly replacing the role?


p_giggles

No because algorithms can't replace or even attempt to replicate the most important parts of sell side research. Sure it can try to project certain financial information but the questions clients call us with are not "what is your EPS target for next year." One part of being on the sell side is organizing events and trips which give investors access to management. Another is breaking down complex topics, where you need a LOT of context and historical understanding to properly understand the situation. If company X releases a new product, clients may call to ask how it impacts company Y from a competitive standpoint. "Algorithms" wouldn't be able to help in the slightest because they're incapable of critical thought. Sure some parts could be automated but that's true for every job. Edit: This is a question I've seen numerous times in my four years so it's totally fair. But while equity research does involve quantitative work, which is more likely to be at least partially automated, the most important parts are qualitative.


1455643

I'm in BB ER and I fucking hate it with a passion.


p_giggles

Why?


1455643

The pay to hours ratios blows


p_giggles

That's fair. I'm guessing you're only a year or two in?


1455643

5 years in


p_giggles

Oh jeez sorry that sounded kind of bad, wasn't what I intended. From what I understand (my experience and forums) pay gets better after year 2/3 when you start contributing more to revenue generating activities. But the hours spikes can be intense so what you're feeling is totally justified. I've had a few 80 hour weeks (fewer than most people in my position) and it's pushed me to the brink a few times. Hope things can get better for you or you can find a solid exit.


ItsMelvin

I work in FP&A - Corporate Finance. I work directly with a business unit and help with their budgeting. Some people recommend FP&A for its work life balance, work directly with business partners to help make strategic decisions, availability of roles, alright pay that gets better once you’re senior. I personally dislike FP&A but I may just be early in my career and “paying my dues”. It’s boring, very repetitive, it feels like my job is mostly updating the systems of record and explaining variances, very silod, day to day not doing much analysis, focused more on maintenance that doesn’t feel like it adds much value, and I think the work life balance is a little worse than people say too.


Get-Twisted

I think partially it depends on the size of the company, I have found FP&A at a small tech company to be much more interesting than at big ones


ItsMelvin

That makes sense. I work for a f500 and I have been considering going to a smaller company. I worked for small companies while in college and it was much more interesting.


Rodic87

FP&A... I've been doing it a long time now. Know what really sucks? Finding insights that are valuable, then being told they can't be implemented. Over and over and over. At some point, why bother? The only solution I've found is to pursue promotion, but then I'll still report to someone who can say "no" when I want to shut down 60% of our office space to cut costs and avoid having to take savings initiatives. The value of collaboration seems to be higher than the very real cost of attrition and downsizing.


kn1g47

FP&A sucks but it pays enough given the hours that I am more than happy with it. The work is the same over and over and over though.


Jeff__Skilling

I cover clean energy on the investment banking side. Hours are still pretty brutal, but the juniors I work with are a solid bunch. That and covering energy transition has been super exciting and not at all what I was expecting when I joined an energy coverage group at a BB right out of business school. Getting a front row seat to an industry in the middle of a sectoral shift has been insanely interesting (which will also be really valuable experience further down the road in my career). It's also setting me up well to succeed as a future VP by making it pretty easy to build C-Suite relationships, since most of the client base is filled with companies that are super early in their growth / maturation cycle (vs traditional O&G players)


thanatos0320

I do corp dev at an energy company that focuses more on the natural gas side of energy. You're spot on with having a front seat in the middle of a shift. Its very interesting to see how the industry is changing and where the USA might be headed with all the different technologies that seem feasible but aren't, and the technologies that don't sound feasible are drawing more attention.


[deleted]

This is the way. Whenever I’m on an email chain with the gas and oil team in Texas I always think “what the fuck are they doing”. They’re essentially standing around in the burning building


Jeff__Skilling

I mean, the traditional O&G market has been on fire for the last 18 months (slowing down slightly now). Plus, virtually every mega cap across the value chain (OXY, KMI, PSX and even some OFS companies) have been blowing us up on ESG/renewable energy/energy transition mandates


[deleted]

They’re crushing it this year but that industry is going to evaporate in 10 years. But I guess 10-15 years is plenty of time to crush it and enjoy your Sagaponack home into retirement


Jeff__Skilling

Eh energy transition is not as simple as you’re making it out to be….


[deleted]

Eh I never was trying to make it out to seem simple…


traders101023443

I'm a quant trader/researcher for a hedge fund. I like working in a fast-paced, competitive space that is constantly changing, but at a company that is highly collaborative with super sharp people. I usually have the autonomy to work on whatever I find interesting and get to tackle large, complex problems. We don't have any customers and there's no bs company politics as we trade as a team and are incentivized to help each other. I think the beauty of it is that the market rapidly evolves. Edge dries up which forces you to be somewhat creative in thinking of new ways to approach problems. I'd say WLB is better than say banking or consulting, but I average around 55-60 hours a week. Lastly, our fund is owned by a larger conglomerate but we operate independently in a team of \~15 people. This means we get all the benefits of being part of a large company (benefits, social events, office perks) but still have a startup culture where your ideas are heard and you can work on whatever you find interesting. Comp is also really good so won't complain about that.


j-g187

What was your major?


traders101023443

I studied applied math and data science.


mehnoddy

Yeah, What did you Study? And where if possible. That sounds like the dream dude!


