Financial Advisor vs. Trader

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by SterioNS6, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. SterioNS6


    Hi, I was wondering if anyone could provide any input?
    I am currently working as a Registered Client Associate under a Financial Advisor with a BB firm(160 million AUM and about 900k annual production) We have worked together for about 6 years now and I am considering a career move into Institututional Trading ( fixed income or equities). I have given some thought on going the FA route but I'm pretty nervous about going out and getting my own clients and the pay cut I'd have to take if I went out on my own as an FA- especially for the wirehouse I work for. The FA I work for has told me that I should just stick with him so that I can get my own clients while working for him but I just don't have time to do that because his clients take up so much time. He's not going to retire until 15 more years so I don't want to wait around to inherit his book (plus inheriting is never a guarantee). If I continue what I'm doing with my guy I'd probably top out at 70-75k but I'd have the potential to maybe get my own book and go out on my own one day.

    I'm honestly 50/50 with how much I like both trading and PWM. If I leave to take ajob as an institutional trader are the opportunities there to make just as money (if not more) than an FA? Also, what are the other career opps as a trader?. YES I know the differences between the am truly 50/50 split. Would I be giving up a good thing in PWM if I go to the institutional side??
  2. "I'd have the potential to maybe get my own book and go out on my own one day"

    Yeah, sure. :D

    Please stay where you are.
  3. You said you are aware of the differences, so you know they are entirely different worlds. The only reason for you to leave what you are doing would be if trading is an all encompassing passion which you can't resist. 50/50 isn't good enough.

    But if you decide it is good enough, the obvious thing to do is to use your series 7 and join a prop firm. I don't know of anyone who has made the transition from an RIA to being an institutional trader. It would be like an artillery specialist suddenly deciding he's not sure he's happy where he is in his career, and applies to be a fighter pilot. Just because it's the same industry doesn't mean it's a feasible transition.
  4. You could not get any better advice!
  5. to the op, i would def explore your options given your situation. i was in the exact same position as you years ago (assistant to reg rep).

    i would NOT count on being able to take over his business b/c he could get hit by a bus tomorrow and all the clients leave or more likely when he is ready to retire he sells his book to someone else or in the meantime he could move firms that are offering 1- 3x production on the high end to switch.

    bottom line you have to look out for you and decide where you want to be long term. if you can at least get your foot in the door (e.g. interview even a phone one) and someone in another part of the industry like you mentioned can at least see you have a lot to offer you have nothing to lose just by exploring it. obviously, keep it under the radar w/ your current boss.

    feel free to pm me.