Career Discussions Passed Level 1, Now what?

Passed Level 1, Now what?

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      Hi. I passed L1 in December, scoring above 90th percentile on all topics but Corporate finance.  Now I want to apply what I know but I do not know where to begin.

      First of all my experience is mostly administrative work, but I am quite good in Excel, I can do all kinds of modeling, pivots, solver, and very good with VBA macros. When I was 12 I used to code in VB and VBA comes very easy to me. I took few coursers on coursera in R and I am getting good grades and I pick it up quickly. So on the tech side I am good. I could go for a job as financial analyst somewhere in Macedonia but that would be vastly underpaid considering the CFA exams are recognized and valued worldwide. Wealth management mainly concerns itself with managing the excess, surplus wealth of other persons. Considering I live in a poor country, there isn’t much wealth to be managed here.

       Now I could probably move abroad to Germany (?Frankfurt) and get a job there if I could pass the bar with what little German I know, or I could go for UK if I could do it at all considering Brexit will impose barriers and there would be probably less jobs in London.  

      Frankly I would prefer to stay where I am, just get a well paid job online. But even for that I would probably need some experience, or some sort of portfolio of Excel spreadsheets/R scripts to prepare to get  me a foot in the door. And what company would hire financial analyst from overseas and still pay them the decent Western wage? Its a catch-22. Decent western wage, little bit of online mentoring, and remote work all-in-one.. Is it possible? Can I get a decent financial analyst position without moving? What should I include in my portfolio of financial models to get me a foot in the door?

      I am considering:
      1. Spreadsheet that would get stock data from Yahoo, calculate, correlation, and find the optimal portfolio by varying weights under given constrants..
      2. Financial analysis-  a bunch of ratios and common-size statements with graphs
      3. I want to try my hand at writing at least a half-decent  equity research report and maybe model a stock price…
      4. Do one capital project budget.. with a bunch of project inputs and outputs of IRR, NPV etc

      There is no specific position that I have targeted just anything that would fall under the analyst role and that would be decently paid and remotely performed.

      Any advice?

    • Avatar of policedogpolicedog
        • Undecided

        Just L1 doesn’t get you very far, you’ll need the whole set L1-3.

      • Avatar of justingjusting
          • CFA Charterholder
          tomsaso said:
          Hi. I passed L1 in December, scoring above 90th percentile on all topics but Corporate finance.  

          Congrats on passing!

          From your comments it seems to me that you’re at the start (or thereabouts) of your career. My advice:

          • Trying to ‘get a well-paid job online’ is not a good idea if you’re serious about building a career in finance. The job is as much about meeting, managing and selling to people, as much as or more so than the technical side. Also, unless you decide to branch out and do your own thing, you’re unlikely to progress fast up the ladder if you’re a remote employee.
          • You’ll need to complete CFA L2 and L3 before it starts to matter much
          • Regarding your projects, 1,2 and 4 can be tested in interviews so it’s good to get some practice. There is a lifetime skill to mastering equity research reports so producing one could be a good move to give an example of your work, but it can really backfire if it looks bad.

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