Stanford MBA vs Berkeley Financial Engineering

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by StocksSniper, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. What is better return on investment? Risk/Reward?

    1- Keep a job that pays $100K a year and trade part-time making $150K to $200K.
    Promotions and rise in salary are not likely, maybe a 5% salary increase every 2 years from now on.

    2- Quit my job. Do an M.B.A at Stanford (emphasis in Finance), do not trade as much for 2 years (too busy with school and projects), then find a Job at one of the big financial firms in NYC or Chicago.
    Give up $100K salary, probably give up $100K to $150K from trading and pay tuition+books $45K a year.
    Total approximate loss: around $500K

    3- Quit my job. Do a Masters of Financial Engineering at Berkeley. Same as M.B.A. But only last one year. Therefore,
    Total approximate loss: around $250K

    With an MFE how long would it take to reash the $300K/year or $400K/year salary? What about an MBA from stanford? Both say in their website that the average starting salary after graduation is around $130K, but they have no statistics on where does it go from there. Even with an MBA I am interseted in working for financial companies only.


    P.S. I don't expect a definite answer or to find the answer to my hesitation in this forum, but I just would like an opinion from people that have been in the industry for years and that will give me another perspective.
  2. I won't give you an answer, but instead I will offer my congratulations on having the opportunity to choose between those two great institutions.

    Best of luck with your decision.
  3. You looking to trade or act as an analysis?

    Traders can make that a quarter if you any good. A junior analyst will make that in year 5 ...maybe.

    I did the Masters In Finance from Golden Gate and TA program. It set me up for the practical side of trading and managing larger capital pools.

    30% of the guys in the program where traders 70% were not. It helps to have a year under your belt as a trader before you do the academic thing.

    Good Luck.
  4. Seems easy to me.

    Go to Stanford. After B school start at $150-$200 doing consulting, associate at IB or private equity. After three to four years or so you'll be doing $400-$750 if you are still in the game. If you are really good you will make partner or MD and go into the seven figures game.

    Compare that with going to a mutual or hedge fund with an MFE. Most likely you'll make less -- a lot less.

    Also, I'd be shocked if Stanford tuition was that cheap right now. I went to LBS and tuition there is over $60K -- and I am not claiming it has the rep Stanford does.

  5. Let me clarify. I wish I was accepted at both :). I just applied to both.
  6. Dont underremphasize the opportunity cost. Unless you are spending that money its compounding somewhere.

    Moreover, you need to remember that even at Stanford, its still a low average game: Everyone that goes through their programs does not get an MD slot. You would be surprised at how few students, ready to spend 150K or more, ask hard questions about the odds of fast payback on their money.

    All of these programs serve to reward the few people at the top of each class who have the highest recommendations of their professors, coupled with heavy existing experience prior to entering the programs, coupled with existing connections for work prior to entering the program: Add that in addition there must be no negative change in the economy or their target employment sector during their tenure as students.

    People that do not match this profile can still benefit but the odds are longer.

    Keep all this in mind when listening to the hype put forth by Stanford (or any other educational entity).

    If you have surplus money and time then great: otherwise ask hard questions and put forth a realistic analysis when making your decision.....
  7. tomcole


    If you are asking these questions and havent gotten in, I doubt you'll get in.

    Be happy with what you have.
  8. Probably really bad advice ...... The only people that are happy with what they have are the people that end up losing their jobs through outsourcing and are going nowhere ......

    As for getting in .... anyone with the dollars to pay for the degree and two cents of common sense can get in if they focus on that goal ..... The question really is what net benefit can you quantify from the investment ? If the answer is there is no hard verifiable data to quantify the risk/reward factor and the university just gives you nebulous answers and data then you should use your street smarts and not be a sucker ....
  9. tomcole


    Not really. Good education from a solid school with a good rep is invaluable. Theres also no guarantee that he wont get fired today and lose his margin account by zigging when he should zag.

    For all the cowboys on this site who claim to make millions, yet find time to endlessly post here, I think getting a job at a top tier firms, salary wise, benefits wise and career wise, blows away any indy traders net income.

    Unless of course, you cant get along with people and then indy is the way to go.
  10. What do you want to do with your life? Or are you only looking at it from a monetary perspective?
    #10     Dec 13, 2005