Word of wisdom2017-08-22T10:01:56+00:00

Word of wisdom

Word of wisdom

Interview Tips: Wow The Interviewer With Self-Introduction (Junior Investment Analyst Roles)

December 22nd, 2018|

Interview Tips: Wow The Interviewer With Self-Introduction (Junior Investment Analyst Roles) How do you introduce yourself during interviews? Have you ever wondered about the traps during your introduction? In our recent meet the mentor session, I shared with our students how you can introduce yourself and quickly relate critical skillsets (financial modelling, market research, industry research) and the relevant investment research experiences to impress the hiring managers. Having interviewed many juniors in my career, most of their self-introductions are sadly unimpressive, or even dull. You might just do it like the answer below after being asked to introduce yourself: I am a third-year student at NUS/NTU/SMU’s Business School/Finance Degree Program. I am interested in investment research and looking for a job as an investment analyst. What have you done? Basically, you *described* your academic background, and what you are looking for. Some of you may add one more line to intro your current career. What is wrong? Nothing is technically wrong. But it is not impressive, and not good. You sound like a mediocre candidate. This is the norm for a fresh grad looking for a job as an investment analyst. Some Springboard graduates who did not attend our Interviewing Prep speak in this unpolished manner as well. What can I do better? First, put yourself in the shoe of your interviewers. What do you think they are looking for? They [...]

Fund Managers Say Technology Adds Jobs, Here’s How

October 1st, 2018|

Job seekers need not fear robo advisors, number crunching softwares, and artificial intelligence killing jobs in asset management, experts say. Here are some experts' views from a recent conference in Singapore.  Job Creation "The theory that technology in the asset management industry is going to be a huge job killer is both inconsistent with economic theory and the evidence," said Eddie Fishman, managing director of The D. E. Shaw Group, who was speaking at the Milken Institute 2018 event held in Singapore. "Years of labour theory has predicted that years of job destruction has led to job creation. So we see in the data that asset management employment is at an all-time high," said Fishman, whose firm is involved in global investment and technology development for the industry. Traditional Barriers Gone "The amount of capital stock in the form of technology, that complements the human capital in the industry is at an all-time high. People are getting more productive every year, they make more money every year, and the amount of technology support they have is greater every year," said Fishman. Technology has enabled asset management firms today to recruit talents globally, which they otherwise could not. One example was WorldQuant, which held an international quantitative competition using a web platform. Astounding Results "The results were astounding. There was a team of three young women in France who ended up winning [...]

Is Technology Eating Our Lunch?

August 25th, 2018|

Is Technology Eating Our Lunch? Take-away from Kuala Lumpur CFA Career Day This was the topic presented by  Th’ng Beng Hooi, who is the Managing Director at AB Maximus. He presented in the CFA Career day on August 4th, 2018, about the fast pace of technology in recent years and the impact on the career in finance. From the simple calculator in the 1960s to the Bloomberg terminals in the 1980s, technology has made finance simpler and faster. Today, we have cloud computing and iPhone X to help us with investment-related work. Timely Questions During the CFA career fair, many students came to ask us whether topics such as cryptocurrencies, digital analytics, and artificial intelligence will be covered in the curriculum. These are excellent questions, said Mr Th'ng, because exploring these topics will help one to appreciate the AI and Blockchain content in the 2019 CFA curriculum. Updated Curriculum Unlike typical modules found in Bachelor of Finance, the CFA curriculum is developed based on industry practitioners, who are currently working in the investment industry. The CFA Institute takes inputs from investment professionals, regulators, university faculty and member associations before they formulate global practices and content for the CFA syllabus. With a holistic body of investment knowledge, they are always in touch with the latest investment and regulatory trends. With this vigilance, you can be pretty assured that CFA can help you prepare for [...]

Investigative skills for investment analysts

August 23rd, 2018|

Investigative skills for investment analysts Takeaways from our expert seminar held on August 16th, 2018 As an intelligent investment analyst, we must be able to verify facts and understand the management of those companies we are researching on. Our guest speaker, Thomas, presents some pointers during the recent "Investigative Due Diligence Workshop" organised by Springboard. Below, we have summarised some tips for students who have missed the event. 1. Use more than one search engine When you search about an entity or person, using Google search is not enough. You may wish to try Yahoo, Bing, or even a local language search engine. Some of the content regarding a particular person could be purged by public relations people in one search engine but not in another. Therefore there's a chance that one of the search engines still keeps a cache of the content that you are interested in. 2. Be patient when unlocking clues Some wealthy people may employ an army of public relations people to 'bury' their bad news, you may only be able to find some negative news about them after digging through more than 10 pages of search results. 3. Use your charm and talk to different sources   You could be chatting up the salespeople from a company, who are residing at an overseas branch. By asking them their sales target for the year and how it [...]

