Fed up with a dead-end job and a salary that doesn't cover rent? Make a fresh start! These sunny career paths will shine on no matter how stormy the economy gets.
PERSONAL FINANCIAL ADVISER
Think you know what it takes to get money into a piggy bank and keep it there? A personal financial adviser is someone who advises families and individuals on investments including allocation, stock-manager selection, risk management, tax and estate planning and trust and fiduciary administration. He or she also advises clients on tax filing and general portfolio construction (kind of like a game plan for your stocks and bonds).
Chris Quinn is the managing director at Wanger Investment Management (401 N Michigan Ave, 312-245-8000) in the Loop. He started off as a lawyer working with ultra-high net families and individuals investing in private companies. As a business-securities attorney, Quinn saw personal advising as a natural progression, and as he got to know his clients, he started offering them financial advice. He expects the industry to continue growing by leaps and bounds. “The one-on-one relationship is the most effective in this day and age when families and individuals are less likely to want to deal with nameless and faceless organizations,” Quinn says.
Young MBAs just getting their feet wet at a high-end investment firm may earn as much as the low six figures, says Quinn. Striking out on your own may take more time, but building a big client base can make it hugely lucrative.
This career is for you if…
You’re good with people and couldn’t take your eyes off of Michael J. Fox’s character on Family Ties. “You’ve got to care about people and how things relate to their money,” Quinn says. Prepare to stick it out during the tough times, such as when a client or his family is in crisis. “When a client goes through personal stress and loses a job or has health and family problems, those become your problems,” Quinn says.
According to Quinn, there are a number of ways into the field. It helps to be a registered CFA (chartered financial analyst), or have an MBA or bachelor’s degree in economics, finance, business, accounting or math. Before making a big investment, try these smaller ones:
The Learning Annex offers a six-hour online audio course for $19.99 called One-Day MBA Workshop: Practical Knowledge It Takes Years to Learn in Biz School. It aims to teach students business basics including finance, economics, marketing entrepreneurship and more.
School yourself in the strategic choices your clients could face with the $390 MBA Day Camp DVD. Created by students and alumni of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business, University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business and the University of Michigan Business School, the DVD covers strategy, marketing, finance and accounting concepts.