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Hi Kids
Old 10-25-2006, 04:48 PM   #1
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Hi Kids

Hi all, I am John, long time lurker - first time poster, and I am a 21 year old senior attending the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. I am about to graduate, hopefully, with an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology. I feel this degree has prepared me for the real world with a level head and sound thinking ready to tackle any challenges that life presents. I find myself drawn to money - mostly retirement/financial planning/analyzing and investing, although I am unsure how to get involved in this field after graduation. My resume is terribly weak at the moment as I have played poker professionally over the past 2.5 years, however poker is what has perked my interest in this wonderful field of money in the first place. Poker, investing, and psychology are all correlated together in some ways, mostly with regards to analyzing and calculating risk, although it would be ill-advised of me to include poker on my resume. Like all of you here, I too, would like to retire early. I am in search of a job / career path / start to my resume that would allow me to attain a well paid job doing something I enjoy in the financial department.

Currently I am interested in taking a few years off school in order to build my resume, hopefully attain my CFA, and possibly attend graduate school (hopefully the company I work for will help out here!). Anything else I should be looking to do? I have made contacts with some employers, although not many as it is hard to get started with a Psychology degree. My roommate is in the school of business and they have very formal career fairs which, for many students ultimately lands them a well paying job. I was just curious if there are any other psychology majors out there that have some advice for getting into this field, or anyone in this field that knows the best way for a young adult in my shoes to get started.

Also, somewhat relevant is my current financial situation. I will be graduating college with no debt (thanks so much Mom & Dad!) and a NW of approximately $175k, 90% of which is invested in various index funds with Vanguard for the long term. I feel this has opened doors and broadened my options with regards to finding a job. I have a good start on life; now please help me retire early and land the job of my dreams!

Any advice is much appreciated.

Thanks,
John
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-25-2006, 05:12 PM   #2
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Re: Hi Kids

Welcome to the board, John. I don't have a psych degree but you sound like you're off to a good start!
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-25-2006, 05:24 PM   #3
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Re: Hi Kids

My B.A. was in psychology. My doctorate was in neuroscience, but after only a few years in research I switched fields to computers, and that field was good to me.

I was able to get a job with a small company writing educational computer software. They were dumbsmart enough to see that I could have value even if my education wasn't strictly computer-related. It helped that the CEO of that company was also a "retread."
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-25-2006, 05:25 PM   #4
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Re: Hi Kids

Hi Nords,

Thanks for the warm welcome! Also, thanks for your insightful posts, they have been a great asset to myself.

John
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-25-2006, 05:40 PM   #5
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Re: Hi Kids

Hey Al,

Hopefully I will be able to find someone smart enough to give me an opportunity

John
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-25-2006, 06:35 PM   #6
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Re: Hi Kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponks
. I will be graduating college with no debt (thanks so much Mom & Dad!) and a NW of approximately $175k, 90% of which is invested in various index funds with Vanguard for the long term.
Good for you... but I'm curious how a 21 year-old has aquired this amount of $$ right out of college - care to share?
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-25-2006, 06:47 PM   #7
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Re: Hi Kids

I will be graduating college with no debt (thanks so much Mom & Dad!) and a NW of approximately $175k, 90% of which is invested in various index funds with Vanguard for the long term.

I wouldn't worry much about being able to retire early with such a great headstart. If you save an additional 5K per year when you start working your portfolio would be worth 1.5MM in 20 years at 9%
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-25-2006, 07:25 PM   #8
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Re: Hi Kids

Ponks, it sounds as if the expanding science of Behavioural Finance might be just your niche. You would have to take the B school route to get into the field. You could become an academic (and B school profs can command decent salaries at the best schools) or go into the financial services industry, which needs to know how its customers' minds work.

Seems that you are interested in risk in general. Risk management and human factors are hot in healthcare just now.

My advice: seek an internship or research project in one of these areas in an industry that attracts you. Then consider going to business school. You'll love it!
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-25-2006, 07:28 PM   #9
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Re: Hi Kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Lu
Good for you... but I'm curious how a 21 year-old has aquired this amount of $$ right out of college - care to share?
I already did - although not so explicitly, but incase you missed it, I'll share again

I played poker professionally for the past 2.5 years, about 99.8% at online casinos.