Affectionate_Proof44

Director of an investments for an mid sized RIA(500m-1B AUM)…great work life balance and it’s a nice blend of research, implementation, trading, and miscellaneous analytical client work.


Idioteque85

Same. Can confirm, pretty good life. Away from wall street but still get to do wall street stuff.


Additional_Sorbet_66

Very nice!! What previous role(s) helped you land Director?


EBITDADDY007

Am considering a move to this for a 1.25B shop. Not director, but analyst. Do you deal with individual clients now?


Bushido_Plan

I'm in commercial banking in Canada. I genuinely enjoy my career. It's good pay with excellent work-life balance. My group is awesome to work with and I love seeing the impact we make for our clients. Sounds pretty generic but it's that simple really.


Ninja654321

Do you work for a big bank? In traditional lending instruments? Or do you do ‘private debt’ and junior capital type work?


Bushido_Plan

Big 5 in Canada, traditional lending products yeah.


Ninja654321

Mind if I PM you? Been somewhat interested in commercial banking.


Bushido_Plan

Sure.


time2fly2space

Mind if I DM you?


Bushido_Plan

Sure feel free to PM me instead of DM'ing, DM doesn't work for my browser.


cheetoduster

Equity trading - it’s not as glamorous as it was 10/20 years ago, but it still can’t be beat for the hours and pay combo. Lots of upwards opportunities, but not as good for lateral/outside moves.


mlcsfir

I’m a credit analyst at a bank doing mostly project finance within renewables / climate tech / infrastructure and quite like it. Hours are very good, pay not too bad, the deals are pretty interesting, and I get to read and write a lot about energy which is fun. This is in Europe.


zxblood123

Hours are good??? Like 40-50? Do you also do ppp?


mlcsfir

Yes, normal week 40-50, busy week 50-60. We do PPP as well but it’s not the majority of what I do at least.


zxblood123

Awesome. What credentials did you have? And do you guys deal with infra advisory consultants? Whether from big4 or other shops?


mlcsfir

I came in from a bit of a different career path but knew a thing or two about renewables. I had self studied basic finance beforehand but most of this I’m learning on the job. We deal with all kinds of due diligence providers like technical and market consultants that then also advise on specific issues that arise, for example during construction or before financial close to be better able to assess technical risks etc.


EnderDarkelms

If u dont mind me asking, how much is your pay? Im interested in Europe but heard its very low


mlcsfir

This will depend very much on location, there are huge differences in Europe. Depending on exchange rate and bonus, I’m at six figures in USD but only just. Which is a pretty alright salary compared with other jobs but not exceptional in any way. Investment banking pays significantly better too.


EnderDarkelms

How did your career progress? Any tips for a current undergrad student?


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Private_EquityYeYe

>I work in Corporate Development for a mid-sized PE backed firm. I love my job. Awesome work, best WLB I’ve had thus far in my career, and great pay. Tough to tell what the road ahead looks like career wise because my team is 3 total people, but I’m gonna stick around for a while because my company seems to be on the rise quite quickly. DM me if you have questions. > >Hey man, thank you for the comment! What's your daily routine like working in corporate development, just curious!


Mk153Smaw

Not exactly a high finance role but Strategy is incredible wlb, comp., & always something different! Good for ADHD types


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pecansareyummy37

I am an undergrad student interested in helping others start their retirement accounts, roths, 401ks, etc. what type of roles would you recommend for someone interested in this field to apply to?


trentshockey

I recently started working at a small financial planning company as a college intern and I can see how it would be very rewarding long term. Helping people who don’t know anything about finance, investing, or money by investing their life savings effectively in the markets can be very rewarding. The firm is only made of 2 other people besides myself and is doing very well for its size. I would definitely say that those two individuals really enjoy their jobs. While I haven’t worked there long, I would definitely say I enjoy it too.


s15274n

I help companies forecast their cash, working with their operations and Accounting teams. The work is very rewarding and always appreciated by leadership


tiverma

I like what I do. I finance imports and exports at a large bank. Good work-life balance, benefits, career advancement etc.


EnderDarkelms

How did your career progress? I thought investment banking had insane hours?


henrythedon

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theLiteral_Opposite

I am a product specialist at a private equity firm. Great cushy work life balance. Once in a blue moon I work super late or over a weekend but mostly it’s 9-5:30. I find it rewarding as unlike public markets I actually feel Pe managers can really add value and I get to dive into the portfolio and learn the rationale behind the deals and examine the companies and their progress. As a product specialist my job is to position the product to prospects or clients. I used to hate finance but in recent years and since getting my Cfa I have more of an interest but find Pe much more interesting. We have a primaries fof as well as a direct strategy. I am senior associate level (one step below VP) and I make pretty decent but not crazy money. No gigantic bonuses, more like 25% of base. But I also have a lot of upside just in this role.