How has your experience been like working for an investment management firm?
I interned at an investment management firm this summer, but I'd like to learn more about the experiences of other analysts, portfolio managers, and other professionals.
investment-management finance business economics
Successful Investment Management firms will have a strong culture that is team based. I would recommend that you focus your search on finding the right culture for you.
The most important criteria for success are a willingness to go the extra mile to understand complex situations, the ability to communicate your ideas and thoughts, and the desire to achieve great investment results for your clients.
It can be rewarding, intellectually stimulating work where your impact and influence are obvious. You play a role in altering/improving actual client outcomes, helping to fund their life goals and objectives and ensuring they feel a sense of security - truly noble work. The markets are an ever-changing, living, breathing thing - a mirror reflecting at us constantly. Fascinating stuff, I get excited just writing about it.
On the other hand, corporate culture can be cutthroat/competitive and we're all inclined to use our strengths and disguise our weaknesses to advance. At times this can be exhausting, particularly at large, bureaucratic firms. Set your expectations properly in terms of patience with advancement and degree of recognition for innovation and contributions you bring to the table.
Would I recommend it to others and my younger self? 100%. It takes a certain type and it helps to have grit/perseverance... gumption/guts... patience/kindness. If you're willing to outwork the rest there's a lot in it for you as well.
Shortcuts I can offer:
1. Develop your presentation skills now and do it obsessively. There is a premium on those that can distill complex information into a digestible format for people through presentation or writing.
2. Have a cursory knowledge of excel/vba/coding. I'll make you look cool/smart and can seriously impress folks across the firm if you can find practical uses for it. We're in an age of automation, embrace it.
3. Develop market knowledge - a must. I have my series 7/66, MBA and the CFA designation. It takes years to develop, but if you never take your foot off the gas pedal, with time, you become formidable.
4. Make people feel good working with you - regrettably a lesson I learned late. You can be the best and brightest but if you're a jerk you're always just a jerk. Guard your reputation to no end! Critical.