John
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-25-2006, 07:31 PM   #10
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Re: Hi Kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadbh
Ponks, it sounds as if the expanding science of Behavioural Finance might be just your niche. You would have to take the B school route to get into the field. You could become an academic (and B school profs can command decent salaries at the best schools) or go into the financial services industry, which needs to know how its customers' minds work.

Seems that you are interested in risk in general. Risk management and human factors are hot in healthcare just now.

My advice: seek an internship in an industry that attracts you in one of these fields. Then consider going to business school. You'll love it!
Hi Meadbh,

I would really like to go to graduate school, although I think having a job first would help me out. Primarily, I think I would be able to get into a better business school (yes?) and they also may foot part of the bill. I think the internship might be the ticket I'm looking for.

John
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-25-2006, 07:38 PM   #11
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Re: Hi Kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponks
I played poker professionally for the past 2.5 years, about 99.8% at online casinos.
So why are you looking for a job now?
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-25-2006, 07:51 PM   #12
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Re: Hi Kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
So why are you looking for a job now?
Heh, I figured this question would be coming soon, I should have just explained it in the first place. As you may or may not have heard, approximately a week ago the President signed a bill making it extremely difficult for American citizens to gamble online. It has severely cut off much of the "easy" money supply and greately increased the competition online. While I am still in the top percentile of players, it's just not as profitable as it once was; the industry will surely decline. Also, after doing this for some time I realize that in the long run this game is just not for me. I will still continue to play recreationally as I please for some side income, but it's just a game, like chess for example, and I don't have the motivation to dedicate so much time to poker. It's not a career, it's something I don't enjoy talking about a whole lot because very few actually understand it. If someone asks me what I do for a living, I mainly just lied to people eventhough I really dislike doing so. It's just aggravating to talk to most people about it because so few actually understand. You guys are smart here, so if there are more questions I would be happy to entertain them as you have all given me so much.

John
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-25-2006, 08:35 PM   #13
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Re: Hi Kids

WOW.......Sounds like you REALLY know when ta hold and when ta fold. Congratulationws. I heard about the new law, but never thought about folks like you that would be jeopardized by that. Makes me wonder how that (online casino) enterprise is actually profitable for the house (ad revenue or what?). I was gonna ask why not move someplace where you can continue your expertise, but it sounds like you are ready to move on and I expect you will be good at whatever you choose....keep up the good work. My secret is I don't really want to Retire Early, I just wanna Retire Well.........and this forum is like sitting in on an AP class for retirement planning specifically and financial planning in general.
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-25-2006, 10:52 PM   #14
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Re: Hi Kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponks
Poker, investing, and psychology are all correlated together in some ways, mostly with regards to analyzing and calculating risk, although it would be ill-advised of me to include poker on my resume.
Have you considered a job as a quant on wall street?

I have no idea how you get one, but read the books Liar's Poker and My Life as a Quant for insights. It sounds like you're qualified!
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-25-2006, 11:57 PM   #15
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Re: Hi Kids

From Wikkipedia: quant -- "A quantitative analyst is a person who works in the financial markets developing mathematical models to assist the activities of traders and risk managers within banks and other large corporate institutions. Throughout the industry, such professionals are known as quants.

Historically quants often had a background in physics, usually at a PhD level. Fischer Black, an originator of the Black Scholes model, who might be viewed as the first quant, earned his PhD from Harvard in applied mathematics. However the rapid growth of the derivatives industry and increasing sophistication in the use of stochastic calculus to model the markets, led to the creation of specialized Masters and PhD courses in mathematical finance and financial engineering. Recently a large proportion of new quants have completed these courses, often sponsored by private institutions.

Although the original "quants" were concerned with risk management and derivatives pricing, the meaning of the term has expanded over time to include those individuals involved in statistical arbitrage.

For an overview of the activities conducted by a quant see computational finance and derivative (finance)."

I had to look it up, so I figured there might be a few others who would.

