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.

Back To School

By, 08/24/2011

The advertisements are in full force with all the back to school items needed to fulfill those endless school supply lists. While colleges don’t typically send all of their students a supply list to ensure they arrive with the correct number of folders, pencils, and boxes of tissue, these ads do mark the end of summer and the exodus from beaches as college students start to occupy dorms again and become reacquainted with the studious side of school. For those of you entering your senior year, you are probably mixed with a lot of different emotions as you face your “last” back to school season. Excitement, sadness, accomplishment, even fear – especially if you haven’t started your job search! I am embarrassed to say this was the scenario for me.

I was studious and involved but for some reason thought the career search was always something I would have time for in the future. I still remember walking through my first career fair. Within minutes I was suddenly aware I was surrounded by juniors! Was I really a whole year behind everyone else? In hindsight everything worked out. I went on to find this firm, Fisher Investments, that truly gave me a career and a multitude of experiences without having to change companies. That original career fair was a good eye opener though and I encourage all senior level students who will be seeking employment after graduation in December or the Spring to attend. It only takes a couple minutes out of your day and may even help to relieve some of the fears you might be having. Fisher Investments will be at quite a few local careers fairs throughout the year. I’ll be sure to keep you posted when and where – in the meantime enjoy your last moments of beach time!

Our Silicon Valley Similarities

By, 08/19/2011

The headquarters for Fisher Investments is currently located in Woodside, CA – which is the tip of the Silicon Valley. It is a valley well known for technology, start-ups, and the birth of life changing ideas such as the smart phones and tablets—but not so well known for financial services. Our firm shares some similarities though with our well known neighbors the tech giants – one of them being the focus on innovation. As I mentioned previously, this is a key element to the success of Fisher Investments and something we strive to develop with the help of all our employees. Another similarity that may not be easily seen from the outside is our dedication to technology development. While we may not be trying to come up with the next must have tech gadget, we are constantly looking at how we can create added efficiencies and implement technology to improve our functionality. In doing so, we also run up against start-ups and technology firms in the search of highly skilled employees that focus on technology.

Fisher Investments has a dedicated IT Department. To support this IT Department and the many initiatives that the business units are driving, we also have a dedicated Projects and Business Information Group. This group ensures the initiatives stay on course and meet the goals of the firm. In order to do so, it takes experienced Project Managers, Business Information Analysts, and Data Operations Associates – all positions Fisher Investments is currently hiring for. If you are an IT professional, it is worth it to take a look at these opportunities and while it may be surprising to find them at a financial services firm, the dedication and support is worthy of being from a Silicon Valley firm.

Market Behavior

By, 08/17/2011

Market Behavior

Michael Hanson recently posted to his blog, Fisher Investments Investing IQ, about his expectations for the rest of 2011. He opened the post talking about how choppy the markets have been and the fact that big stories both positive and negative haven’t been able to swing the market markedly in one direction or the other. It is true we have seen huge movements, especially recently. Days with swings as big as 5% or more for some indices – in both directions! All of this reminds us that we work in an exciting field. Unless you have a crystal ball (and some supernatural powers to go along with it) you never know what will happen with each market open and close. A lot happens in those short few hours – learning about why and how to approach the next day is the intriguing part of finance study.

Working at Fisher Investments you are exposed to our thoughts on the market. Education is one of the pillars of employee development at the firm. You are given the opportunity to learn as much as you’d like about Fisher Investments’ outlook and thoughts on any given day. I personally have found it a rewarding part of my career at the firm. I have held roles that were very focused on market behavior, watching the fluctuations throughout the day and communicating with others about these changes. I have also held roles that have had little to do with the markets – particularly more operational roles. In both types of positions I was still exposed to Fisher Investments’ market analysis. With these opportunities I have developed a robust knowledge of the markets and a unique way of looking at movements that can at times be surprising to some. I feel empowered when people ask my opinion on market behavior, especially given the recent volatility.

Infographic: President Obama’s Fourth Year

By, 08/11/2011

The online magazine MarketMinder, which is based on the core philosophy of Fisher Investments, recently published a great infographic on how to think about the upcoming fourth term for President Obama. While historical market data and the details of past presidential terms is all known information, looking at this data in a unique way allows an investor to gain insight that others might not have. This is a great example of one of the lessons learned in Ken Fisher’s bestselling book, The Only Three Questions that Count, and crucial to the core philosophy mentioned above.

