Career Tips by Fisher Investments

Whether you’re interested in an opportunity at Fisher Investments, or simply looking to further develop your current career path, our career tips can help you stand out from your peers.

What side are you on?

By, 07/28/2011

I came across an article recently on Vault that talked about the different aspects of jobs on the buy-side vs. the sell-side of the investment industry. I hadn’t thought about the different sides since I was on the job hunt almost nine years ago. It was always a hot topic in the interviews I had back then. “Tell me about what side of the industry you are looking to get into”? And then of course a follow up question as to why. Everyone seemed to have their standard response that somehow circled back to the general aspects of what they wanted to do in a job – nothing specifically unique about what side of the industry they wanted to be on. Having worked at Fisher Investments, a buy-side firm, for almost nine years, I don’t think I have thought once about the difference my career path would have taken if I had gone to a sell-side firm. This recent article sparked my interest as to the true difference in the type of jobs one is offered on each side and how a career at Fisher Investments fits into the mix.

Immediately I was taken by the statement that a career path on the buy-side is “more flexible”. WOW! That is exactly one of the characteristics we stress with candidates during the interview process when talking about the advantages of a career at Fisher Investments. In addition to flexibility, we are also based on a meritocracy. Those two attributes combine to create a work environment that reminds me of the saying “the world is your oyster”. You can create a career here that is unique, develop the skills you want, and benefit from endless opportunities.

It’s a Revolution

By, 07/27/2011

For those of you in college, you may be taking a business class that talks about Just-In-Time (JIT) supply chain management, the ideas behind the Industrial Revolution, or the development of the assembly line by Ford Motor Company. These ideas were all innovations. They created not only efficiency for the business but also a noticeable improvement to the end user in both availability and affordability of the end product. At Fisher Investments, we strive to be an innovative firm in every aspect of our business. One idea similar to these historical business innovations—and used extensively in Ford’s assembly line—is specialization of labor. It sounds simple in theory, and I often wonder why more businesses aren’t run like this. The theory is there are very few people in the world who are good at all things. While there are some exceptions to this, it is mostly true that most people can be really good at one thing only at any given point in time. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn to be good at something new, but generally that is after you have excelled at your current task and moved on to something new. And then you are most likely better at the thing you are focusing on now than the one you were doing previously.

In the brokerage world, employees are often asked to do the herculean task of being good at multiple things at the same time, such as any combination of sales, trading, research, client service, and/or operations to name a few, but typically the task list goes on even from there. Here at Fisher Investments, we put our best people in each role. Given the flexibility of a career path at Fisher Investments, you will likely experience several different roles during your tenure, but under our specialization model, the goal is for you to become very good at each specific role before moving on to another. This means our client service employees focus solely on clients’ needs and our best sales people are responsible only for lead development—allowing each group to specialize and excel in its core function. In the end it creates efficiency for the business, but most importantly it brings availability and quality to our clients that they should expect with such an innovation.

Fisher Investments Press

By, 07/26/2011

A couple years ago Fisher Investments announced they were partnering with John Wiley & Sons to offer a series of books to help educate investors. The partnership was to be called Fisher Investments Press. Here at the firm there was a buzz of excitement at the announcement. I for one wasn’t aware of another firm putting together something so fundamental and useful to people of all levels who wanted to learn more about investing. I thought it even more impressive that some of my colleagues were going to be co-authors on the books. When I think of career paths that lead to becoming an author, I think of professors and maybe journalists, but never financial services. Yes, there are a lot of financial books– but they tend to be written by people who are professional authors or educators of some sort.  While not everyone joins a firm expecting to become an author, this example always stands out to me as one of the exciting ways we are innovative as a firm and have opportunities for employees that don’t always exist today.

Check out some of the books Fisher Investments Press has put out and of course any one of Ken Fisher’s, especially his bestsellers.

Client Service Associates

By, 07/22/2011

My previous post talked about the start of my career path here at Fisher Investments. Many times I have been asked by candidates about what role I started in or to describe my career path at the firm. While my career path is typical of a seasoned employee at the firm, having worked in six different departments and multiple roles to give me a well rounded skill set, it is my first role at Fisher Investments that I enjoy talking about the most. I truly believe it gave me the foundation to be successful at the firm and taught me a lot about a financial services company in general. Just like when you choose a major in college, you don’t really know what you are getting into until your first major class – in starting a career you don’t really know if you have found an industry fit until you start working in the actual role.

My first official title was that of Client Account Coordinator – this is part of the Client Service Associates Group. Primary responsibilities are operational in nature, but I also interacted with clients directly in answering questions on account setup and other miscellaneous operational needs. The truth of the matter is no financial services firm can run without a solid and efficient operations group to support the many account processes, from new account setups to daily transfers. Therefore, learning the inner workings helped me to not only learn about the industry, but it also gave me a base skill set to be successful in future roles. I often tell people that if you are lucky enough to start your career in financial services at Fisher Investments, you are even more so if it is as a Client Service Associate, a role many of our top managers also held.

To learn more about the Client Service Associate role at Fisher Investments, please see the job description here. If you are looking at taking a chance at the opportunity, you can also apply directly.

A Job in Finance

By, 07/21/2011

A job in Finance...

As a Finance major and Econ minor, I always assumed I would land “a job in finance”. It wasn’t until I started my personal job search as a senior that I realized the world of finance is so much larger than I thought, yet all the “jobs in finance” seemed to be analyst positions. I interviewed with some companies, but since it was the middle of the bear market in 2002, the prospects weren’t bright. I wasn’t even sure that an analyst role was the right opportunity for me. Even though I wanted to learn those skills I wasn’t sure I wanted to dedicate my career path to that one goal of eventually becoming a portfolio manager. How surprised I was to come across Fisher Investments – an innovative firm that was hiring at the time for roles that included not only analyst opportunities, but many more. There is no set career path at our firm, and the skill set you develop is purely based on the opportunities you choose to challenge yourself with as you navigate through different responsibilities and even across departments. It is a firm based on meritocracy, so you are judged on your performance – not your pedigree. Having spent almost nine years at the firm, I now know that I truly have experienced a job in finance much different than what I thought was possible.

Working as a corporate recruiter, I many times spoke to candidates who right out of the gate told me they are looking “for a job in finance”. Part of me smiles when I hear this term because I know what they are encountering in their job search. I try to spend some time explaining how Fisher Investments is different; sometimes the candidate understands, but sometimes he or she has a closed mind. I can only hope that they realize before too long that a title doesn’t dictate a “job in finance” – it is the experience and skills you develop that do.

Welcome!

By, 07/20/2011

As noted in our introduction, Fisher Investments created this section to provide insight into careers in the financial services industry. We will showcase positions, give updates about Fisher Investments, and broadly discuss  career development. We hope you find the information informative and actionable as you go about your career search or even if you are just staying up to speed on the financial services industry.

At Fisher Investments, we consider ourselves an innovative firm. We are always seeking new ways to improve on existing capabilities or create new opportunities. We hope you—as a potential candidate—also find this blog  innovative. If you are looking for our current job opportunities, you can always find them on this site and even apply directly. Don’t forget to check in regularly so as not to miss any pertinent updates!

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