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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-26-2006, 01:59 AM   #16
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Re: Hi Kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz4cash
Makes me wonder how that (online casino) enterprise is actually profitable for the house (ad revenue or what?). I was gonna ask why not move someplace where you can continue your expertise.
Well, the online casinos all have a vig or rake just like the brick and mortar casinos. Online rake is typically a little less, 3% of the pot per hand compared to 4% for ring games. There are a few rake free sites, although they have not typically done as well, mainly because it's extremely difficult for a new online casino to enter the market. One rake free site that I know about that is still operating makes money by luring people into their sportsbook. They were already a large well established company when they decided to open a little poker room on the side in order to lure more people into making sports bets.

As far as moving someplace where I can play poker, as you and I both said, I am ready to move on, and I'm not really interested in moving out of the states. I think the government may see it as me looking to avoid paying taxes if I moved overseas as other countries do not tax gambling winnings while the american government does. Either way, I'm staying here with my family.

John
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-26-2006, 02:02 AM   #17
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Re: Hi Kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Have you considered a job as a quant on wall street?

I have no idea how you get one, but read the books Liar's Poker and My Life as a Quant for insights. It sounds like you're qualified!
Good thing Sgeeeee posted that Wikkipedia article, because, I too, had only a vague idea of what a quant does. However, I have not taken any physics nor any calculus+. I used to really love math in grade school, was even on the math team and won some awards, however I lost interest in it as I grew. I think this is mainly due to the fact that I had such a great grade school math teacher that anyone else trying to teach me math after that was just bleh..

John
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-26-2006, 02:05 AM   #18
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Re: Hi Kids

Does anyone have any opinions of a company that has internships that revolve around financial planning or something of that sort? I will do some research tomorrow on some companies, but I was hoping for some on your opinions on the matter. Either way, I've got to hit the sack, I have an early class tomorrow :

EDIT- Anyone have a recommendation for a good website with internships listed? Also, as I said in my original post, my resume is pretty weak, I hope this wont hurt me too bad

Thanks all.

John
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-26-2006, 07:18 AM   #19
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Re: Hi Kids

I can't help you with breaking into business, but I can see you'll have no problem with eventual early retirement: you're a prodigious accumulator of wealth, you already have a hobby, you understand about taking 3-4% of your money off the table, and you have experience answering the uncomfortable question: whaddya do all day!
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Re: Hi Kids
Old 10-26-2006, 07:50 AM   #20
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Re: Hi Kids

Well... If you have no aversion to being immoral for a while, Edward Jones and the like are always accepting applications.

You'd have to be a rather outgoing person. They require you to do something like 1000 cold calls/door to door solicitations to start your own office, and you are constantly selling yourself. You could be an Edward Jones broker. Make your money off of commissions from high sales load mutual funds. They have a structured training program for new recruits, too. They'll essentially pay you to get your Series xx licenses to become a broker/insurance salesman.

Another option with Edward Jones would be to intern at a local office or graduate and work full-time at a local growing Edward Jones office. I've known a few people who did one or both and have since moved on to bigger and better things within Edward Jones, other full-service brokerages, etc. Including at least one guy with a psych degree and otherwise mediocre resume and GPA. He was very outgoing and willing to shake a lot of hands and network and call up old high school friends (like me!) to try to get new business.

This suggestion would also apply to a number of other full-service brokerage firms - Paine Webber, Merrill Lynch, etc. You would basically be a mix of salesman and investment advisor. Dip your toes in the water, deal with fleecing investors out of their money, and a few years down the road, you'll have solid experience on your resume. Walk in to a few of these full-service brokerage firms with your suit on and resume in hand and fork it over. Ask if they would be willing to have lunch with you to discuss what their career is like and to get pointers on how to get started in that field.

The pressures in the full-service brokerage firms are pretty high to SELL!SELL!SELL!, and turnover is pretty high, too, so I think they are always looking for sharp, talented folks with a pulse and 1/2 a brain.

Banks are also looking for "investment advisors" to sell insurance, annuities and mutual funds. If you can't start there, work your way up. Ask a local bank manager/asst manager to lunch to discuss how their branch operates and how you might be able to get involved with their organization.
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