I promised you all a follow-up to my piece from last week, so here it is. I know this isn’t the first question that pops in your head every morning when you wake up, but please let me answer the question, “What does Salmaan Javed do every day as a Private Wealth Management intern at UBS?” If you have taken an interest in UnderageInvestor’s posts related to investing, this internship and job may be the career choice for you. I do get paid, if that matters to you (which it shouldn’t at this point in your life)!
I get in at 6:30 am and leave at 3:30 pm, because I have to be there for the entirety of the US stock market trading day, which lasts from 9:30 am until 1 pm ET. I work in the Financial District in San Francisco, with a beautiful 360 degree view of San Francisco. Despite the early hours, you can expect to get out of work by 5, unlike the intense hours of Investment Banking, Private Equity, or Equity Research. I receive projects nearly once a day, that span from balancing and updating client portfolios on Excel to filing tax paperwork to researching and pitching an upcoming IPO (initial public offering). An IPO is when a private company has sedimented strong financial growth and fundamental sustenance, and is ready to transition to a publicly-traded company listed on the stock market. The most famous IPO company in the past year or two has to be Facebook (its ticker is FB). Anyways, I luckily got to sit in on a meeting with a mutual fund representative who talked to my boss and myself about the current trends in the fixed income space (the asset class that includes bonds), and where he sees it going in the near future. I bring a notebook everywhere I go because I have needed to jot down important market information on many occasions. Another task I do nearly everyday is listening to firm-wide conference calls that explain the researchers’ and Chief Investment Officer’s positions in the most up-to-date market. On the calls, I take notes on their evaluation of certain asset classes, macroeconomic factors, and specific investments. I am passionate about learning as much as I can about the markets, so I must admit that I take better and more notes than I ever did in school. After listening in on the calls, I write up a memo summarizing what the call covered and send it to the members of my team.
Basically, it’s a GREAT introduction to the world of finance, investing, and financial advising. If you are like I was before this internship and think the entire, trillion-dollar stock exchange market is just people trading stocks of Apple, Google, or Chipotle, please consider interning in PWM to get involved in the huge world of finance. You can find postings of internships from banks on your college internship vault, or you can even just e-mail some local advisors you come across on the firm’s websites. They usually look for college students with some Economics classes and Excel proficiency under their belt, so it’s mostly common for a sophomore summer internship. However, if you have the skills they require, it shouldn’t be difficult to find an internship as a freshman.
If you are interested in the full-time job tasks, here they are…As a private wealth manager you have to manage the stock portfolios of your clients, who tend to be very wealthy. The “wealth” in the title refers to every asset under a client’s name, such as real estate, bank accounts, trusts, wills, etc… It is all managed by a small group of financially-savvy and educated professionals. They are patient, dedicated, and decisive with their financial advising. They also make sure to maintain a very professional, genuine, and close relationship with each and every one of their clients. Advisors must choose from thousands of assets across several asset classes to effectively diversify a client’s portfolio. This is the main task for a PW manager, as it determines their success rate, the client’s wealth accumulation and protection and return on the investments. This is also the most difficult aspect of the job because they must customize the portfolio to fit every need and calm every nerve of the client. Generally, huge risks or bets cannot be afforded, but at the same time, slow and marginal growth is unattractive to clients. Another important task for PW managers is the trading of client’s investments. This is why they get in by 6:30am because they need to track the prices of their client’s stocks throughout the trading day. PW managers set upper and lower limits for their trading and strike prices on options if you have a more complex, hedged portfolio. This means that they set certain prices that are high enough for you to walk away with a good profit from the sale of that investment. It also means that they set a low enough price that triggers a purchase of a certain investment because you or they expect it’s price to rise substantially.
It is a fascinating profession, and I am liking it more and more every day.
Feel free to ask me any questions if you are interested and want to learn more about the internship. Even if you don’t want to do private wealth management later on, it is a great initial internship to have on your resume. You know you want to see the Coit Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the TransAmerica building outside your window every day.