Just when you get a handle on what an ETF is, along comes similar products but with bitcoin, ether, and other cryptocurrencies. Learning what is bitcoin has challenges. Understanding how you can make derivatives and other creative products from it stretches your mind.
Build it and they will come.
You may have worked at an investment bank or hedge fund creating, trading, or selling derivatives. The 2007-2009 Great Recession and the subsequent over-reaction from regulators caused an innovation death spiral. The market has somewhat recovered, but not like the old days.
If you have work on the edge of financial innovation in a traditional buy-side or sell-side role, and the market slows appreciably, what do you do? What transferable skills do you really bring to the table, and where is that table?
As I discussed in Part I of my 4 part article “Making the Move from Wall Street to FinTech, you will discover a preliminary roadmap of where you belong in FinTech. Yes, even those innovative types out there!
In the article, I boil down the 19 different FinTech sectors (Thanks to CB Insights’ FinTech 250) into the 6 most logical ones for buy/sell-side pros. One of them is Asset Management, a huge area of innovation.
When you start to understand the accelerating nature of crypto adoption by individuals and institutional investors, the light bulb goes on. It is estimated that 20% of Americans hold cryptocurrencies outright.
Most of the largest asset managers have started investing, albeit slowly.
When a creative builder of innovative financial products understands crypto and asset management, they begin to realize that innovative crypto products are the next step from just owning the currencies outright. Options, futures, ETF, etc.
My client’s challenge
My client had worked at a mid-size hedge fund, creating and selling various types of ETFs. He went to work for one of the 10 largest ETF money managers with a great job, on paper at least.
Then the politics, egos, dysfunctional reporting lines, and chaos ensued. His job description and his actual job were as closely aligned as rain forests and fires. When you have a poor manager at a top shop, it isn’t a top shop.
Why don’t the folks that run the top shops realize how a toxic manager can disrupt careers? Subject for another article.
My client’s Solution
We put together his resume and LinkedIn profile that screamed innovation, chock full of how my client applied innovation to making money.
Since he was a jack of all trades (sales, research, product, etc.), a double-edged sword in job search, we pulled out those skills most applicable for his target job. As his advisor, I told him I did not care what he had done for a living. Huh?
What you have done for a living that is most relevant for your next job is the only thing that matters. If you still have on your resume your proud placing 1st in the 4th-grade science fair, please combine some chemicals to burn it away.
He read, read and read more about crypto, then networked, networked, networked. He landed at the most innovative product shop out that creates crypto products for people like you and me.
If you do the work, you get the reward.
The transition is hard, regardless of whether your current role exists in FinTech or not. You have a hill to climb, get your gear ready.
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