Job Search Advice and Reith Lectures on Economic/Political History

A Reader’s Request

Someone asked about transitioning from a finance job to working with a value investing firm.

Your email was lost in the ether, but if you seek a job with a value firm, you will need to network and to show why you solve a problem for them.

But first ask yourself WHY do you want to work on Wall Street? And if you are starting out, is Wall Street the best place to go?  Find a boat going downstream. Question all your assumptions and make sure the sacrifice is worth enduring. I have a friend who is an actor and he has had the struggle of always getting a new gig everytime he finishes a show. But you never hear a word of complaint because he loves the stage.

So if you would work for FREE on Wall Street then have at it. I think Wall Street is massively overstaffed and though there will always be a “Wall Street” or capital market, the need for all those brokers, clerks, and analysts will decline.  What REAL value is being created?  I think the low-cost ETFs are one sign of the market’s view of money management.

If you do want to work in investing, you will need to show examples of your work. My advice would be to write on an idea that intrigues you and then contact the firms you would like to work for–but be sure that your work shows quality thinking, originality and thoroughness.

Say you are a hockey coach with a complete line-up, but then you saw this guy show up–would you find a place on the team for him?

Times are tough for Wall Streeters

 NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — When it comes to careers, Wall Street has gone from a shining temple of opportunity to a bunker.

Behind the transformation lie years of risk-bundling, synthetic investment vehicles and other byzantine, unsustainable profit schemes. When they ultimately blew up, they threw the economy into recession and, like a financial Frankenstein, destroyed many of their own creators’ livelihoods.

Between January 2008 and January 2010, the finance sector in New York lost 46,500 jobs, the bulk of them in the securities industry.

Despite the carnage, there are still those seeking a career on Wall Street.

Kevin Fernandez is one of them.

The 22-year-old Villanova University graduate interned at Jefferies & Co. last summer and hopes to land an investment-banking job in New York.

But it’s an uphill struggle. New York, one of the world’s great financial hubs, has recovered less than half the finance jobs it lost during the recession.

“I have had interviews since last summer all through now, but I haven’t been able to secure any of them,” said Fernandez, who double majored in finance and international business. He’s been interviewed for various positions in investment banking, private equity and consulting.

“The opportunities are there, but in more limited quantities,” he said. “Given current market conditions, it’s becoming much more difficult.”

New York’s finance sector has seen only modest job growth over the past few months, adding a paltry 2,800 jobs since October 2011, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Office of the New York State Comptroller.

The euro-zone debt crisis, troubled U.S. mortgage market, and looming regulatory reforms are among many reasons weighing heavily on financial institutions, making them reluctant to hire new staff.

Meanwhile, none of these major concerns is resolved, depressing the volume of shares traded on the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -1.00%  and raising fears Wall Street could be in for another round of layoffs. Read about energy sector attracting more entrepreneurs.

Reith Lectures

The economic historian Professor Niall Ferguson presents the 2012 BBC Reith Lectures, titled The Rule of Law and Its Enemies. Across four programmes he explores the role of man-made institutions on global economic growth and democracy, referencing the global economic crisis and financial regulation, as well as the Arab Spring. The first programme will be available to download on Tuesday, 19 June 2012.

Young People are Waking up to a bad situation

At least their protests are a first step. More liberty would be a start since less intervention, subsidies and decline in property rights would help capital formation and hence productivity–the only way to lift living standards.

The young should join the Tea Party:

Professor Ferguson will argue the   “young should welcome austerity,” adding they “find it quite hard to compute   their own long-term economic interests.”

In his first lecture, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday, Prof   Ferguson will insist the current public debt “allows the current generation   of voters to live at the expense of those as yet too young to vote or as yet   unborn.”

“It is surprisingly easy to win the support of young voters for policies that   would ultimately make matters even worse for them, like maintaining defined benefit pensions for public employees,” he says in an article ahead of the   lecture.

He adds: “If young Americans knew what was good for them, they would all   be in the Tea Party.”

The young protest:

Don’t Give Up!

Good luck

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