I spoke in a past blog post about the specialization utilized at the firm – helping to ensure the best people are performing in a particular role at any point in time. This infographic is also a demonstration of what you can accomplish when those people work together to create something. In this case it involved development by our graphic arts team, editing by our content authors from MarketMinder, analysis from the Fisher Investments Research Team, and the overall core philosophy of Ken Fisher’s teachings. As an employee of Fisher Investments, I see this sort of interaction on a daily basis and felt it was a great visual example for those of you who are looking at our firm and trying to get a good feel for what the environment is truly like. Collaboration is key to great development.

 

Avoiding the Novella

By, 08/09/2011

I wrote recently about the article “10 Outdated Pieces of Career Advice”. One of the items on the list was to shy away from the one-page resume if your qualifications exceed the space. As a former corporate recruiter who was involved in the hiring process for different roles, I can speak to the fact that different industries have different preferred resume formats. Someone with a strong technical background should and will have a very different resume than someone with a client service background. If convention in your industry calls for a longer resume, so be it, but even in this case it’s important to avoid writing a “novella.”  At times a candidate may feel pressured to fill up a resume by making it overly detailed and elaborate. I can almost guarantee this will bore a recruiter who reads thousands of resumes—it’s a big turnoff. Many times the resume is your lone opportunity for a first impression – make it count like the article mentions, but “avoid the novella”!

Camas

By, 08/08/2011

In reviewing the positions currently available here at Fisher Investments, you’ll notice quite a few of them are for our office in the Pacific Northwest – Washington State. Currently, a majority of Fisher Investments’ employees operate out of two smaller offices located in Vancouver, Washington. Many people not familiar with the area are first surprised to learn that Vancouver is indeed in Washington state—not British Columbia.  Their interest then spikes when I further explain the city of Portland, Oregon is about ten minutes away. It is an amazing city. While small in scale, it is full of everything you’d expect from a metropolitan area.

I’ll cover Portland and the surrounding area more in future posts, but today I wanted to talk about the new campus that Fisher Investments is building in the town of Camas. Camas is only a couple minutes outside of Vancouver, and the new office location is less than ten minutes from the current space the employees occupy. News of the office’s upcoming completion is causing quite a buzz around the firm. Building the new campus will bring together the smaller satellite offices, uniting the nearly 400 employees who currently work in the area, and most importantly providing a space for future growth. This is of course great news for candidates and the reason why you will find so many of our opportunities in the Pacific Northwest.

Take a look at a couple snapshots below showing the work in-progress on the site. While these were taken earlier this year, it shows the beautiful scenery that surrounds the office – much like the headquarters in Woodside, California.

Fisher Investments - Camas

Fisher Investments - Camas

Warm-up Stretches - Flexibility

By, 08/04/2011

How many of you have seen the recent article circulating around Facebook and Twitter about the “10 Outdated Pieces of Career Advice” to ignore? I came across it and saw an opportunity for a bigger message here for job seekers: Flexibility. Almost all of these ten items talk of flexibility to some degree, but none of them speak to it directly. You can follow some general guidelines during the job search process, but in general one likely to win big points is being flexible with the hiring process, which is inevitably unique to most companies.  Companies may do panel interviews, multiple interviews in one day, or call candidates back to the office for additional follow up interviews. Some companies require you to prepare paperwork before you arrive, while others prefer to give you no advice on how to prepare to see what you come up with yourself. Being able to demonstrate you can adapt to these scenarios not only demonstrates you are flexible, but also that you are independent and confident in what you have to offer as a potential employee.

While it is sometimes perfectly appropriate to ask for an exception to a procedure, think before you do. There are reasons why things are done a certain way at each company. Typically if the company has been in business a long time, they have likely already undergone a trial and error process to see what works best for their hiring needs. By asking for special treatment, you might not make as good an impression as you could have otherwise. If on the other hand your request is genuine and reasonable, most corporate recruiters understand this – they are people after all!  Honesty, combined with flexibility, is important in relationship building and can go a long way in giving you a chance for success in the recruiting process.

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