How to build credibility before a junior investment job? (Part 2)

August 18th, 2018|

How to build credibility before a junior investment job? (Part 2) Make it happen, don't be oblivious to opportunities Young people looking to join the investment industry often encounter this challenging question: what relevant experience do you have?  In our Part 1 post (link to part 1), we talked about two levels of expectations that we expect a junior to possess if he/she is pursuing an investment career. By achieving these expectations, you will have an edge in the job market. In this Part 2 post, we will touch upon where some candidates fail, and how to avoid them. Take one step back and look at the bigger picture of your life. You generally have one or a few good (or even great) opportunities every three to five years appearing in your life. They are your life boosters. If you manage to capture one or two, you will be able to enjoy what you do, feel fulfilled, and even become financially free earlier than the rest. Being a mentee in the Springboard program is also an opportunity in your life. If you grab the opportunity, you should aim to exceed our expectations, and prove that you can value-add to the investment decision making process. It is natural that you are getting close to an investment career. Otherwise, you simply miss many powerful referral opportunities. In many cases, you might not be aware [...]

How to build credibility before a junior investment job? (Part 1)

August 15th, 2018|

How to build credibility before a junior investment job? (Part 1) Young people looking to join the investment industry often encounter this challenging question: what relevant experience do you have? This is a chicken and egg question. How would one be able to accumulate experience if nobody gives a chance first. Fortunately, for every graduate of Springboard, you are already guaranteed an edge when interviewing for an investment role. We always believe that if a person has enough commitment and passion, she/he will definitely find a fulfilling job. Our students are the best examples of how to build credibility prior to joining the front office After running the Springboard mentorship program for almost a decade, we are well- positioned to understand the success factors required for junior or entry-level investment roles. Here, we pen down the common traits of successful graduates. They have landed their dream job in private equity, research, or asset management. A dozen success stories have been posted on our website (link to testimonial). While each student is unique, the common traits amongst successful job candidates are their dedication, their eye for details, and a passion for the industry. Aside from learning the basics of financial modelling and investment research, these candidates continue to do their best for each assignment during our program. When given research projects by their mentors, they adopt a can-do attitude instead of making excuses. [...]

5 Tips to pass all CFA exams on the first try! Resits incur huge opportunity costs

May 26th, 2018|

This article is a continuation of an earlier article: Wish to pass all CFA exams on the first try? which talks about the importance of passing all three levels of CFA exam on your first try. There are certainly huge opportunity costs for not being able to pass each level on your first attempt. In particular, we highlighted three pitfalls one should avoid, in order to pass CFA exam in one go: 1) Being penny wise, pound foolish, 2) Forgetting to calculate the opportunity costs, and 3) Being overconfident when it comes to CFA exam prep.  CFA Exam Tip 1:  Set a CFA Level 3 pass-date for yourself Remove the false sense of security from having multiple chances to clear the exams. Remember – failing it means you have to spend some extra money and extra time to re-study for that level. If you graduate after the usual hiring window which is typically at the beginning of the year, your chances of landing a front office job in the same year get slimmer. In addition to passing your CFA exams, you will still need to factor in preparation work, including learning how to build a professional grade financial model, pitch stock ideas at interviews and building your network that can lead to your interview. Our nearly one decade of experience suggests that this preparation could take you anywhere from six months to one year. For [...]

Wish to pass all CFA exams on your first try? Note these 3 pitfalls!

May 7th, 2018|

What's the big deal about passing all CFA exams on the first try? Being able to pass all CFA exams on your first attempt will make you stand out from other candidates statistically. Only 10% of total candidates can pass level one exam in 2015, level 2 exam in 2016 and level 3 exam in 2017 in their first attempts. Therefore passing all three levels of CFA exams at one go is a good filter for hiring managers. As someone who has passed all three levels at one sitting, and seeing where others have failed to do so, I’ve decided to pen down my experiences to share with young mentees. This is not meant to boost my ego, as certs and titles mean less to me now, as compared to work accomplishments and contributions to society. At this stage of my life, I pen down my experiences because I enjoy mentoring young people who are seeking guidance on front office roles in investments.   What are the odds of clearing all 3 exams in the shortest time? The passing rate for CFA Level 1 has improved over the years based on statistics released from CFA Institute. However, I have little doubt that the statistics for passing all three levels at one sitting (for each level) has changed little.  CFA Institute provides a detailed passing rate for each level and each year (Chart [...]

Trash Back Office Mindset for an Investment Job

April 28th, 2018|

Dreaming of an investment job? We see many candidates from back office looking to switch into front office investment jobs. Many of you must be thinking: easier said than done when you read the title. That’s understandable, considering that you’ve probably passed some CFA exams or graduated from a Masters in Finance. But yet, you did not land any front office investment job interview, especially if you rely on job portals such as eFinancialCareers.  The same thing happened to me in the past. I’ve tried sending my CV so many times but didn’t have much success. I see many others applying for front-office roles, but they too didn’t seem to make it. So are you going to let other people’s success or failure determine yours? If you choose to suspend your scepticism and read on, you will definitely gain some useful insights towards a gratifying career. This is because I will share with you how I and many others did land investment jobs. You see, I was one of you guys ten years ago. I managed to break into the investment industry after much trial-and-error because I believed it was possible. That was only the first step. The next few steps involve reflecting on your mindset and making the necessary shifts. First, let us explore why is it very hard for someone working in the back office to move to a [...]

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