New Beginnings

New Beginnings

Well my LLC was recently awarded a new contract. Alongside my engineering consulting I’m now working as a stock analyst for a money-managing firm in New Jersey! Yaaaay Me! 🙂

My official title is independent investment research contractor. I work with a smart guy, who is a Buffett-style large-cap value investor with decades of experience. He is wanting to branch out into other asset classes and also just get second opinions on stocks he’s intrigued by, so I’m beginning to spreadsheet lots of that good CFA equity material: linear regression to predict growth rates, DuPont analysis to better understand returns on equity, and all those wonderful discounted cash flow models that each return very different intrinsic values. I am having a ball.

I’ve gotten numerous questions since beginning the CFA program about what doors the CFA will open regarding jobs in the investment field. Like you’ve probably heard numerous times, it’s maybe more about being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people.

It turned out that I actually had two offers come up almost simultaneously. Neither was due to an active search of submitting resumes and all that. But just in the course of daily life I interacted with, or bumped into, people working in the field and blabbered on and on about my engineering background, love of investing, status in the CFA program, matlab scripts, quantitative models, iphone finance apps, asset allocation backtests, etc. That turned into talking further, and talking further turned into employment offers.

Of course many ingredients must come together to get one’s proverbial foot in the door. From what I’ve been told, my enthusiasm for this stuff perhaps counts the most. Then the CFA studies say that I’m more than just a dabbler or a weekend warrior, but really committed. And finally the engineering degrees say “intelligent” to many people (but only “good at math” to the more savvy).

My initial contract is for six months of part-time work. I’m able to do it all from home (necessary at this point due to my wife’s health challenges) though I’ll probably be making periodic trips to the northeast. At this point my employer and I are just evaluating how compatible our approaches are and seeing if I prove to be more of a help than a distraction.

On another note, I’m really enjoying the Schweser supplementary materials but feel I’ve only scratched the surface of what I purchased. The online content saved me considerable backpack space and weight on a recent trip out west.

My main challenge now is to figure out how to keep the CFA studies chugging along with all the part time jobs that add up to be more than one full time job. You see, I’m getting my disclaimer in early should the Level 2 exam in June give me the bodyslam again.