I’m in my 20s, have a BA in political sci. and am trying to get into the finance industry (I was about 6 credits from an econ minor). Right now the only types of firms that seem to even want to talk to me are remote prop trading firms (which are jobs I’d certainly take if the situation is right).I’m trading on my own and am trying to build up a track record for now. Where do you see the finance industry going and would you suggest anything to people trying to get into it (particularly those from the Austrian school)? I’m going back to grad school this year for a cert in finance (just to get something on my resume) with an eye towards rolling it into an MBA. I have mixed feelings about doing this as, while most people in the industry seem to have a business school background, there also seem to be a lot who don’t. I spoke to my futures broker in Chicago who said that the mood of the industry at the moment is fearful of regulatory requirements (I assume he's referring to the Volcker rule) and that I should probably bide my time, get an MBA and see if things change in 2-3 years. Any advice on this would be awesome.I receive a lot of questions along this line and I have to tell you it is very, very difficult to get a job on Wall Street. There are many reasons for this.
First, Bernanke's roller coaster manipulation of the money supply makes it very difficult for Wall Street firms to plan, thus they are going to be very slow in hiring.
Second, the regulatory environment makes it extremely difficult for new firms to enter the industry, the banksters have it pretty much locked up. It's new firms that do much of the new hiring (Veronique de Rugy has an insightful article about this).
Third, everyone wants to work on Wall Street, so with the inability of new firms to open up, the banksters have the cream of the crop from which to make the few hires they make.
That said, if you are aggressive enough and sharp enough, I guess there still is a possibility. When I got my first job on Wall Street, I literally drove, on my day off once a week from my part-time job, three hours from Massachusetts into New York City. I literally walked in on firms without appointments having no clue as to who to see. I did this for most of a summer. I got lots and lots and lots of rejections, until I got a job. Now that I think back, everyone else at my firm seemed to have some kind of connection. I'm a seagull, but it is not for everyone.
There is the possibility of your starting up a small money management firm of your own, but most who do this, unless they really know what they are doing, will blow the money up. So unless you really are the next Warren Buffett and know it, don't even think about it.
The one area that seems to be less regulated is the venture capital and start-up sector, but you would really have to hustle to make it there and you will end up coming across a lot of flakes, small time con artists (as opposed to big time banksters) and you would have to be really sharp.
Bottom line: Given the regulatory moat that the banksters have put around Wall Street, to get in is very difficult.
I have Peter Schiff coming on the Robert Wenzel Show this Sunday, so I will ask him for his thoughts. I have other Wall Streeter's planned for future shows, and I will ask them, so listen into those shows.
If any Wall Street readers who read EPJ have any advice, please leave them in the comments.